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Struggling with single parenting

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dindy posted 6/25/2013 06:57 AM

I'm really struggling to balance the emotional needs of my two children. My DD who is 14 months is quite high needs and always has been. She is very attached to me and quite understandably so as her father started his affair whilst I was pregnant with her.
The problem I'm struggling with is being able to give my DS the time he needs. I can't afford to put my DD into extra childcare yet I really need some one-one time with my son.
I had to bring him home early from kindergarten today as he was feeling unwell. He's been saying this for a few days now and I don't think there is anything physical wrong with him, more a case of feeling emotionally neglected. He's said he's feeling sad, something he's not said since we moved out of our broken home neatly 3 months ago. I think his patents splitting up and his sister demanding so much of my time is making him feel left out.
Any suggestions?

xWS did say that he wanted to swap custody so that he could have a weekend free and spend more time with his kids a couple of months ago, but hasn't mentioned it since. He also said he was going to take a few half days off work to have one-one time with them separately but hadn't mentioned that since either.
I did email him yesterday to remind him of this but surprise surprise he hasn't bothered to return my email.
I hate knowing that my children are suffering because of our split. :(

MyTurnATL posted 6/25/2013 07:16 AM

Do you know any other moms of small children? I used to have a mom's day arrangement with a friend when my children were small. Once a week she would take both my kids for a morning, and the next week I would take her two. You could adjust it so that you swapped just your DD, which would give you some one on one time with ds.

dindy posted 6/25/2013 08:23 AM

Thanks MyTurnATL. I do have friends with small children but they work the days my son is not at kindergarten. My friend, who runs the nursery my DD attends has offered an extra morning for free on Thursday so that I can do something nice for my son. I feel very grateful.

chikastuff posted 6/25/2013 09:23 AM

Have you considered putting your son in therapy? While I agree that one-on-one time with you will help, I really think he could benefit from talking through his feelings with a third party. He's dealing with a lot of change and upheaval and the feelings he's likely having (abandonment, sadness, unworthiness) in the wake of everything can imprint and affect him for the rest of his life.

tesla posted 6/25/2013 09:38 AM

THe one on one time doesn't have to be anyting big. Teslet loves it when I let him help me cook something (he's very good at making a home made pizza). Also, just sitting on the couch and watching a show he chooses with a popcorn snack or helping with a project around home (I let him 'wash' the windows ) I assume baby still takes a nap, that's a great time for a little one on one activity with your kiddo.

FRANK127 posted 6/25/2013 09:39 AM

I love my kids very much they are my world!! I live in a state where I have no family and don't like to leave my kids with anyone . I just had to go to court to reduce visitation because I had to take off of work 6 days a month to watch my kids !! I love bein with them but I was putting myself in a hole ( money) my ex wouldn't work with me , she is very controlling !! In three years I have never missed a day with my kids and never late with child support , she is brain washing my kids now and I am having problems with my oldest!! She has my youngest calling her bf dad !! She says I'm a bad father because I put in to see my kids less but she wants her check every month and I have bills too!!! It's not easy bein a divorced dad with no family to help !!

lostmommy posted 6/25/2013 10:08 AM

Can you get a sitter once a week for a few hours (even if it's family) and have a "date night" with your son? You could take him along to do errands that you need to do anyway, but it would make him feel attended to since it's just you and him. Maybe even an ice cream night every once in a while.

I feel for you. It's hard enough with my one child. I can't imagine having to spread myself with more. Hang in there, mama. (((hugs))

Chrysalis123 posted 6/25/2013 12:50 PM

Have you considered a mother's helper? When my kids were that small, I "hired" an 11 year old to come over and play with them. I paid her with a little bit of cash, movie ticket, etc. It was cheap.

You could have your helper play with the 1 year old while you and your other child go somewhere else in the house to do something.

[This message edited by Chrysalis123 at 12:51 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)]

dindy posted 6/26/2013 09:34 AM

Thank you all for your kind suggestions.

It seems that Sunday-Tuesdays are the hardest as my DD is so clingy and doesn't sleep well. It's now Wednesday again and I'm starting to get her settled and being able to give my DD more attention.

He loves helping me with things and we've managed to make ice lollipops and buns yesterday which is good.
I think I am going to budget putting DD into nursery an extra 2 mornings per month so that I know DS and I have those mornings together for me to love bomb him.

I think he is a bit young yet, 3.5 years, to take out on an evening but that is something I can do with him when he's older.
I love the idea of getting an older child to entertain my DD, what a great idea! I will definitely look into that.

Thank you so much again SI friends, you are full of wisdom! :)

dindy posted 6/26/2013 09:34 AM

Thank you all for your kind suggestions.

It seems that Sunday-Tuesdays are the hardest as my DD is so clingy and doesn't sleep well. It's now Wednesday again and I'm starting to get her settled and being able to give my DD more attention.

He loves helping me with things and we've managed to make ice lollipops and buns yesterday which is good.
I think I am going to budget putting DD into nursery an extra 2 mornings per month so that I know DS and I have those mornings together for me to love bomb him.

I think he is a bit young yet, 3.5 years, to take out on an evening but that is something I can do with him when he's older.
I love the idea of getting an older child to entertain my DD, what a great idea! I will definitely look into that.

Thank you so much again SI friends, you are full of wisdom! :)

million pieces posted 6/27/2013 06:43 AM

I struggled with this when my two were little. Ex was still around, but traveled for work a lot. One on one time helped my old son's behavior a TON. I didn't have the ability to do much more one on one time, but what I did was clearly label time spent together as "Mommy/DS time", mostly when my dd was napping. We did things like make cookies, craft, etc. I gave him 2-3 things to choose from so he had some control in the planning. Within a day or so, he started feeling a lot better.

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