Single mum support?

I am a single mum of two boys, one aged 2 and one aged 3 (nearly 4). I have been on my own since I was 4 months pregnant with number two. Does anyone know of any support out there for single parents? Even if it is just a forum or something. The first year and a half were very, very stressful as I have almost no family support. I haven't left the house in the evening since August last year when I managed to go out for a couple of hours. The only time that I am not with my little ones is when I am at work.

The lack of "me time" is very hard as I have no chance to recharge my batteries or do anything for myself. My children wake up everyday at 5.30am, whatever time they go to bed, so once they've gone to bed in the evening I have about an hour to myself before I need to sleep.

I've just started the 12 week weight loss programme on NHS Choices but though I would love to get out and do some exercise, it is not possible as I have no one to look after the children and, as you can imagine finances are very, very tight (I receive no child maintenance so just have to survive on my earnings-which after nursery fees, are minimal, and the benefits I receive) so paying for childcare is not an option.

I generally manage quite well to keep motivated and take the children out and so on, but every now and then, especially after tantrums (theirs, not mine!) I feel really low (and head for the chocolate :-( Today is one of those days.

I would really love to share strategies with other single parents, or even just share the odd moan to help me feel like I'm not the only one struggling on (and of course I know there are millions of single parents out there!)

6 Replies

  • Hi there,

    I'm newly single with a 6 month old in tow.

    Firstly, you sound like a good mum and you are doing a great job.

    Secondly, do you have a children's centre nearby? Some of the ones nearest to me run exercise classes with free crèches.

    Children's centres might also be able to put you in touch with other women with children of the same age. I've made great friends with some other mums who would look after my little one for a while if I needed a breather.

    Stay strong x

  • Thank you for your encouraging words ace123! I did use my local childrens centre a lot when my boys were younger and they have been quite supportive in the past, albeit in a rather patronising way, but support is support I guess!

    Although I don't think my local one offers exercise classes there may be others locally that do- something I am going to check out right now, thank you for the suggestion!

    All the best to you and your little one x

  • Hi there, I don't have the answer but you sound incredibly strong, im wondering how I will cope as im 4 months pregnant and single with no family, and you are quite inspiring x

  • Hi Molly 1979,

    Thanks for your message, I am really glad that I am inspiring- having been through this has made me a much stronger person than I was previously. And whilst it has been incredibly stressful my life has truly been lit up by my two little stars. My gorgeous boys have brought a sparkle to my life that was never there before and it is that which makes the struggle worth it.

    Your life will undoubtedly be lit up in the same way, from that magical, unique moment when you first hold your little angel.

    From a practical point of view I coped by always thinking when I was struggling - there is a way to do this I just need to work out what that way is- I simply developed a strategy for everything from how to get both children safely up and down the two flights of stairs to my flat, to how to cope when my (then) baby was crying for milk while my toddler was crying because he wanted me to read him a story.

    I had a good friend take me to the hospital and be with me while I gave birth (my mum looked after my toddler) and then I was lucky to have my mum stay with me for two weeks, then I was on my own. If you have some good friends then now is when you will really need them. After you give birth if you have a friend who can stay at your place with you for a bit or if you can stay with them then that will give you a chance to recover physically and start to get used to life with your little one.

    Also it could be a good idea to contact your local childrens centre as they will be able to tell you about any support you can get. There is an organisation called Homestart: who offer support, such as someone coming to visit you once or twice a week at home to help out in some way- it'd be well worth contacting them, before your due date so that you can have piece of mind that you will not be alone and that everything will be fine!

    My biggest piece of advice is get organised and plan everything ahead (what you can plan) e.g. who will take you to the hospital when you go into labour, plus a backup person just in case of any problem. Get all the things you need (if money is tight then there are lots of facebook groups for buying and selling everything you'll need, and on the whole they are bargains). And then start to look forward to the arrival of your baby!! :-)

    Sorry I have gone on a bit....I hope all this is useful. Please feel free to contact me any time for support, I'd be really happy to help you out with anything if I can. I know I would have benefited from this forum had I known of it's existence two years ago!

    All the best x

  • Hi Natty456, reading your story is so inspiring to me! Im a single mother my little boy in 10 months, iv been alone since i gave birth to him and it has been really hard but i have tried to keep my spirits up and keep going for my sons sake because i really want the best for him. reading what you have been through makes me feel strong that i can do it too. Take care x

  • Do you have friends with children who you can swap baby sitting time. You could look after their child at your home during the day for an hour while they did something and they can do the same for you. Are you close to any of your neighbours who could also be a potential source of help?

You may also like...