I know I’m not meant to be here…

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  • #46897 Report



    I am not a single parent. I am 20 years old and for the last 10 years I have been the eldest child in a single parent house hold. My Mother is a hard working, committed professional. She works 5/9 every day. She is a senior member of the NHS and so as I’m sure you can imagine things have been very difficult at the moment. My sister is 17. I am looking for some advice. Over the years my mother has expressed how she has found it difficult having nobody to share our wins and losses with. She has never actively searched for a partner because she spends most of her time in work and what she doesn’t she spends with us or is so tired she just wants to relax. My sister and I are very independent and have been for many years. However this morning my mother said to me how alone she feels and how she has been overwhelmed by the responsibility she had both at home and in work. She’s really upset and I just don’t know how to help or comfort her. Any advice would be welcomed as to how you may have found things your children have said helpful when feeling similar emotions.

    many thanks,



    #46919 Report


    Firstly I’d like to say how lovely it is that you want to try and help your mother. Secondly you obviously have a good relationship as she’s opened up to you about this.

    It’s really difficult being a single parent, there’s no time off and no choice about that and with a stressful job too it’s no wonder she’s feeling overwhelmed. Does she have any close friends she could talk to, she might not want to worry you too much and sometimes it’s easier speaking to someone outside of the family. Does she have any time off work over Christmas? This might be what she needs to relax i think everyone is feeling pretty isolated at the moment, it hasn’t been an easy year.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer you more support but your mother is lucky to have you looking out for her x

    #46924 Report


    hello Kid,

    Very brave you are indeed. It is hard to find the right tone when things are that complicated, but you have done well. I have an 18 year old and an 11 year old boy, so not so very far away from your family. Life is not black or white as we all know it is about 50 shades of gray :-). Hence no situation might match yours exactly and every advice is just advice. Not a recipe you can follow by the gram or ounce if you prefer imperial.

    Most of us single parents are just one month away from bankruptcy. One pay cheque away from not being able to pay our bills. That is a grinding prospect as there is no running away. You can’t even dream of leaving it all behind and start new somewhere else because you can’t. You have to get on every freeking day. Come rain or more rain.

    What I miss most is the twinkling eye of the other half. The unspoken understanding whenever something goes horribly wrong, we are in this s**t together. That is better and more reassuring even than holding hands. And I don’t have it. Nothing to fall upon than the dammed floor, when I fall. So better not fall. Keep straight.

    Work is not always a source of self-improvement and success. It can be hell sometimes, and I feel so overwhelmed because things move so fast, and I don’t literally have the time to breathe. But I just can’t kick a** and go somewhere else because of paragraph one. I need the next cheque to survive.

    So you see there isn’t much my children could help me with. If anything it is being included in their life. I love being with them at Athletics, go swimming or cycling together. I love when we disagree on politics, environment, relationships, everything, even the weather, as long as we talk. I love when they accompany me to our friends when we are invited for dinner and I love them at the table when we have friends over. This Christmas will be the first with “In laws” as eldest one has a girlfriend for a year now. Yes, the same one. A new milestone.  So we will have a Christmas dinner for both of our “families” together.

    I think you get the picture. You can’t live her life but you can live yours alongside her and try to make her feel worthy. It is the little things that keep us going. Take her with you to the shops when you buy clothing, ask her opinion and really consider it. Pick her up from work one day and take her out eating. Go on a long walk with her. And try to encourage her social life. Go swimming with her or take her with you  to the next anti brexit demo or whatever. Make her meet other parents of youth in your circle.

    This is what I like and might not be what she wants. Try to find out by doing things and see how she reacts. Anyway, as conscious as you are, these are all things you might already know. Just try and it will be ok.


    #47684 Report


    Hi,if ur still on here,I thought that was such a sweet and touching post!

    My eldest is 17 and I wld be really touched if she ever did something like that for me.You are a credit to her and proof to all of us of what is possible from our own children,no matter the circs..I hope you found the advice you needed.Good luck.

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