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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really frustrated right now. STBX just called me, DS might have pink eye so he cannot go to daycare tomorrow. STBX owns his own business but doesn't want to take the day off, that means I have to skip class and work tomorrow to take DS to the doctor. I want to be with my DS if he is sick but how am I supposed to have a career and be a mom? Thank god my campus job is understanding because if this was a real job I'd be fired by now - I've had to take so much time off for doctor visits, daycare closings, and sick DS days. I have NO ONE to turn to for childcare because my family works and I don't know anyone else around here. I swear my ex does this on purpose, he could easily take time off - he owns the company! He has no problem taking time off when he wants to go on a vacation or a friend comes to visit.

I just don't know what to do. Part of me is still mourning the loss of being a SAHM so I think that has something to do with it. I'm feeling scared about starting fall classes because what if DS gets sick and I have to miss a week of class? then what? And when I graduate - I can't just miss a week of work at a time, I'll get fired.


How does everyone else handle this??
:
 

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It's hard but when the kids are sick and it's the x's turn to have them, he has to manage just like I would do if the stituation were reversed. It is easier for my x to take time off or even work from home.

IF I am not working that day or can take the time off I will, but working for a school district I often run out of days off during the year.

Good luck!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by m1992
It's hard but when the kids are sick and it's the x's turn to have them, he has to manage just like I would do if the stituation were reversed. It is easier for my x to take time off or even work from home.
: I would quit enabling him asap. He is a parent and needs to be responsible for his child.
 

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I am a full time student and single mom. My (then 4) dd and I both got pneumonia last fall semester. I was sick or she was sick for an entire month. Also at this time, my relationship with my bf got really rocky and he left (only to come back and then leave again, permanently.) So then I was depressed on top of it. Long story short, I was a WRECK and I took straight incompletes. I have made up all but one of them.

When you're a single mom and student, you just have to keep on truckin. Advocate for yourself with your professors. Try to find backup childcare. If life gives you a hurdle you can't jump over, slow down and walk around it. You can't be like the other students. Not unless you have a team working for you. I don't have a team. I'm hearing that you don't either.

To the person with the tough love idea for the OP, that she ought to stop "enabling," I'm sure you meant well. But that might not have been helpful. I would pe pissed if someone told me to "stop enabling" my exh. He does not parent equally to me. He never has. That's not me "enabling" him. That's him being a pud. We can demand whatever we want from our exes. That doesn't make it happen.

I think the best thing is to try to cover all your bases. Find a babysitter you can trust. I am now looking for a new one, myself. It's critically important to have good help. Especially when the dad is irresponsible or selfish or both.
 

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I agree. Even when we lived together, my X would NEVER take care of DS when he was sick. I even had to find people to watch DS if it was X's turn and he wanted to do something else. If I hadn't done so, I'm positive that he would have walked out of the house and called me to tell me DS was home alone and I should probably go get him.
This was the guy who left DS alone in his bouncer for over an hour so he could go outside and mow the lawn. Because he couldn't have waited another hour for me to get home.
:
My point is that I could tell X his actions were unacceptable and just straight up bad parenting and he would shrug his shouders and keep on going.
OP I think you are amazing-you love your DS and do what is necessary to care for him. And you work and go to school! My hero!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boston
To the person with the tough love idea for the OP, that she ought to stop "enabling," I'm sure you meant well. But that might not have been helpful.
Sorry if I offended. She said she already lets him stay with his father, so, I assume she trusts him. Why should she put her school/job in jeopardy because of him? If she's always taking her dc back everytime the father doesn't want to deal, what is that saying to the child?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Sorry if I offended. She said she already lets him stay with his father, so, I assume she trusts him. Why should she put her school/job in jeopardy because of him? If she's always taking her dc back everytime the father doesn't want to deal, what is that saying to the child?
No, no offense taken! But I have to ask you, what do you suggest she do instead? I'm thinking about my own situation trying to imagine another way besides putting my job/school in jeopardy. I mean, I trust my efh to parent our child on weekends. But if I get sick on a Wednesday, I'm SOL. What should I do? Drive to Boston and drop off the girl like she's a sack of potatoes and tell him "deal with this, she's your kid too?" That would be so unfair to my girl. I could never treat her like she's a burden. And so, when you have an unwilling or lazy partner, you just have to pick up the slack. Or go to court, I suppose, if you can prove that your school is as important as his income. But that right there can cause trouble. It might affect alimony or child support. Or even custody. So it's not a simple situation, not even mine, which is very amicable, except for when I get angry about the disparity in our levels of responsibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Leaving DS with ex is not really an option. He's not willing to stay home from work to care for DS. He'll just make his GF take DS for the day and his GF is a drug addict with a criminal record - not someone I want my son alone with. I do not leave DS with ex by choice - I do it because I'd be in contempt of court if I did not. I'm currently fighting for full custody because I do not believe ex is a competant parent.

