Single mum to 2 yr old, 39 weeks pregnant and scared
5 March 2018 at 8:28 pm #8371
Hi, I recently separated from my husband at 7 months pregnant and with a 2 yr old daughter. I am now 39 weeks pregnant and petrified! I don’t have family nearby and my ex shows next to no initiative and is not capable of empathising at all – he is naturally self-centred and struggles to engage and prioritise his daughter. I have done the vast majority of the childcare over the past couple of years so I am fairly tough but I am having a real wobble today. I fear so much for the birth and the logistics of it with my daughter and I worry every day that I won’t be able to give my daughter as much of my time and attention once my son arrives. I also don’t want her to become reliant on my ex over paternity leave and then have to deal with the fall out when he goes back to work and switches off again. Equally, I want him to be involved with his children and to get to know his new baby. Has anyone else been through this?7 March 2018 at 2:17 pm #8422
My ex left me when our second child was two weeks old and our eldest was 2 and a half. It was completely unexpected. He d been having an affair since I was 5 months pregnant. Since then I ve been basically single parenting but am lucky to have good family support. The early days will be really tough but if you dig deep and stay mentally strong you will get through it. It does get easier with time. Do you have any good friends who can stay at weekends/help out with new baby and your toddler? Is your toddler in nursery at all in the week? How is your 2 year old coping with the split. Sending you hugs – you can and will get through this.7 March 2018 at 3:07 pm #8423
Thanks GingerPrincess. I am so sorry that you had to go through such a difficult time especially when you were already dealing with adjusting to having a second baby. I don’t know any single parents, let alone anyone in this situation so I really appreciate your message and reassurance. I guess I should be grateful that I have had time to get used to the idea of caring for two before my new baby arrives, no matter how unprepared I still feel. My daughter is at nursery for a few days in the week which will give her some consistency but she has been having more tantrums and clingy phases recently. It may just be the terrible twos but it does seem to have got worse since my husband moved out a few weeks ago. I’m just hopeful that she is young enough for this not to have a longterm impact. I do have a few friends nearby but all have their own families so I find it hard to encroach on that. I may have to move nearer to my family ultimately but at the moment I feel like my home is the only stable thing we have.7 March 2018 at 10:49 pm #8439
Temper tantrums and clinginess are to be expected as your little girl is having to deal with a lot of change. You will just have to weather the storms with lots of tlc and reassurance to bolster her. My eldest found the dynamic of daddy leaving at the same time as her little brother turning up pretty difficult to navigate. Initially she was very unsettled, super clingy to me and very jealous of any attention I gave up the baby, particularly when I fed him. Things have improved a bit and she has really bonded with her little brother and engages with him much more now he s a bit more interesting and not quite so demanding of my attention!
I will be honest and say that the first 6 months will be really gruelling. Dealing with a newborn and an unsettled toddler on your own will be really tough but i am starting to see the wood through the trees a bit more now (nearly 9 months down the line). Hang on in there and when it all gets too much have a cup of tea (which you will probably end up drinking cold!). Hold onto the moments of joy the kids bring you and anything that makes you smile as that will get you through the abundance of knackering sh*t that you have to wade through on a daily basis.
Good that your daughter will be in nursery a few days to give you a break. I am would call on any help from friends you can. If it’s offered take it even if you feel a bit awkward about it as you will be utterly exhausted. Do you have a close relationship with your family? Would they be able to support you a fair bit with childcare (as well as emotionally) if you moved back to be closer to them?8 March 2018 at 11:05 am #8446
It is really useful to hear from someone who has survived the initial stage, even if it has been exhausting and difficult. I think I just need my son to arrive now as although I want to spend lots of one to one time with my daughter, the waiting is not helping!
I will certainly take your advice about taking up offers of help from friends. My mum does offer help but tends to put barriers in the way, making me feel guilty that she is having to change plans, reorganise things etc! My sister is more supportive though so living nearer to her would make life easier. She also has 2 children so knows the challenges of bringing up two, albeit with a helpful and engaged husband!
I imagine I will be drinking a lot of tea in the months to come 😀.
Have you been able to sort out a plan for visitation, Finances etc over the last 9 months or is that something you have parked for now?8 March 2018 at 7:51 pm #8470
Your sister sounds like she could be a great source of support if you end up moving closer to her. To be honest you might just have to take any help you can get from your Mum even if she comes with baggage/persuade her to step up as if ever there s a time you need support it s now! I am really lucky to have a lot of support from my parents and close friends and have had to lean on them a lot to help get me through it. It s just practical things like help with bed and bathtime when you ve got both on your own and have nt had much sleep which really really helps.
I sorted out access arrangements to the kids pretty quickly as my toddler needed stability and consistency to help minimise the impact of the split on her. I also sorted out finances relatively quickly too as I needed to know where I stood and have a stable secure position for the kids. Sorting out finances may take a bit longer if you re married although I m no expert on that front.
Do you think your ex will want to spend much time with your toddler? Can you rely on him to do one day a week with her? Do you think he is interested in being a dad to your son or is he pretty flakey st the moment?9 March 2018 at 7:59 am #8484
My ex is currently doing 1 or 2 bedtimes with my toddler and a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday. Unfortunately he is not very motivated to take her out of the house so she then migrates back to me. I know I need to be stronger with him and insist on it. I have not been strong enough in the past, hoping he would take the initiative but he hasn’t as yet. I can sometimes go out but often I just need to get washing done etc! I will also have a baby to think about shortly.
Regarding my son I just don’t think he has computed that it is really happening. With my daughter he didn’t really take any interest in her until she was 2 and even then he has little patience, getting cross if she is having a tantrum, not concentrating or making a mess etc so I think it will be difficult getting him engaged with his son. He obviously loves my daughter but he doesn’t seem to have an emotional attachment like I do so doesn’t seem to be affected if he is away from her for a while.
I have looked into the Finances and it seems to be the joint mortgage and bank account that will prevent me from being able to sort out Finances quickly rather than the marriage itself. My husband has moved to his friend’s house but there is little formality to it so until there is a clearer separation which can be proven I wouldn’t feel comfortable claiming working tax credits etc.11 March 2018 at 10:05 pm #8550
Sounds like a really tough situation. I was going to suggest that you should sort out at least for the short term set contact times for your ex where he has your toddler at his at least one day a weekend but that sounds tricky if he s staying at a friends and had nt got his own accomodation yet. I still think it might be best for both your toddler and you if you insist on set times for visits to yours or he can take her out for the day once a week. You can explain it s really in your toddlers best interests to establish consistency and routine so she knows when he s coming and to help minimise the impact of the split on her. I am sorry he s so flakey. It s really not what you or your daughter need right now.
Any signs your son is about to make an appearance? You must be exhausted. I hope you had a good mother’s day with your daughter. Hang on in there. Just take each take as it comes, and celebrate getting through each day.