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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Insecurities about being a single parent
jilted12
♀ Member
Member # 35640
Default  Posted: 9:45 AM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Iíve been feeling really bad lately about not always being able to give each of my kids enough individual attention and not always being able to do things with them that we used to do as a family. They are with the ex 40% of the time, which is great for giving me time to get chores and errands done when they are with him so that when they come back home I can devote my full attention to them but with 3 itís still not an easy task. On a typical work day, I start cooking as soon as we walk in the door, then itís time for bath/showers, then I have about 20-30 minutes before the little one goes to bed. He still nurses before bed so when Iím putting him to bed, the other two are generally left to their own devices, watching TV or playing Wii. By the time I get the youngest to bed, itís about time to get the older two to bed. When they are with dad, he typically puts the youngest to bed while they play games and do other things with OW and they always talk about how much fun they have with her.

I also feel bad about not always being able to do things on my own with them that we used to do as a family. In terms of logistics and wrangling/keeping an eye on 3 kids, there are just some things that are really tough to do. For example, back in the spring my kids really wanted to go to a local Easter egg hunt. However, all 3 of my kids would have been in different groups for the hunt and having been to this event in the past, I knew it would be very crowded and the areas for the different age groups were far enough apart there is no way Iíd be able to keep an eye on them. None of my friends were going to be going to that egg hunt so I told the kids we would have to skip it this year. My oldest responded with ďif we were with daddy, he and OW would take us.Ē Ugghhh, it just made me feel awful. I tried to explain to him how it is easier for daddy to do those things because OW is there to help but there have been similar situations since then and Iíve heard similar remarks.

I canít remember the last time I had any one-on-one time with any of my kids. Iíve either got all 3 or none. When ex and I were together, we were really good about making sure that each of us got individual time with the kids.

I may be crazy but I really feel scared that they might start preferring to be with ex and OW because there are two adults there to give them attention and do things with them. I know she will never replace me as mom but I feel since they have a more "traditional" family environment there that ex and OW have some advantage over me as a single parent. Just one more thing the D has changed for meÖmy ability to be the mom I used to be when I had a partner to help out. In many ways, I am finding that I am much happier without him but this is one area where I feel like my kids are getting the short end of the stick when they are with me. I know there are lots of others with multiple young kids on this boardÖhow do you guys do it??


Me: BS 40
Him: WS 38
Married 10 yrs, together 13
DS-7, DD-5, DS- 1
D-Day 5/9/12, 2 days before #3 was born
Filed for D 8/12; D final 4/13

Posts: 187 | Registered: May 2012
Lola2kids
♀ Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 10:23 AM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hear you.
Mom of 9 year old twin girls here with a FT job and ex sees them 3% as of July 31.

I rely heavily on my sisters. They live just 10 houses down on the same street. They help.
That doesn't mean that I can have one on one time with the kids very often but, like last night, I left one with them while I took the other to the dentist. We had a nice one on one talk in the car.

You have 3 kids!!! Much harder. And 1 is young enough to still nurse. I know it hurts to hear them say that about your ex and OW.
What can I say? They will adjust to the new normal and all you can do is be open and honest about what you can and cannot do as a single mom.

I hear you. It's hard. It sucks. I hope it will get better. Hugs.


BS: (Me) 47
Kids: twins DD(9)
WS: Him 49 (X...together 12 years)
D-Day April 18, 2011, he moved out Sept. 11, 2011...
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder
I'm finding that I am growing more and more fond of his absence.

Posts: 1226 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
thenon-goddess
♀ Member
Member # 31229
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have my 4 kids 100% of the time. STBHX stops by to visit and will "babysit" for a few hours on every other Saturday (this has halo Ed only twice, though). My kids are 2,6,10&11 and it is hard. I do lots of things with all 4 of them (playground, movies, beach, grocery shopping, errands). It can be done, it just takes a little (lot ) more effort. I also have family around that helps and I take 1:1 trips with the kids, even if it is just down to the general store to pick up a pizza. They feel special. It does not have to be a whole day or hours and hours. I would also consider changing your bedtime routine. The baby can nurse on the couch while you read a book to everyone and then you lay her in bed and she goes to sleep in her own, or maybe 1 board book with her alone, so she gets that 1:1 time. Then how about a quick game of UNO or another book with the olders before bed. Even taking a minute to sit on their bed and sing them a song is nice. If the Easter egg hunt is too hard, do one at home. Find activities where you can keep everyone together. Hang in there, it gets easier with practice. My H was overseas for years while I was hime with the kids. The first year sucked, but its the norm now.


Status: divorcing
Typing on an iPhone - please excuse the typos!

Posts: 1230 | Registered: Feb 2011
tesla
♀ Member
Member # 34697
Default  Posted: 10:45 AM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I only have one but I really work on the concept of the two of us being a team and helping each other out. He helps set the table for dinner and puts the dishes on the counter afterward.

I do not make the meals I used to make when I was married. Meals these days are very simple and quick. Often, Teslet is in the kitchen helping me stir something.

Um...I'm loathe to admit this...but, ya know, I don't have him take a bath every day either. Some nights I just give him the quick washcloth scrub down and we get to spend more time on stories.

I know it's so much more complicated with 3 and the youngest being so little. Don't worry about measuring up to what ex and ow can do with them...find your own niche. Bubbles in the back yard? Maybe a slip-n-slide? Painting old cardboard boxes together? Dancing to funky music in the livingroom?

