I'm a single mom and I'm depressed, please tips on coping and dealing with the terrible 2's?

Amanda - posted on 05/30/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have been diagnosed with depression with anxiety and insomnia dating back to when I was about 10 years old. Right now I am in the middle of a life style transition from military to civilian life. I'm single, I'm jobless, I'm supposed to start school soon, I'm depressed, I can't sleep, and I'm with my child so much she's driving me nuts! I don't have a lot of money so it's hard finding people to watch her. My family lives far away, her daddy is in egypt with the army, and his family is dealing with a series of very sick relatives. With their family having so many people with severe demanding health problems I almost feel selfish telling them I feel like I'm not getting much support. What are some things I can do to 'de-stress' or possibly get some time to myself!? How do you find temporary babysitters when you are new to the area, don't know a lot of people, and don't have a lot of money? I would love to just have someone keep her for one day a month so I can just sleep by myself for a few hours, take a hot bath, or look for jobs in peace!

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Krista - posted on 05/30/2011

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We all need a break sometimes, no matter how much we love our kids. :)

Krista - posted on 05/30/2011

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Hi Amanda -- man, that sounds like a really rough time you're having of it! I agree -- just that one day a month would probably be fantastic for you.

I'm wondering if you have a family resource centre in your area, or a playgroup, or like Tiffany suggested, you could try meetup.com, especially if you're in a larger urban area.

If so, that could help you meet other mothers. And perhaps one of them might be willing to do a sitting swap, where you'd watch their kid for a day a month, or even two days a month, in exchange for them doing the same thing for you. That way, there's no real expense that's incurred on your part, your daughter will make a friend or two, and you could make a friend as well. Plus, you'd get some time for yourself.

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Katherine - posted on 06/02/2011

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Maybe if you join a moms group you could swap some babysitters.

Also look at local colleges for some respite. Some students have to do child education and may watch for very cheaply or nothing at all.

Meetup.com is a lifesaver too. Also try craigslist and google babysitters in your area.

There may even be a neighborhood kid who would do it for a nominal fee just so you can rest. At least you would be there.

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with this. I can't imagine what it must be like. Anti-depressants do help and I would go see your doctor. How old is your child?

Blackwood - posted on 06/02/2011

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Depending on where you live, you could try a library, it may not be alone time, but it's time out of the house, you could look at books with your son and find out if they do "story time" for his age group, you may meet other parents as well. Ask around about "mom's groups", great source to get together with other moms, talk with them while your son plays with other children. Some places have "drop in centers", spots set up with children's toy. All this ideas don't give you time by yourself, however they do get you active and out of the house, a chance for you to meet other parents and your son to interact with other children. Also some places have "splash pads" during summer, go to schools with parks. Best of luck.

[deleted account]

If there's a My Gym for kids near you they have a once a month parent's night out where you drop off your little one for 2 1/2 hours for $25. It's offered to those who are not members too. They also have classes you can drop her off for an hour and even though it's just an hour, it's time to yourself, to grab a coffee or run an errand.
I don't have family around and no support where I live so I've found ways to get some time to myself.
I hope that helps. Oh, sittercity.com may have some babysitters on there but they are costly, but excellent childcare.

Rachel - posted on 05/30/2011

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There must be some kind of aid out there that would help pay for your child to go to a daycare!!! at her age, she can easily go to daycare for 3 hours every morning.
I know it's hard to ask for help from family. It's better to ask for help from a social service. Talking to family about your own issues can sometime be pointless if they are not really emotionally available or if they just don't "get you". It can be a lot more efficient to talk to a stranger... a counselor. If you can't sleep, your depression is only going to get worse. Find a way to sleep. It's scary to take anxiety meds when you know you're the sole responsible person for your child all night. You are afraid to zonk out too hard. But you could try a low dose, or a natural remedy that just takes the edge off (like valerian).
Being a single mom takes a whole lot of strength and is a huge job. You need help. Keep looking for help.