I do agree that I need a babysitter - I just have no idea where to even start. All my friends live across the country and most of my family too. I have a hard time trusting anyone with DS because I was left with some sketchy babysitters as a child.

I guess I should accept the fact that I can't be like other students because they don't have the kind of commitments that I have. I just hold myself to such a high standard and get upset when I don't measure up.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boston
No, no offense taken! But I have to ask you, what do you suggest she do instead?
Tell him she's busy and he can drop dc off at the scheduled time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by boston
I'm thinking about my own situation trying to imagine another way besides putting my job/school in jeopardy. I mean, I trust my efh to parent our child on weekends. But if I get sick on a Wednesday, I'm SOL. What should I do? Drive to Boston and drop off the girl like she's a sack of potatoes and tell him "deal with this, she's your kid too?" That would be so unfair to my girl. I could never treat her like she's a burden. And so, when you have an unwilling or lazy partner, you just have to pick up the slack. Or go to court, I suppose, if you can prove that your school is as important as his income. But that right there can cause trouble. It might affect alimony or child support. Or even custody. So it's not a simple situation, not even mine, which is very amicable, except for when I get angry about the disparity in our levels of responsibility.
But if you are constantly 'taking up the slack', then it allows the other parent to 'give up' more often. They won't even try because they know you will do it for them. So what if parenting styles are different? No one parents the exact same way, even when all parents live together.

Instead of treating your dc as a 'burden', look at it as treating the father as a parent.
Your dc deserves to have responsible parents, not an overwhelmed mother or lazy father, kwim?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jilian
Leaving DS with ex is not really an option. He's not willing to stay home from work to care for DS. He'll just make his GF take DS for the day and his GF is a drug addict with a criminal record - not someone I want my son alone with. I do not leave DS with ex by choice - I do it because I'd be in contempt of court if I did not. I'm currently fighting for full custody because I do not believe ex is a competant parent.

I do agree that I need a babysitter - I just have no idea where to even start. All my friends live across the country and most of my family too. I have a hard time trusting anyone with DS because I was left with some sketchy babysitters as a child.

I guess I should accept the fact that I can't be like other students because they don't have the kind of commitments that I have. I just hold myself to such a high standard and get upset when I don't measure up.
I didn't know that. I am sorry. When I was a single mother and a full-time student, I put ads on all the bulletins, especially in the Elementary Ed. office. In my case, some of the students were able to get college credit for 'watching' my kids. Basically, I sat at the kitchen table and did my homework while they did puzzles or reading curriculum with my kids. I signed their papers saying they spent x-amount hours doing the specified activity.

Also, there were students who missed their siblings and just wanted little kids to play with, read to, etc.

I remember when I pg and had the worst case of ms, I was puking every 20 minutes, and trying to get my Human Anatomy homework done, meanwhile there were two students playing 'Barbies' with my oldest dd.
 

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I am also a single mom and a full-time graduate student. My X lives 10,000 miles away, so there goes that option.

I live with my parents and my mom often takes Oliver if he is sick or dc is closed, as long as she is not working herself.

Just today I had a situation where dc closed, unexpectedly, and my mom had to work. My bf offered to take Oliver for the day. It was a wonderful experience for both of them and went beautifully.

