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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boyfriend left me when I was pregnant, and I now have a three-month old. I had to leave everything I had to move closer to family. I have no friends in the area, and sometimes I just really wish that I had 20 minutes without being tied to the baby. How did you all manage to keep your sanity? What little things did you do for yourself that made you still feel like a real person, and not just a zombie milk machine? Sometimes I can barely find the time to cook/eat and I feel like I'm getting dragged down by the weight of doing this all with no help...<br><br>
My family has turned out to not be very useful to me, since they believe that crying it "good for babies' lungs"... so no help there.<br><br>
My ex is visiting now, and seeing him go out with friends every night (he's not staying iwth me) has me feeling like I do nothing but work... and it's not good for me. It's not that I want to go out like that, but it would be nice for me to have *some* sense of myself again, you know?
 

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my moms group saved my sanity, I also tried ymca with childcare and church services, and I mean tried to leave dd because they call you back if there is crying. I was married then though, but ex wasn't so helpful.
 

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I am exactly where you are except that my son is six months old. I have decided to get help because I can't go on like this. He is still waking up during the night and the lack of sleep is too much with everything else I have to manage. So I have a teenaged babysitter coming this Saturday for four hours and I am trying to arrange for help two days per week.
 

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My X left when our third child was four months old, but I had two other kids as well. That was both good and bad - bad because I had so many people to care for, but good because my oldest was nine at the time and she adored her baby sister, so she was happy to hold her all day long (as long as she wasn't crying/needing to nurse/needing changed/etc.) so I could attempt to take care of the rest of the family.<br><br>
I would definitely look around your neighborhood for a teen or preteen that might like some baby-sitting experience. If you aren't planning to leave the house, even a nine or ten year old could make an excellent cuddler for your baby.<br><br>
Best wishes to you - it honestly does get easier...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mmace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8206740"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My X left when our third child was four months old, but I had two other kids as well. That was both good and bad - bad because I had so many people to care for, but good because my oldest was nine at the time and she adored her baby sister, so she was happy to hold her all day long (as long as she wasn't crying/needing to nurse/needing changed/etc.) so I could attempt to take care of the rest of the family.<br><br>
I would definitely look around your neighborhood for a teen or preteen that might like some baby-sitting experience. If you aren't planning to leave the house, even a nine or ten year old could make an excellent cuddler for your baby.<br><br>
Best wishes to you - it honestly does get easier...</div>
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How would I go about finding a student (mother's helper) to come over? Do people advertise about that?<br><br>
And People keep telling me it gets easier, but I just don't see this letting up. I mean, really, isn't this the easy part? I imagine that once he's mobile and can get into everything, it will only get harder.
 

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i found my teenage babysitter through the local high school. call the guidance office. my local hs has a child develpment program so i asked for a rec from that teacher. i and my kids love her. she watches them while i'm home two days for about two hours. i pay her $7 / hr for two kids. hth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hah, the other problem is that I have NO money to hire anyone... I barely have money for diapers, so I doubt the mother's helper is a realistic option.
 

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this is a long shot, but maybe contact a local church or homeschool group or class for babysitters and see if you could get a volunteer for a couple times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pranamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8209285"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">this is a long shot, but maybe contact a local church or homeschool group or class for babysitters and see if you could get a volunteer for a couple times.</div>
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That's a great idea... I don't belong to any church, though, and I doubt they'd want to assist a non-believer. I know there are several homeschool groups around here, maybe I'll look into that.
 

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Yep, definitely what pranamama said. What about your neighborhood? Any young girls around? Honestly, girls from 10-12 will be glad to hang out with your baby even if you don't pay them, I'll bet. I know my daughter loved babies at that age and would have gladly come over so you could shower and nap.<br><br>
As for it getting easier - it is hard when they're moving around, but by that time you'll be into a routine and used to it. Really, it does get easier - at least it did for me! I've been a single mom of three for almost four years now. My X hasn't taken them anywhere since October 2005 - when he visits he just comes here for a couple of hours in the evening, and we're talking once or twice a month at the most, a lot of times it's once every couple of months. So I am 100% on, 100% of the time. Even if I do run out for an hour and leave them with my oldest, I'm *still* on, if you know what I mean...
 

