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Single parent, two jobs, how to find a balance

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devistatedmom posted 6/28/2014 09:26 AM

Any brilliant ideas on how to do this without leaving my kid alone all the time?

I did have a second job, I worked every weekend for it, while full days for my 1st job. It just about killed me.

Now, DS is going off to college, it will just be me and DD. She is FINALLY finding some outside interests, I will need to be able to get her there. I'm failing financially, keep trying to find the way out of this mess. I have 3 years until she's done high school. I do not want to leave her alone all the time. That's not fair. I also feel way too old to be working 20 hour days and have no downtime.

Those of you that work 2 jobs, any ideas on how to be the only parent for a kid, work, still manage your house and have some downtime? I don't think I'll make it to 50 trying to do this without falling over.

I think I'll just throw up my hands, declare bankruptcy once she goes to college, and live in a box under a bridge.

fireproof posted 6/28/2014 12:50 PM

I think you are strong and I think the answer is you focus on what brings you energy.

Quality vs Quantity when it comes to your kids. I knew someone who had a lucrative profession and she found waking up at 5:30 and planning each day or looking over what needed to get done brought her peace.

It is what it is but unplug when you are with her. Meet her friends parents and most will understand and possibly invite her to activities.

Some kids I have seen and not all are the most detached kids (plugged in) with parents who don't work. I think it is sad.

Quality vs Quantity and you might have heard this but make sure you take care of yourself. Kids can get loans for education. There is not a loan for retirement or when you get older. If things work out you can offer to pay her loan but watch out for you and that will ensure her future because you won't end up dependent on her if a crisis hits.

You sound like you are a great balancer. Just once a day - cup of coffee or meditation do something for you.

They will be forever grateful and you are teaching them the value of work and education.

littlefoggy posted 6/28/2014 12:53 PM

Ha. I would love to know.

I work 2 jobs during the 5 day week. I fit it into daycare hours.

I keep the house at "not gross" cleanliness level... whoch means isolating smells and making sure food is put away so bugs dont get in.

I bring toddler DD to all my "me" stuff. It was a hike this morning. Or I do it after she sleeps. I am trying "art" <-purposeful quotes... "art"

Mostly, I am making it up as I go. I leave DD at daycare longer than I prefer. And with sitters more than I like. I feel bad about that. But I do what I have to. And she is happy, I think. We spend a lot of time together on the weekends and in the evening.

Phoenix1 posted 6/28/2014 13:34 PM

For a while I had four jobs going. I am now down to one full time and two pt. It is not what I WANT to do, but I do it because XPOS created a financial disaster for me and I am determined to climb out of it. Yes, some weeks I feel like throwing in the towel, but I continue to trudge through.

As for balancing as a parent, fireproof pretty much nailed it. Quality over quantity. You will also find she will start to develop a desire to be around you less and her friends/activities more. Once they start driving themselves it helps a lot as well. DD17 and I have our almost nightly convos curled up on my bed where we catch up on things. I make a point of going to most pertinent activities of hers, but she knows I need advance notice and can't make them all. Bottom line though, she has known for the last few years WHY I am working so much and understands I am doing my best for both of us. She works now too, and hates her job, but she has expenses. So she understands that aspect as well.

It is tough. I won't lie. But talk to your DD about why you are doing it and work out a plan as to what you can/cannot do. Her response may surprise you.

Ashland13 posted 6/29/2014 14:21 PM

Changing priorities really helped.

Different ways of picking up rooms or cleaning helps and finding ways to care a little less-just lighten up-help, if you can.

I know what you mean about the loss of self and financial struggle. Does your area have social services or guidance type places? I've had to rely on them from time to time but they saved my hide, frankly.

And we're learning that we don't actually need everything we used to have. It's very basic living that can be gotten used to. Downsizing treats and outings to save money and gasoline are areas that help and treats can still be given in a not monetary way.

Downtime I only get about every week or so, including nights. There are things I do in between though, when kids finally sleep. Take 10 minutes to do something simple you like before you go to sleep.

Or for me because of chronic exhaustion, I lie there and tell myself all of my accomplishments of the day. I do this rather than worry for tomorrow, because it hasn't arrived yet. I will worry for tomorrow when it comes.

Breaking time down really helps, too.

I'm sorry for what you're going through.

EvenKeel posted 6/30/2014 14:08 PM

When I was D'ing, I was working FT and in an accelerated Bachelor's program. Have 2 kiddos, house and an ex that was teetering on stalker/psycho.

I get frazzled if I can't perform to my own standards but a professor gave me this advise. "Forget your normal standards...your life isn't normal right now. Don't focus on doing your best. Focus on doing the best you can RIGHT now."

I found that was helpful. I didn't become a slob but I stopped keeping my house, etc to my standards before (when I had one job, no school and a husband to help).

libertyrocks posted 6/30/2014 15:56 PM

It's hard. There's no way around it. I wake up at 5am, have a 12 hour day with commute, drop kids off at 6am, get home at 6pm, M-F, feed them, spend time with them, bathe them, brush their teeth, clean their ears, read to them, and off to sleep by 8:30. Weekends they're all mine, too!!

Oh, and if I want to go out, it's usually AFTER they fall asleep at grandma and grandpas for "me" time because on my lunch break I'm going to the store for things we need or going to the gym. I don't want to miss a moment with them...So, really, I never have "me" time. Plus, I'm too tired to go out from 10pm to midnight when they wake up at 7am on weekends...or 5am during the week.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 3:57 PM, June 30th (Monday)]

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