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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010/09/09

Wondering if it really is my fault.

I am a single working mother of a 4yr old. My family lives in another city. So i dont have them aroung for support. Lately i am tired and irritated and really dont seem to cope anymore. I am with my daughter 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I dont have an opportunity to do anything by myself, I have joined the gym but cannot workout properly as she has to go with me and has to be watched (there is no daycare in the gym). When she has December holidays at school she comes to work with me because I am not able to get leave over the December period. When i tell people this they tell me i wanted a child and i have to deal with it, which is a bit harsh. People can send their kids to their mothers etc and I dont have that luxury. My daughters father and I are not on good terms as much as he contributes to her schooling and things that she needs he is not interested in taking her over the weekend, I suppose because it causes problems with his personall life. He tells me that I need to stop arguing with people because then things will go smoothly, but I am so stressed I dont know what to do anymore. Am i over reacting or is it normal to feel this way.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

There are indeed extra burdens to being a single mother, probably more than most women realise when they consider such a situation. And once one places oneself in a city distant from one's family and other supports, it will inevitably mean a lack of a traditional support system.
It's a pity if people are harsh in their comments, though some of these might indeed be needing consideration.
Its understandable to feel the way you do - but like many other perfectly understandable attitudes and ways of feeling, it might not be entirely helpful to you.
Maybe the father needs to be encouraged to spend more time with his child, for the child's sake, and to give you a little rest. Do you have friends who might help, even to provide a little break at times ? Can you find ways to reach out to other single mothers, so that you could baby-sit for eaxch other at times, and each get a little me-time, too ?
I wonder about Woman's suggestion - whether a maintenance court would be sensible enough to see the father's duties ( as he provides no time or direct care for the child himself ) as including the need for him to fund a caregiver / nanny some days a week ? And tell him its not about "being forced" to spend some effort caring for His child, but about being man enough to care for the child he chose to create. Nobody forced him to do that.
Zee's idea about inviting one of your sisters to join you might be worth considering. If they all work, and hence earn - why are they all living at home with your parents, and causing financial and other problems there ?
The court is right that it cannot force someone to spend time with their child ( if he's not man enough to bother to be a proper father ) - but it can compel him to pay properly the expenses of caruin for his child.



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Our users say:
Posted by: Woman | 2010/09/09

Sweetie, YOU don''t ask for more money, your CHILD needs more money. Isn''t it high time that the maintenance court takes a good look at his finances, and your''s and then supplies him with a number he has to pay? And if he doesn''t , he goes to jail. R1000 just does not cover everything - rent, medical, electricity, food, daycare, transport to daycare. I cannot imagine how gets away with paying so little?! And believe me, in a court, he can''t lie.

People always make the mistake of forgetting what that maintenance is for. It''s for the child. And having a domestic when you are a single parent, is sensible. A judge would allow that. He made her, he is responsible. The court can''t force him to be a father, but they CAN and WILL make him pay what she needs.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Anon | 2010/09/09

My sisters all work and they have kids of their own so I cannot expect that. Her father contributes R1000 a month and I dont want to even dare ask for more money as it was a mission just getting this money out of him. I have approached the family court and they told me that I cannot force him to see her if he doesnt want to. Anyway when he does take her is with his girlfriend and leaves her with his sister or someone at home. I''ve resigned myself to the fact that this is the way its going to be. I would rather stay at home with her everyday than send her to people including her father who doesnt really want her in his life. Thanks alls for your kind words.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: TL | 2010/09/09

I have a similar tale, although I''m actually sharing a townhouse with a lady who has a son with a married man. The father just come when it suits him but when the lady wants to have her me time she usually will have to make other arrangements which means ask me, her friends etc to stay with the son for teh weekend. Although I''m not against helping out, I personally think the father must be first in line to help out. The story is so sad that at some pooint I asked the lady, if she knew when she got involved with the father that he is was a married man, which she proudly answered by saying " YES" . Her explaination was that she liked him because married man do not have all the stress that single man have, and that she was the one who wanted the child, she was never forced and because she was 29 years when she felt pregnant she had no pressure from anyone. To think that she left a single serious boyfriend for this man, whom his wife has no idea that he is a daddy to someone else''s baby, makes me so sick.

Reply to TL
Posted by: Zee | 2010/09/09

Why don''t you ask one of your siblings to visit you or to stay with you and then they might help with your baby.

My kids do not even know their grandmother because of family issues luckily my siblings and get on well I do ask them to babysit sometimes but most of the time I take them with everywhere, my other daughter is in matric and I am also studying, this year is very hectic i can''t even go to the library.