Constance - posted on 05/30/2011

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Do you maybe have a younger family member that could babysit for a couple of hours? You can also try asking if someone in the family could watch her for a couple hours so you can go even to the grocery store without her. You might be suprised who could do it. But defidently look for mom groups that trade off babysitting duties. You also have the military spouse network. Go through you resources linked to the military. remember they know what you are going through and sometimes that ie the best support system.
I have been a military spouse for years and sometimes that was the only support system that I have had in the past. We all get overwhelmed and need a break. You also have support from all of us on here. It isn't exactly the same as someone in person but sometimes you can get some relief to let others know how you are feeling.
Good luck and remember to breath. It will all work itself out.

Brittany - posted on 05/30/2011

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Amanda,

I know how "alone" you might feel but, your not alone. You deserve respect for reaching out for help. Hats off to you.

Schooling and being a mommy are difficult. I have three kids and I am a full-time Biology major. My suggestion to you is this, get involved with a church. I am being serious. Churches often have day cares for parents st reasonable rates and offer discounts to people that attend. Having Faith is something that man needs. Without Hope there is no Faith and without Faith there is no Man.

About school, were you in the military? If so, then they will help pay for school. You need to apply for the Pell Grant by filling out your FASFA. This is a Grant from the Government that you do not have to pay back. You will be considered independent because, you have a child and will NOT have to fill in any of your parents information. You should receive a full grant. The grant will pay for tuition and books. Once that is paid you will get a check for what is left over. You can use that money to pay bills, gas, food, day care expense ect ect..

There are also Subsidized Loans you can apply for. If you get the Pell you are usually accepted for the loans. You do have to pay those back but, as long as your are enrolled in at least 6 hours of school you do not have to pay on them and the Government pays the interest on the loan.

Your Pell will cover the cost of tuition and books (I go to a Community College right now because, a University will teach me the same stuff at twice the price.). You will also get a check for what is left over on your Loan amount. These amounts differ.

You just need to be disciplined with your money. Maybe you can talk to your daughters father and find out if the Army will help with any day care expense while you are in school and he is away.

What we do is we pay our rent and bills up with our loan money. I will be more then glad to explain how we to it if you would like me to.

P.S. a lot of churches off a "Mommy Day Out", your bring the child in for a couple of hours when they are running the program for a fee. Here in South Alabama it is around $60 for 5 or 6 hours.

Amanda - posted on 05/30/2011

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I think this meetup.com sounds about like what I was looking for. It would be great to find someone else with kids that my daughter could play with and I don't even mind trading if they want days out too. I am just seriously feeling I need time to myself. I get really short with her when she gets crazy and I just know it's because I have been with her for what 2 and a half months now 24/7 with no break.

Tiffany - posted on 05/30/2011

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Play groups have helped my sanity. I use meetup.com, once you meet some people in the area maybe they can suggest babysitters or maybe they might even have a teen ager they would be willing to lend you. A lot of people go through these problems, you are not alone in how you feel. I would also ask a family member, even if they are dealing with other sick relatives, if it is possible to watch your child a couple of times a month...wouldn't they love to see a healthy energetic precious little girl? Biggest thing is don't be afraid to ask...call them up, be understanding to their situation but still ask..."I know you've done a lot this week with so-n-so but I was wondering if sometime this week you can watch my daughter for a few hours on whatever day is works best for you." They should be able to understand your situation as well, being without partner support etc. Do NOT blame them or tell them they are not giving you support but how do they know you need something if you do not ask. If they are not able to do it "this week" maybe next week they can help.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2011

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You could also find a momma's group out there. Having interaction with other people can really help. Play groups moms groups...whatever you can find.

Maria - posted on 05/30/2011

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I KNOW it is hard to make friends when you have such a dx (I suffer also). What I found and still find most helpful is someone to swap kids so you have some alone time. But remember not to isolate your self! Yoga has really helped me lately. I hate relying on all these stupid medicines they prescribe.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/30/2011

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I don't think you are asking to much. Is there any healthy relative, or semi healthy relative that can watch your baby even for 2 hours? Sometimes even that short of a break can really help.

If you can, make sure you get to the doctor for meds, and counseling if possible.

The only way that I would know how to get a baby sitter in a new area would be maybe going to a school and asking about it....or day care??? i know that would cost money though. Good luck, I am sorry you are having such a rough time.

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