Single and now estranged from family… Feeling so alone
11 March 2019 at 9:06 pm #22062
Hi guys, just wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation and hoping to get some advice on how to cope with the feelings of isolation and sadness that come with family estrangement….
I am a single mum of one, have parented pretty much independently for the last 10 years with minimal practical or emotional support from my parents. I’ve recently made the difficult decision to cut them out of my/our lives (I don’t wish to go into too much detail, but attempts at maintaining contact between them and my daughter was thwarted due to them using it as opportunity to bad mouth me in front of her).
I now find myself feeling very alone and anxious about the future.
I really don’t know where to turn. My friends have been amazing in terms of emotional support, but on a practical level I worry so much about holding down/keeping my job as I struggle so much with childcare and need to take time off when she is sick etc.
I feel selfish moaning about my situation, as I’m sure there are others experiencing far worse. I just want to feel that there is hope and find a way forward with our new set up.
Any advice/tips on how to get through this would be gratefully recieved.
Thank you in advance12 March 2019 at 2:25 am #22067
i’m in the same situation, been a mum for 10 years and no support during the week from family or my ex.
I decided after two nightmare bosses, that I needed a job nearby. The shorter the commute, the better. And Working for a sane human boss is essential to manage the stress.
I took a pay cut of 20% to work locally but once costs of petrol, wear & tear on the car and reduced childcare was factored in, real cost was minimal.
And I’ve paired up with a neighbour who has a son in the same class. We provide backup when the other has flu or a meeting clash.
my son is 10 and old enough to help a little. He is happy to be left at home -with snack, drink, tv & phone. 😁 – for up to two hours because he knows I’m close by, and the other mum is there in an emergency.
It will get easier too. From September he’ll get the school bus so won’t need me for school run.
like me you’ve done the hardest bit. Things will get easier. 🍷12 March 2019 at 4:58 pm #22075
wow Kathy, your situation sounds so very familiar! I also changed job to try and manage better independently, taking a pay cut too for better work/life balance. I’ve not had the chance to get to know my boss/open up about my family situation yet, though I think it’s something that probably needs to be addressed asap to help reduce future anxieties when she needs to be off school.
I do have friends that would be more than willing to help, but they also work and are rarely able to offer practical support when it’s most needed.
I’m dreading the school holidays and getting organised for those! How do you manage childcare over the hols?
Solo, I feel terribly guilty for taking her grandparents away from her, but they are abusive and unwilling/unable to consider how their behaviours are impacting on me and my child. I would have given anything to maintain contact if it were safe to do so, unfortunately there is no way around it. Her safety is paramount, so I just have to cut my losses and accept I no longer have any form of support from them at all 🙁
I can totally accept that I don’t get nights out anymore (never did before really as they only helped when it suited them) but I do feel lonely and I’m struggling to find how/where to establish new support networks with no free/independent time to do this.
I know that people still struggle with similar issues, even with good family support etc. It’s just all feeling a bit much atm. Finding it hard to see how things can/will get better.
I am thankful that you have taken time to respond to me and offer advice ‘re my difficulties. Thank you so much12 March 2019 at 7:14 pm #22083
I mix holiday club, a week away with me, a week at home with me when I look after his friends too, a week when he goes to the other mum. I cobble it together somehow.
Look for holiday clubs for the summer now. I found some were too sporty and regimented so we’ve ended up with a council one, run out of a local school.
they take childcare vouchers if you get those. my son likes it because they let him play Nintendo before 10 and after 3. In between, they do group activities. Getting it booked early is key to cutting your stress, and sometimes you get an early bird discount.
Which county are you in?13 March 2019 at 10:35 pm #22117
Great ideas, thanks for sharing how you guys manage. I’ve made good use of holiday camps/clubs in the past, it’s just tricky when they don’t run over Xmas hols, inset days etc. I guess I need to speak to my new boss and try to be upfront about the position I’m in. Unfortunately there is no option for me to work from home in my current role, and we are restricted as to how much flex we can build/carry over. I could def ask about a different working pattern over the hols though. Even one day off would help reduce costs significantly. I’m not sure if maybe I will have entitlement to tax credits now I’ve dropped hours/pay. I think I need to ring and find out (haven’t been entitled for years due to my income).
It’s been so helpful just to know that I’m not alone/the only one with these struggles. It just all felt very overwhelming and I think I naturally worry about the “what ifs” and get myself in a knot about it.
I do have some help from friends too, I just need to swallow my pride and learn to ask for help more (something I find very hard to do!).
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. There are so many friendly folk on here to share these difficult times with. It’s been a blessing to find you 🙂