Two weeks ago I had to give my little brother money and I went to my moms house I parked my car outside the yard and called him, my other sister walked out the gate and my son said look there is Sam''s (My brother) girlfriend, they don''t even know their aunt sad but hey life is short especially if people make u miserable

Reply to Zee
Posted by: Kate | 2010/09/09

I feel so sorry for you!
Def. get the dad to pay for a babysitter as women says.
Otherwise you can drop her at my place free of charge lol! I need the practice as will be getting married soon and starting a family of my own.
Thats if you in CT though. Oh and I do love kids!!

Reply to Kate
Posted by: Woman | 2010/09/09

It''s very simple, tell the father that you understand his not wanting to be forced, but in that case you are going to get a maintenance order from the court that would include a babysitter who comes in twice in the week for an evening and once on the weekend. I was a single parent for a few years, with two small children. The times their dad took them saved my sanity. You cannot do this alone, if the father doesn''t want to give emotional support to his child, he can damn well pay someone to do it on his behalf.

Not wanting to spend time with his own kid?! Despicable. Hats off to you. I would babysit for you anytime.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Anon | 2010/09/09

I tried to get her dad involved and he tells me that I want to force him to do things and he doesnt like being forced, he wants to do things on his own time. I cannot send me daughter to my family becos there is endless fights over money, overcrowding in the house as all my sisters live with my dad, somedays they even go to bed without food. Dont get me wrong they are good people but my daughter has never been exposed to these elements I would rather go hungry than her go without. I''ve tried leaving her with friends but they have their own lives and you can see that they dont want to be couped up with someone else''s child. I''ve tried dating again but that cant work because I dont want to introduce my child to fly-by-night person. I just feel like crying all the time and I dont know what to do anymore... Thanks for the responses and words.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Maria | 2010/09/09

Every parent needs timeout. Can you get a babysitter to sometimes look after her? Ask at the school, sometimes the teachers and carers supplement their income by babysitting.
And meet up with some of the other families from the school e.g. for a picnic. That way you can try and make friends with some other moms and you can arrange playdates.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Mandy | 2010/09/09

I agree with XXX. I am married and hubby helps out a lot with our 4yr old, but believe me I need time-out and " me-time"  at times. We also have NO support, no mom, he doesn''t have a mom, my dad an alcoholic. We left our 4 yr old a week ago at my brother''s. First time in 4 years and believe me, it was heaven. We love our child, but we all need some time alone. You are not wrong and if a married woman that has support from her husband wants to explode at times, how must you feel. Please try and get her dad involved to help out a bit. You need a break and you need it NOW!!!!!!!!!

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: Bee | 2010/09/09

You say that your family lives in another city: can''t your daughter go visit them for a few days during her holidays?

Reply to Bee
Posted by: XXX | 2010/09/09

Trying to cope with all the stresses of life is very tough.Being a single parent makes it even more difficult.Is it not possible to leave your child with a friend now and again ? We all need timeout at some stage or another.
You need to find ways to de-stress otherwise you will start taking it out on your child and you certainly do not want that to happen.
You should also try and get the father more involved.

Reply to XXX
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/09

There are indeed extra burdens to being a single mother, probably more than most women realise when they consider such a situation. And once one places oneself in a city distant from one's family and other supports, it will inevitably mean a lack of a traditional support system.
It's a pity if people are harsh in their comments, though some of these might indeed be needing consideration.
Its understandable to feel the way you do - but like many other perfectly understandable attitudes and ways of feeling, it might not be entirely helpful to you.
Maybe the father needs to be encouraged to spend more time with his child, for the child's sake, and to give you a little rest. Do you have friends who might help, even to provide a little break at times ? Can you find ways to reach out to other single mothers, so that you could baby-sit for eaxch other at times, and each get a little me-time, too ?
I wonder about Woman's suggestion - whether a maintenance court would be sensible enough to see the father's duties ( as he provides no time or direct care for the child himself ) as including the need for him to fund a caregiver / nanny some days a week ? And tell him its not about "being forced" to spend some effort caring for His child, but about being man enough to care for the child he chose to create. Nobody forced him to do that.
Zee's idea about inviting one of your sisters to join you might be worth considering. If they all work, and hence earn - why are they all living at home with your parents, and causing financial and other problems there ?
The court is right that it cannot force someone to spend time with their child ( if he's not man enough to bother to be a proper father ) - but it can compel him to pay properly the expenses of caruin for his child.



Reply to cybershrink

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