troubles of transition to single parent

Kate - posted on 07/26/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am currently 7.5 months pregnant and have a 5 &3 year old. I am recently separated from my ex (thank goodness), but now I am realizing the struggle single parents have. I'm exhausted from working full time plus OT(which is needed when I go on maternity leave so I can be paid), my kids are great, but fight like crazy. My oldest is a bit mouthy(which is recent) and my son is going thru this not listening or telling me no phase. I'm sure its due to separation, but on top of it all, I have a roommate that gets upset when they hear us(kids and I) arguing. I find myself crying alot and feeling as if I have no control or anyone listens to me. Then couple weeks ago I find a dog on my front porch and no one will claim her. The puppy is super nice and my kids fell in love with her, but its another stress. I'm at lost as to how to pick myself up and focus on what to do next. Right now its getting thru the day, but when will that feeling stop? I want to feel like I'm in control of my life again and get back some form of normalcy. Any single moms out there that have felt the same way? How did you start to piece yourself back? Thanks!

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Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

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For you, I think you need to have some down time. Does your ex have joint custody? So you can have some time alone? For the kids, taking away privileges for the 5 yo, like no TV or time out can help. The 3 yo, if he is not listening or saying "no" all the time. You remind him you are in charge and take away toys or TV. Conversely, for the short term, you can reward positive behavior; when they obey or follow directions right away they can earn a token, or sticker and once they earn ten, they get to do something fun, like have cereal for dinner or watch a movie. This sort of external reward system really only works short term, kids wise up and start upping the ante. For two little ones though it should help them relearn who is actually in charge. On that note, the dog. If you want to keep, care for and pay for the dog, then keep the dog. However, if you really don't want it, get rid of it. Explain to the kids, that you are not able to give a dog a good home right now. If you can find a friend to take it, then the kids could visit it once and awhile. Ultimately, it is your decision, not the kids. Yes, they will be sad and cry and have a fit, learning to handle disappointment is part of life. You don't have to justify or apologize for making the best choice for yourself right now.

Kate - posted on 07/27/2015

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I want to reduce stress, but every time I bring up looking for a new home for our dog the kids get crazy upset. The roommate knew about the kids, but has become isolated and super upset with me due to all the craziness. How do I overcome everyday? Any suggestions on punishment for kids?

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

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Yikes! First, maybe relocate the dog? I know the kids love it but dogs are a huge commitment and expensive and you are going to have a baby soon. Second, stop arguing with your kids. I know this is easier said then done but ask them one time and then hand down a consequence for their behavior. You are probably right that the flare up in their behavior is due to the separation but you don't have to put up with them back-talking and not listening. I presume your roommate knew about the children when you decided to live together? Kids are noisy. Wait until there is a newborn in the house!

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