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Old 08-17-2011, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How. Do. You. Do. It.???

 

Tips, advice, ANYTHING!

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Old 08-17-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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I'll be lurking here, mama....no real advice yet as I just became a single mama of 4 in the last couple of months as my STBX and I separated and filed for divorce (something I never never never never thought would be even a remote possibility). I'm sorry for your situation though.greensad.gif I suppose the only thing I can think of is, could you seek out other single mamas in your area to trade off with for occasional babysitting so you can take turns having a little time to yourselves? You said you don't have friends nearby so maybe cultivate that - there have to be other single mamas around who are in your same situation...? The one huge blessing I do have is a lot of wonderful friends who are willing to watch my kids for a little bit when I need a few hours to decompress...and my STBX does have (minimal) visitation, so I get at least one or two breaks a week....but yeah, it's HARD.


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Old 08-18-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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I dont have much advice to give, but I can empathize. I am a single mom of 4 myself (though my oldest is only part-time at home, she has a different dad and just went to live with him after I became a single mom a few months ago), so 3 boys full time. I am on gov't assistance too whileI go to school. I live in an apartment under my mom's house. She has 3 jobs, so she is really never home to help with the kids, and when sheis home, she is out with her husband. I am in school part-time to be a nurse, and my stbx has no contact with us. So I am completely alone, with no breaks except when I am at school. I have very few friends...so I understand...

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Old 11-05-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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Hi ComaWhite, This is the first time I am joining a forum and what motivated me was that I feel so alone with my son who has autism. We have never lived with his father who lives in another country. Its just become unbearably lonely and I could really identify with your hardship because I too am on assistance and trying to figure out where to go from here. Would love to be able to chat with more women in similar situations. I noticed your post is from august, has anything improved for you?

 

Danielle

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Old 11-05-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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I will chime in although I am still a couple months away from being single mom of 4.  Right now I have an 8-year old (with Asperger's), a 6-year old, a 3-year old and am pregnant with a little girl due in February.  How I will handle it all, I have no clue.  I really can't let myself think about it too hard or I start to panic.  I am a full-time student right now, living on VA housing assistance, TANF, food stamps, etc., but because of the TANF rules I will have to go back to work at least part-time when the baby is 6 weeks old.  So I will have to add that to the mix.  I've never been absolutely alone with a newborn before, as in from day One.  The whole thing scares me, even though I know somehow I will get through.  Even now, though, just trying to find time for anything at all (like a shower without one or more buddies), or getting the laundry done (it's in the basement, I'm on the 2nd floor, and I can't haul that basket up and downstairs like I used to), or cleaning the house.... it seems impossible just with the three.  I have very little extended family in the area and they are not very involved at all in my life, and few friends, none of them close.  Sometimes I wonder if I am going to get through the next few years with my sanity intact.


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Old 11-16-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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{{{hugs}}}  One foot in front of the other, and as they grow it gets easier in some significant ways.

 

I have opened myself to joining groups and communities that I did not consider before, such as church.  I also have allowed myself to ask for what I need and receive support/help that I qualify for, even if it is really hard to do.  I don't know what the culture is where you live, but introducing myself to neighbors, smiling at people in the grocery store, starting up conversations while waiting in line, has helped me feel not so alone, and I have made some good friends.

 

Reach out to whatever extent you can.  See what happens.  I was amazed to find how many people I talked to who had been single moms and understood better than most what I am going through - and how many of them offered support, even if they didn't know me.

 

Keep things as simple as possible.  Rest your body as much as you can, even if it's just putting your feet up while kids hang on you.  Try to spend 8 hours a night lying in bed even if it's not continuous and even if you aren't sleeping.  I have to go to bed close to when my kids do to get enough sleep, when it's possible to do that.

 

I can't speak about the autism, but I had four under age six and not much parenting or emotional support from their dad before he left.  I know it's not the same, but having four little ones at home, especially close in age like your middle two, is very challenging.

 

 

Whatever works to keep stress down and needs met in your family is good, even if it's not how other people think you "should" be doing it.

 

I kept my expectations low and took shortcuts wherever I could (with housecleaning, etc).  Didn't worry if they wore the same clothes two days in a row if they weren't covered in food.  We spent time at the playground a lot, especially during school hours when we were often the only ones there.

 

When they were little, they were lucky to get bathed once a week, and usually it was less, but they were not stinky and they were happy and healthy and fine.  I stopped folding clothes a LONG time ago - just tumble them into the drawers.  I use a system ("spot system") where the oldest kid's clothes have one spot on the tag or inside the neck, the next oldest's have two spots, and on down (Sharpie marker spots).  Hand the clothes down, add a spot.  My clothes have a different mark (about a 1" horizontal line, but you could do something else)  This way from about age 3 my kids could sort and put away the laundry (no folding except I fold my own clothes).  On their beds they just had comforters, no top sheet, so easy to pull up the covers and not have a messy bed.  Each kid got assigned one color and I tried to color-code things as much as possible (toothbrushes, etc).

 

If routines help, keep them simple.  When one of mine was first born, my to-do list for the entire day was literally "1) put diapers in washer, 2) pick up stuff off floor, 3) make sure we all eat enough."  Do what you can to make it easy for the kids who can to do whatever they can for themselves.  Specifics depend on your kids; at a certain point I had a shelf with "help-yourself" snacks for the older ones; we still have just one cup for each kid and they use it for water all day long so I have less dishes (we just drink water most of the time). 

 

I don't know much about your situation but I have come up with lots of strategies over the years for keeping things simple and saving my sanity.  Feel free to PM me if you want.

 

Mine are now ages 7-13 but I remember well when they were all little and how challenging it was.  Hang in there....you'll get through this.  Long days but short years, remember that.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComaWhite View Post

How. Do. You. Do. It.???

I am a single mom of 4 kids aged 8, 4.5(who is autistic), almost 3 and 8 months old.

The only help I get is my mom coming to do my dishes twice a month with big resentment on her part for it.

Fathers currently out of the picture and no family/friends/support.

I currently am on government aid so I stay home with them, but money is tight, sleep is tighter and patience and sanity is almost non-existent.

How do you do it? 

Tips, advice, ANYTHING!



 


- single homeschooling mom to 16, almost-15, 12, and 10
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