It is definitely NOT easy. I have also missed quite a few days of both classes and work. But, what the heck can you do? It is so frustrating.

btw: A great place to find babysitters, which is where I have found a couple of great ones, is to advertise through your University classifieds. Also, put up an ad in your University's Dept. of Education.
 

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About the original question....

We've gotten very, very lucky with our daycare (the hippie daycare). I think basically they just assume that germs and childhood illnesses are a fact of life, and while I don't think they'd be thrilled with a parent who brought in a shivering-with-fever-and-puking kid, they generally just deal with illness. Maybe because the owner also lives there, and he's got kids, so if they're sick, well, they're coming home from school with whatever it is they've got. And it seems to work out fine. Last winter, periodically, there'd be a "we have a child with strep, ask if you have questions" sign on the door. It was fine. (There are no babies there; it's ages 2 and up.) Dd never got strep.

I'm not sure how they'd feel about pinkeye. I guess I should ask.

About "stop enabling him"...if it's a reasonable thing, I agree. I have a feeling, though, that after our divorce I'll continue to pick up surprise slack. Not so much because stbx tries to dump responsibilities on me, but because he's been chronically severely depressed for years, and every now and then I'll have to say, "Dude. I'll take care of her today, go to the doctor," or some such, just for her protection. I used to get angry that he wouldn't give me a heads-up when he was getting sick, and I kept having to cope with his emergencies, but it finally dawned that the inability to see depression coming on is part of the illness.

One of the ways I'm coping with that is just to have work that's as flexible as possible. Everything right now is freelance and deadline-driven, so if necessary I can stay home, pull an all-nighter or two, and catch up on sleep a few days later with no one the wiser. Healthwise not the most fabulous thing for me, but it'll get us through for a couple of years, I think.
 

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Jilian,

I am having a nervous breakdown about the very same issue--have to start an 8 am-5 pm job in less than 3 weeks now and don't know WHAT I'll do when my littlest one gets sick. But my plan is to compile a list of 5 or 6 possible babysitters, and just frantically make calls until I find someone who can come over. I have relatives in the area, so they might help; but I hate to impose a sick kid on my mom, who is 74 yrs old and doesn't need to be catching the flu. I also plan to cast aside my shyness and make friends with all the neighbors (I'm moving to Ventura--not there yet) and possibly find some empty nester or SAHM whose kids are all in school who might like some occasional extra income.

STBX might be able to take him on some days, but not others. I wish I could find a hippie daycare like the above poster! How do you find them--put an ad in Craigslist, "seeking hippie daycare" ????

You have my total sympathy.

K.E.
 

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It is really hard. I would try to find a walk in clinic and get medical care immediately at odd hours (a bit expensive) Here for $60 you can walk in- pay cash.

I also have a list of moms who will sit for well children. I also used a service that sends out nannies for a day. It is expensive but keeps me on schedule.

I've heard of hospitals running a sick child daycare (very $$$ but high quality)

The other thing is to find someone at work who may do last minute switches for you or someone to take notes for your classes and fill you in.

My ex was completely unreliable, if I told him he'd just have to pick up the slack when I went to drop off my child he would be MIA, if he was around I'd be worried about how my child would be treated if he didn't step up to the plate voluntarily.
 

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I tell all my teachers in te beginning of class that I'm a single mom, so any of my absences are because my children are sick. I still call if I'm going to be out, and I e mail or whatever too. I do everything I can to get my assignments in even if I can't be there. I once brought in a final assignment I was supposed to present with DS with me, and she didn't make me present it. DS had thrown up that morning. I had one incomplete last semester, because I couldn't handle the course load and the teacher was wonderful. I did all the work except the papers, and I have until the end of the first week of the fall semester to hand in all the papers, giving me the summer.

I don't have any alternative childcare except DsD's mother, who is very unreliable. It sucks.
 

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Jillian, I feel your pain.
This is where it all falls down for me too: these house-of-cards lives we lead can only stand so much.

I like the pp's ideas of placeing ads at the college for babysitters: try various schools -- school of ed., school of social work, the nursing school etc. Start networking with other student mamas. See if your school has a student-parent info/support group.