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My closest friends are all women I met at La Leche League meetings. We were all into attachment parenting and we all have helped each other out, watching one another's kids from time to time.<br><br>
The first year as a single parent, with my newborn and a toddler was very difficult, to say the least. In fact, a lot of the time, it sucked.<br><br>
But, as they get older, it really does get easier and you can get more freedom and help from others.<br><br>
Keep your options open, look for opportunities everywhere and you might be amazed to see who is out there & willing to help.<br><br>
In my community there is a minister and his wife who help out single parents. They feel it is their mission in life. So, even those who aren't part of their congregation have received help from them. There are other people out there...even single moms, like me, with older kids who would be willing to help.<br><br>
You might even post something here in Finding your Tribe. Another AP mom with older kids might be able to help you out.
 

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As my dd has aged, the free time has come. There was a point at which I thought a shower was luxurious. It will come. You have to find a niche that works. I am lucky because my mom watches my dd twice a week so I can do things then. It is hard though to muster up the energy to do anything, but I was falling into a depression, so something had to shift. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you and I hope you get it all sorted out.
 

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What about talking to your family and telling them your views on parenting and that you really need help. Maybe if you express how important not letting your baby cry and other things that you see as a must, maybe they will listen and want to help you in a way that you feel is good for your baby. It really does save you sanity to be able to get away for a least a couple of hours a week.<br>
Have you looked in finding your tribe? Just to connect with some like minded moms? In my area there is an organization that organizes free mothers helpers it's called many mothers maybe there is something like that where you live. Try a hospitals social worker, they may know of something.<br>
I've been sigle since the begining too, I couldn't have done it with out the help of my mom and my sister. I hope your family will come around and respect your views and help you out. That's what family is for right?<br>
Good luck mama! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I know how hard it is, you will get through it and as they get older it get easier, well maybe easier isn't the right word, it get different and you will adapt.
 

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My playgroup saved my sanity. I wasn't away from the baby, but I made new friends and that was enough for me. To have time out of my house twice a week to meet with friends, plus there was always someone else who wanted to hold a baby so I could have my hands free and knit.<br><br>
My family was also very helpful though too. I never wanted to leave owen with anyone because I was breastfeeding him, but the extra hands and the company made me feel better.<br><br>
I didn't get any sleep until he was older though. I have no idea how I survived it. I guess somehow I just lived through the crazy until it changed. Sorry that's no help at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I briefly joined a playgroup in my area... unfortunately, all the moms I met thought I was a nut job for my philosophy on raising children. All the other moms were just too rough with their kids and tended to ignore them. The LLL meetings are too far away for me to justify going. I'm in a really rural area... so not even any cool coffee shops to hang in!<br><br>
I'll check the waldorf newsletter to see if any kids like to babysit (with me home, of course!)
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I've been where you are, mama. I was totally on my own with my first child. I had never even changed a diaper before I had her. I had no family, and all my friends were childless and single. Most of them dropped out of my life because I wasn't able to do childless and single stuff anymore.<br><br>
I don't know if you are like me, but I had no idea that I needed to find ways to take care of myself or risk burnout- so I burned out. I ended up with a wierd autoimmune disease and had to be hospitalized. Here's what I would have done if I could go back- I would religiously attend any kind of gathering where I might meet other moms, whether I felt like it or not. I would be a lot more open with others about how much I was struggling. I would accept the two or three total offers of childcare I received during her first year, even if I was worried about imposing on people.<br><br>
I would sleep when the baby slept. I would meditate while the baby was nursing. I would take a lot of long hot baths.<br><br>
I did try going to the unitarian church just so I could put my daughter in the child care room. It didn't work. She cried and they came and got me.<br><br>
A book I wish I'd had back then is called Mother Nurture. I can't think of the author's names. It has such good, practical advice for avoiding burnout. If you can't find it at the library and don't have the money to buy it, email me- I will totally send you my copy.<br><br>
If you want child care, you are in a good position to trade. With just one cute little baby, it should be relatively easy. LLL is really good for finding the moms in your area who parent similarly to you. I have lived in some backwards places, and there have always been a few! So keep looking! You might call the hospital and ask if they have a lactation support group. They might have a new moms support group, too. There's also the MOMS clubs, they have a website <a href="http://www.momsclub.org" target="_blank">www.momsclub.org</a>. That's worth a try, though I think they tend to be on the mainstream side.<br><br>
If I had it to do over, I would not hesitate to swallow my pride and ask to trade child care with someone like a neighbor, or even just ask them to babysit for me because I really need a break. I know you can't do it regularly, which is what you really need. But you are at the stage where you haven't totally been taken over by motherhood- this part really is extremely difficult, and you need time to adjust and assimilate what is happening to you. It doesn't ever get easy, but you do get used to it and you realize it's not going to kill you, after all.<br><br>
Good luck to you. You are so strong to do what's best for your babe under these circumstances.
 

