How do you survive?

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  • #27314 Report


    Tldr: how do you cope/survive day to day having to do everything by yourself?

    I feel like I’m stressed and spread too thin all the time. I find myself shouting at my toddler which I don’t want to do and if I had more breaks/help I think this wouldn’t be happening. Breaking up with my ex feels like it’s compromised the way I wanted to parent (gently), which makes me sad.

    I just don’t know how to get everything done what with cleaning, running the house, looking after all the animals that we got together (a dog, 3 cats one of which has kittens, fish, an axolotl) and looking after a 15 month old and myself. I’m exhausted and shattered and stressed all the time.

    I don’t really get any support from my family or friends. My ex has mental health issues and although he tries to help with the baby he can’t be as helpful as he’d like. He currently takes him for 2-3 hours 2 or 3 times in the week after work and then for 3-4 hours on the odd occasion on the weekend. (Otherwise he comes round and spends time with him at my house meaning I don’t get a break or anything done and he’s as messy as the baby!)

    He lives around the corner from us and has help from his mum whenever he has him. He currently doesn’t have our son on his own because of his mental health, he also can’t have him overnight. I’m wondering if a change in the hours he has him would be helpful? And what to?

    In the time my ex has him I usually clean the house as I don’t get that much time to do so when I have my little boy or it still feels like it needs doing. I do try and spend time in the evening relaxing but it means staying up late as my little boy won’t go down until 9/10pm some nights!

    I just don’t know how I’m going to carry on doing everything by myself?! I’m burning out! Is there any help/support I can get that I’m missing?

    Thanks for reading!



    #27320 Report


    Hi, I know how you feel. I was there 22 months ago, after my wife walked out suddenly after 15 years of marriage and left me with our five children, ages 2 to 12. (She lives with her 30 yr old BF in Italy, she met on Tinder)

    I’m now 46, and since that day, I have had all the children, youngest is now is 4 and eldest, 14, with me 24/7. They have seen me at my lowest, (I’ve sat in the shower with a bottle of wine, in tears) and throughout my journey back. Even now, I still manage life a day at a time. I have been there for them through their therapy, countless nights crying for their mum, my eldest starting her periods, others starting High school.

    Life will get better very slowly, very gradually. It might only be little things, going for a walk, listening to music, watching a film, cooking a meal. It is so important to make time for yourself.

    But, it does get better and even though you may not be able to see that now I’m sure it will. I refused anti depressants numerous times from the GP, as I had the five children at home. But, I did see a counsellor and it helped process my thoughts and feelings.

    The breaking point for me was when I started going to bed at midnight and waking up at 4am to go downstairs and clean the kitchen, because I couldn’t be bothered doing it before bed! I got myself an au pair (£80 a week) to take the children to and from school and do light housework duties. Then, whilst she has the children I can do the housework or just go for a walk to have some time to myself. Organise yourself. Declutter. You can only do one thing at time and I understand how hard it is with a young child that won’t sleep and pets. I have two cats. I moved them into the shed and made a den for them, that kept the house cleaner.

    Stay strong and find some time for yourself each day, even if it is having a relaxing bath, reading a book or listening to music.

    Take care, Ken.<!–/data/user/0/–>

    #27321 Report



    It’s very hard but it does get easier.

    I had to accept that I couldn’t do everything and made a list of manageable things I could do each day to stop things being too overwhelming. It helped to do them and cross them off the list. Even if it was simple things like ‘do the dishes’ or ‘make a packed lunch’.

    A small thing but helped me alot.

    #27350 Report


    Agree with LS. Prioritise things & declutter. Decide what really matters like spending time out having fun with your child, and things that don’t like Ironing.

    When you cook, batch cook, make enough for 6 meals and freeze separate portions. Buy frozen veg, they’re just as good for you & normally cheaper. Learn some meals that take 10 minutes max.

    I work full time so I do house work first thing before my son is awake, and I only do one room per day.

    Plan ahead & shop only once a week. Would you rehome any of the pets?

    Can your MIL have your little one for a few hours a week at her house.

    I found the best way to get my son to sleep was to go to sleep beside him. At 15 months it’s safe and I was always tired enough 🙂

    Most of all, accept that life has changed and you’re not living in a show house.


    #27353 Report


    Hi hope you are well

    Some great advice here already. I wasnt with Babys dad in a relationship and he doesnt wanna know. See him all time but im not even gonna spk to him or ask him why his choice to not wanna know i did the decent thing and told him straigjt away and got a load of abuse. Doesnt deserve my son

    Tough on your own and yes you feel as though everything is too much at times. I have an amazing family and my Mum is like another parent for my son she has him 2 nights a week.

    I generally clean a lot when my son is at my mums i go over the house. When He is home i cant rly move furniture about or empty cupboards etc but i let him join me to change bed, do the polishing, he switches washing machine on for me, he hekps me unload the washing machine too sometimes. He also likes the hoover. I know he’s only 21months but he’s Clever and enjoys helping Mummy

    Agree on the meals. I dont make a lot from scratch but i sometimes like a quick beans on toast or odd chippy here and there. Treats now and again and no cooking are great. Frozen veg is ace i love it. No waste and just as good as fresh

    Its things like sitting down for a cuppa or even going for a little walk or drive after tea. My son sometimes gets bored in house and me too so a half hr trip out takes the boredom away for us both

    Find little things you enjoy and incorporate them into your day. I read when he’s in bed or watch tele or listen to music through headphones. Odd shandy of an evening and its me time

    Remember you are doing great. Even me i say to myself well im not going to stress or shout at him if he does anything naughty but i sometimes do. We are all human and there is a way to help little ones learn not being horrible or nasty but they need little boundaries. They are clever learning and pick up things so easy and know how to get round us or test us.

    Keep strong you are fab and always here to talk


    #27364 Report



    Loads of great advice on here already.

    One major thing I had to overcome was my own expectations of myself. It took a while to realise not every meal has to be perfectly nutritional. My son is 15 and his eyes lit up the first time I shoved a fishfinger sandwich under his nose!

    One thing to ask yourself. Have you actually asked for help? I didn’t. If family came round they’d ask if there was anything they could do and I said no. One day they asked and I said yes can you do drinks. And they said at last. They’d been desperate to help for ages but didn’t want to insist in case I thought they thought I couldn’t cope. Ridiculous now when I think back. My family are coming over later and we’ll all just muck in, and they say it’s much nicer.

    Good luck, and be kind to yourself. If your child goes to bed fed and happy, you’re doing everything right. They’ll never remember an empty ironing basket! x

    #27377 Report


    Hi 😘


    i have a little mantra when I’ve got a to do list as long as my arm as have my 17 month old and three cats and two dogs!


    ‘It will get done’

    I’ve learnt that the right time happens, there is a time when my little boy is ok whilst I move like my tail is on fire and just when I think I’m going to sit down to breakfast the dog has been sick on the carpet!!


    I’ve never felt so overwhelmed at times but a month on I have days where I find my groove and days when I don’t!!


    I think I sweat the small stuff way too much so also just remind myself I’m doing my best and be grateful for all my pets who bring so much joy to mine and my little ones life.


    i just want to say I know how you feel but you got this! 😘

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