And how about a babysitter to mind two of them while you do a special thing with the other one for an hour or so?


ish kabibble

Posts: 4205 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Indiana
ninebark
♀ Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For the first year I felt insecure because Ex had lots of money to spend on DS. He didn't get to see him a lot due to his job but made up for it by buying him tons of stuff and taking him to cool places when he was in town.

I had to have a conversation with DS to let him know that even though Ex had more money to spend it didn't mean I loved him any less, it just meant I had to spend more of my money on the day to day stuff so he would have power, water, a roof, sports..etc.

He just rolled his eyes and said "I know that mom." Sometimes they are more perceptive than you give them credit for, and it never hurts to talk to them about it as well. yOu might be surprised about how much they understand about the situation.


BS (me) 40
WH - 48
Married 12 years
DS - 12
D-day 06/21/09
Separated....hopefully divorcing soon.

Posts: 630 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Canada
Griefstricken25
♀ Member
Member # 29183
Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hear ya! It's hard. I also rely on my parents and any friends I can get in order to get some of that one on one time with them.

I had an infant when I was newly separated and so she was nursing all the time. We tried to do things in the same room, but sometimes, as you said, the older two have to somewhat fend for themselves.

Find some new traditions or something that define your new family. I would hate my kids mentioning things they could do with WXH and OW, too, but if your kids have something special that they do just with you, that would be cool. For us, it's "Family movie night" every Friday, Waffle Wednesdays (waffles every Wed. for supper), or you could do anything that works, and it doesn't have to be pricey; library trips, bike rides (get a trailer for the little one), museum visits, etc.


Me!
3 amazing kidlets
To WXH "Now you're just somebody that I used to know." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M
D-day and separation - June, 2009
Divorced - December, 2011

Posts: 2498 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: A better place
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The thing I miss most is 1:1 time with my girls. I used to get a lot of it given the sad clown didn't want to spend any time with us so I'd leave him home with the baby sleeping whilst me and my big girl went on adventures.

This happened every weekend. For almost a year. I miss it and I know she does too. I am at this stage unwilling to give up any time with either of them to spend 1:1 time with either of them. I only have them 50% of the time as it is.

Can you join a local playgroup? I've made friends with lots of the school mums so often have park dates and the like where we can all keep an eye over the little monkeys.

Are there other mums in your area in the same boat - you could join forces?

Practice makes perfect - rather than stress out about what can go wrong I think you should just head out and roll with the punches. There are lots of mums in 'intact' marriages that do all of this stuff on their own 99% of the time anyway. They weren't great at it at first but they got better the more they did it.

You have a new normal now - embrace it.

I'm not a good cook at all - I make fast, healthy meals and do a lot of defrosted meals during the work week that I can just heat up.

What time I don't have in quantity I make up in quality. The sad clown has a spare set of hands but there is nothing like the way I cherish and love my girls. No amount of extra hands will ever make up for that.

((jilted))


Sending all of the love and strength I can muster to Phoenix1 and her family.
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Posts: 4576 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Dreamboat
♀ Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 8:34 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((((hugs)))))

Single parenthood is so hard and nothing prepares us for it.

i think this is very important

Find some new traditions or something that define your new family.

As an example, you could not go to the easter egg hunt that you used to go to. So instead, create your own easter egg hunt at/in your house. When DD was little I used to start hiding the plastic eggs about a week before easter and then she would "hunt" most every night.

Accept that things will never be the same as "before" and then embrace the new things that you can do. You could make it a habit to always read stories together before bedtime (this will especially work once your baby is not nursing before bed every night). Get the older ones involved in the the reading and story telling. That will create a special time all together as a family. Also make dinner prep a family affair. Get all the kids into the kitchen and give them jobs, even if their "job" that evening is to entertain the little one. And try to simplify dinner. The kids do not care if dinner is an home cooked meal or just soup and sandwiches. As long as it is healthy and filling, then you are going great! And fast food occasionally will not harm them, trust me.

You may not be able to have as much on-on-one as you would like but you can have a lot to family time which is just as important. Maybe try to have an hour of one-on-one once a month with each kid. That is doable and your kids with treasure it.

Ignore OW and X and any tolk about them. If the kids say anything about them respond with a polite "That's nice" and then redirect the conversation.

OW will never ever be "Mommy" to them. Sure, she may be fun and be able to buy them stuff. But only YOU really know your kids and understand how they think and act and what makes them "tick". She is superficial, you are real. The kids will get that. She can never be you no matter how much she tries.

HTH
((((hugs))))


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17291 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
jilted12
♀ Member
Member # 35640
Default  Posted: 9:28 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I really like the idea of making new traditions so I'm going to work on that & on getting them more involved with helping out. It's overwhelming sometimes just getting out the door on time but I guess practice does make perfect & I need to embrace the new normal. Maybe it wasn't the life I envisioned but doesn't mean it can't be even better, right ?


Me: BS 40
Him: WS 38
Married 10 yrs, together 13
DS-7, DD-5, DS- 1
D-Day 5/9/12, 2 days before #3 was born
Filed for D 8/12; D final 4/13

Posts: 187 | Registered: May 2012
Dreamboat
♀ Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 10:41 PM, July 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe it wasn't the life I envisioned but doesn't mean it can't be even better, right ?

EXACTLY!


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17291 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Topic Posts: 10

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