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I was in your shoes; it was me and dd, 24/7, work, work, work... showers a miraculous luxury. And I mostly was relaxed and enjoyed it, but, it's like sex in a way... mothering feels great, but not 24/7!!<br><br>
Make ways for that naptime to be YOU time. Don't sleep, read an escapist book, whatever strikes your fancy. Historical biographies, etc. Reading something new keeps your mind oiled up. Read it while baby is breastfeeding. Get outside. Stroller it to the park, get some exericise that way. When my dd was about six months, I enrolled in one class at the local junior college, met one night a week, I found a good loving sitter, the daughter of, literally, an old friend of 30 years prior who I ran into. Little miracles and serendipities are out there just flying around.<br><br>
Go out there in this world FULL of people and run into an old friend you just met... she's probably looking for you right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I ultimately called my sister-on-law at work one day (we weren't close, but I had her number at work), and blubbered into the phone that I needed for her to please come over after work for an hour, or a half hour, just so I could have a mental break from the 24/7 baby-watching vigilance. And she did. I didn't even leave, I was just SO mentally relieved that someone else was holding dd, responding to her needs, would change her dighty if needed... would DO THE THINKING for just a few minutes. I was a different person in the space of about 45 minutes. She just held and played with dd, and I just sat on the couch opposite and let my body uncoil.<br><br>
Be brave and strike up an acquaintance with a neighbor, ask an experienced mother you may spot for some mothering advice, like 'What do you do for a fever? teething?' There are lots of home remedies that most mothers have in their personal bag of tricks. It's great to hear new ones that aren't in books. That can open doors. Any mother understands why another mother, a new mother, might ask HER for some advice. Ask her if she knows of any local, trustworthy teenager who lives in the area...<br><br>
Go for it!<br><br>
VF
 

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My dd is almost 9 months old and for about a month now, it has gotten easier, once she can crawl and pull herself up to standing, she has more to do and doesn't need to depend on me for it and can go from room to room. Which makes her happier. When she was 3 months old, like your baby, that was hard! At that age, they don't sleep as much as they did and their brains are way more advanced then their bodies, which would really suck! I'm glad I don't remember when I was a baby. Then again, it would be nice to be adored and taken care of all the time. :p<br><br>
My son became really easy at 2 1/2 ish, he could do his own thing in another room of the house without being watched and stuff. But as soon as it got easy I had another one!! UGH.<br><br>
Right now I rely on my mom and sister's days off to watch the kids. I spent the last 3 wednesday's doing a mural with another artist, and now I am *SO* behind on everything else in my life. My house is a mess. That zapped me, but it was also so nice, being an adult!
 

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Your ex sounds like a real winner. (note the sarcasm) I got no respect for a dad that walks away from his children.<br><br>
I agree that you should try to find a babysitter for a couple days a week. You need SOMEBODY to help you.
 
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