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Old 10-10-2018, 06:22 PM   #1
Evaluna
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Default Single mum struggling

I've been raising my daughter on my own since she was 3. She's now 10 and thankfully seems to be growing into a lovely young girl. I've been suffering with depression for a few years now and have always been able to stick the mask on in front of her, so she hopefully sees that things are OK. We have a wonderful, close relationship and this should be enough for me, but I'm finding things so difficult.

The pressure of having to do everything on my own is increasingly harder and harder. She's full of hormones and being on the receiving end of grunts and sulking isn't great, she talks all the time about all sorts of things and sometimes I just want to be quiet for a while. If I try and get some time alone she takes it personally and ends up in a terrible mood. We're always together, and everything is always down to me to sort out and I just cant cope any more. My friends have their own lives and I really feel like I would be burdening them with Mt **** if I told them how I felt. I feel like I don't deserve their help anyway, I should be able to manage on my own.

I don't want to feel like this but right now I can't see a way out
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:46 PM   #2
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Hi, Evaluna. Sounds like your daughter is entering pre-adolescence. Is there any way you can see a counselor for support and advice for what might be some rocky times ahead as your daughter is trying to find herself and move away from the dependence of childhood? Honestly, she needs to make that emotional break, so she won't be as close to you as in the past. Okay? She needs to be given the opportunity to make friends her age that she can also talk to. Of course, don't push her out the door emotionally. Maybe you two can set some times to talk and then some alone times (boundaries.)

And how about trying to feel your friends out about their willingness to listen instead of assuming they aren't interested and you have to tough it out on your own? Sounds like you've worked hard at being a good mother and you need to be nice to yourself. Have they been through this type of thing, too? If so, then they might want to share their frustrations!
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:37 PM   #3
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It's exhausting when kids become chatterboxes the moment you need space and some time to quiet the soul.
I think it's ok to develop some boundaries there. Parents are humans too with human needs. I think it's ok to say, Can you give me x-amount of time and I'll give you my undivided attention?

I use, let me finish this then I'll listen because I'm only half hearing what you are saying and that's not fair to either of us.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Single mum struggling

Hey, Evaluna its okay to say no but still maintain a close health loving relationship with her. Try your best to keep her and your self happy. All that matters is both of you are happy and there for each other in the dark times. Stay positive and don't give up good things coming your way.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:24 AM   #5
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I have three kids and husband and its always a three ring circus due to some traumatic things that happened in our family. I had to learn to divide myself into 4 pieces and save a little for myself so this is what I will do. If one of the kids or husband wants to talk to me and I need a minute I first ask if its important but like this : "Is this important or can I take a few minutes to collect myself? I want to make sure I give you my full attention". In most cases it can wait a few minutes so then I tell whoever it is 'ok lets talk, Im yours". and I REALLY tune in. I have my own issues including adhd so this can be a feat for me. I move my phone out of sight, sit on my hands, quiet the tv and then practice active listening. I do not know the official definition of active listening but I had to learn that despite how awesome and right I am all the time () the whole world including my loved ones does not need my opinions, a sermon, a direction or a solution. Sometimes I will clarify it by asking if they want an opinion or to just have someone to listen. I will even premptively tell my husband that I am fired up and ranting but not at him because I am very animated.. just so he doesnt feel attacked or run over by my mouth. I know that if I am too busy thinking about how to solve something then I am not listening. But sorry for the tangent...my point is I do this with my kids and overall I think they appreciate it. The immediate impulse of wanting me right now might give them a sulky moment but its better than me letting them launch and then me saying all the wrong invalidating things because I just needed a hot minute to settle myself.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:50 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Evaluna;6298313]

So sorry you are struggling Evaluna. Have you tried talking to an experienced therapist? Someone who can help you set boundaries with your daughter...help you with your feelings of pressure and isolation...and help your daughter with her frustrations?

From a communication point of view, here's a tip I learned at work (when lots of people "need" something from me all at once):
"I want to help you AND I also need to get X done right now. Let's set up a time when we can talk this over." Using "and" instead of "but" is really helpful especially with a sensitive person because they might hear "but" as a negation even when not intended that way.

I've been raising my daughter on my own since she was 3. She's now 10 and thankfully seems to be growing into a lovely young girl.
Well done you for being a wonderful mother and raising a lovely young person!

We have a wonderful, close relationship and this should be enough for me, but I'm finding things so difficult.
Why should it be enough? Your role as mother is only one part of your identity, right? Seems natural that you'd want more in your life. Parents tend to parent even better when they have alone time, a hobby, time with friends etc to take the edge off the stress.

We're always together, and everything is always down to me to sort out and I just cant cope any more.
Can you afford a babysitter so you can have some time for yourself? Is there anyone who can spend time with your child so you can take real breaks?

At age 10 your daughter needs to learn how to spend time on her own and/or with peers...you are not harming her by taking time away...children who are completely dependent on their parents have a much tougher time with adulthood...we all need to learn how to self-soothe and amuse or comfort ourselves as needed. Age 10 is not too young to start learning that. If she really struggles with alone time, a pediatric therapist could really help. And adapting to change takes time right? She may be moody and resentful at first but then learn to adapt over time...slowly.

My sister is a single mother. PROPS to you! That is NOT an easy gig!!!
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