RE: "enabling the ex." .... My ex is 100% unsafe with the kids when they're sick: it brings out the abusive side of him like that **snaps fingers** He only sees them for a few hours one evening a week, and then for an eight hour span on either Sat or Sun. (And he's only had non-supervised visitation for the past year). So there hasn't yet been a situation where the kids got sick or were injured on his watch. But when they are sick, or for example, when my seven year old broke his arm last month: I don't even call to let him know -- not right away anyway. (In the past, when we were living together, there was more than one occasion when the doctor or nurse would boot him out of the examining room, or out of the recovery room after the one year old had ear tubes put in for example, because he was being so abusive). And I certainly don't expect him to care for them when they're sick so that I can go to class: again, his visitation is limited for good reason. So, either I miss class, or my mother helps out. It isn't easy, but he is not a reliable or safe person.

Sorry for rambling.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jilian
I guess I should accept the fact that I can't be like other students because they don't have the kind of commitments that I have. I just hold myself to such a high standard and get upset when I don't measure up.
I can totally relate to this, Jilian. I wish I had wonderful words of wisdom, but half the time I am in survival mode, just barely slipping by (but slipping by!
) -- I've had to rely on the good nature of teachers and supervisors more than I EVER would prior to becoming a mother. I have a very high standard of work and work eithic, but some things just have to be compromised.

I am extremely fortunate that I have a mother and sister who help me tremendously with my ds. Unlike a daycare, they will help take care of him when he is sick or healthy, wild and crazy or calm and content. I remind myself to count my blessings on a daily basis.

I hope your boy gets better soon.
 

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wow! you really do have your hands full! i'm still pg myself DD 09/27/06, my son's dad is i believe somewhere in al, but havent heard a word from him since beginning of april ... he hasnt even cared enough to find out if baby is still healthy or that its a boy. (he knew when the us was to find out) anyway, i've been fretting a little as i know there's no way out of working full time any time soon and yes, i get paid sick and vac time but most of it will be drained for my maternity leave which wont be near as long as i would like. i will say that im sooo grateful to my mom who is willing to be my dc for the first year or so of ds life, such a relief! someone i trust with my own life! and since my job is shift work (local 911 center) she's willing to deal with that, which is something most dc aren't so flexible about. PLUS she'll be willing to take care of him even when he's sick - even though it would be hard on ME to not stay with him myself.
i've contemplated going to school but i have house payments (bought it last year) and i just know how hard it would be to do well in school and live on loans and poss having to live with the parents (giving up my independence) i just cant seem to swallow it all at this time ... you're an amazing woman for being able to do it!!!
have nothing but respect for you
didnt mean to go on so long, even though i dont have any good suggestions, just wanted you to know you have the admiration of others on your strength through all the hard times mama!
that's my rambly two-cents!


jen
: once aspiring to be loving mama to raven
passed at 39wks 10/04/04
with felix? DD 09/27/06 planning to
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!
 

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I usally stay home and miss a couple classes. I really hate doing though, if i really need to i am very lucky to have an aunt that will watch her sometimes if i really need her too.
If my x owned his own company i would so make him watch her. You said it is easier for him to take time off so what is his excuse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by punkrockmommy
If my x owned his own company i would so make him watch her. You said it is easier for him to take time off so what is his excuse?
He just won't. I don't know why. I think it is because he is so money-hungry that he would never want to miss a day of work when he could just have his GF stay home with DS. He wouldn't even drop DS off to me this morning, he had his GF do it - alone! What it all comes down to is that he is just a fair-weather dad. He only likes to do the fun things. He doesn't do dr. appointments, he doesn't cut DS's nails, he doesn't go food shopping for DS, etc. He just likes to play with him (when it's convenient for him).

He also doesn't like to get a health insurance policy for DS like the court ordered him to 3 months ago. So DS is still on medicaid and we sat in the doctors office for 1.5 hours today waiting to be seen, even though we had an appointment. I ended up walking out of the office without DS being seen. I told ex and he told me to go back. I refused to. Ex is just so lazy, you'd never catch him in a doctor's office with a sick child. He offered to have his GF sit in the doctor's office with DS
 
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