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I Can't Do This All Alone. Can I?

So, I moved back to my hometown after leaving my husband. I thought for a long time that I would stay in the town where he and I lived together (no family of either of us there). But I always hated living there, and he is passive-aggressive and emotionally abusive. My mother said, "Just come home. I will help you keep the baby." So I moved away from the baby's father and home to be near my mom.
She is married and but retired, and she was keeping my daughter three days a week and I had a nanny two days a week while I work full-time. That arrangement didn't work out because my mom felt that she was always being asked to take hours from the nanny because the nanny was too busy with raising her own three-year-old and attending her own prenatal appointment.
So, I found a different arrangement. Currently, my daughter has 50 hours a week of daycare coverage and my mother only keeps her on Mondays (by her choice...she could send her to daycare), Tuesday/Thursday afternoons because I work late, and if she is sick or the home daycare is closed for a holiday.

Still, my mother is complaining that she is expected to do too much and that I don't "respect her time." She says she shouldn't be expected to be first back-up without being consulted first and that I need to have someone else ready to step-in (someone I'd have to pay for) in case my mother has date night with her husband or goes out of town. Fine. I get that.

It worries me, because I am already paying $600 per month for the daycare, plus I am going to have to pay someone else to do the two afternoons, so that's going to add probably another $200 per month. And I will probably just pay them to do it consistently, because I can't imagine anyone holding the afternoons open in just case I need them. Plus, at this point, I would rather just not need my mother's help for the normal schedule. That leaves me with just having my mother as a back-up in case my child is sick or the daycare is closed for a holiday (I am in healthcare and work holidays, too).

So last night my mother called me and told me that her former employer is now letting people work from home. She ran into a former co-worker and they had a conversation and my mother said, "Well, if I could have worked from home, I never would have retired." And the co-worker said, "Are you kidding? They are looking to hire someone!" So my mother wanted to inform me that she may be going back to work...full-time...from home. She says, "But I will still be able to pick C up in the afternoons because I will get off at 5."

Am I being unreasonable if I feel like she is reneging on her promise to help me if I moved here? I realize she technically has no obligations to help me raise my child; am I selfish if I expect that? My daughter's father has already gone off the rails, having twins with someone he has known only as long as she has been pregnant. Now my mother is going back to work and won't be able to help even in case of sickness or daycare closing.

In the town I lived with my ex-husband, I had no one but him. I had no family there, and my good friends were busy raising their own families. Now I feel like at least he would have been obligated to take turns staying home in case she is sick. At least he would have wanted to keep her for the weekend or a Friday night (mom has kept her overnight maybe three times in a year). My X gets money off his child support every month to come visit and keep daughter for the weekend, but he hasn't been doing that, either.

I don't think that I can really move back to his town at this point. His new woman is hell-bent on completely erasing me from his life, and she is probably not too thrilled about having my daughter around, either. I don't think I really want her raising my child on a consistent basis, anyway, as she doesn't demonstrate the kind of values that I want my daughter to have. I was hoping for a good step-mom for C at least, but no such luck.

I have a significant other who wants to help, but circumstances are keeping us apart for now. I might have the option to move to be closer to him, but at this point I feel like I have just gotten my daughter settled in my hometown. Moving that far again feels like such a risk. But I am starting to think doing something different may just be plain necessary.

I am just SO frustrated because I am working hard to provide a stable life for myself and my daughter. I didn't move back in with my parents (although mom did give me some cash to help me get back on my feet). I make a good salary, but my job is not very flexible. I am expected to be there unless I am dead or at least seriously contagious. My father is around but makes it very clear he is not interested in helping. My mother got me back here and is now sending the message that I need to be independent of her and not rely so much on her. My ex is an idiot. My significant other is too far away.

How am I supposed to do this all alone?

serenityprayer serenityprayer 31-35, F 101 Responses Jul 11, 2010

Your Response


It cost $285.000 to raise a child to 18 years old. I guess that fact was never mentioned in your high school economics class.

By the way... I wish I was near you, I would watch the kids between me and my daughters for much less... Can you find someone who would be trustworthy and you would be helpin them, and them helping you and save some money??

Courage, Serenity, and Wisdom. I relate to the topic, "I cant do this alone". Of course for different reasons but similar. I just lost my wife 5 weeks ago. She is gone, and I am trying to step up as a single Dad. She left no will, no notes on banking and such, My daughters are traumatized, Im still in shock, and relate to the topic!
I guess the reality is, we need to agree with the cunning baffling enemy that accuse us ab out "doing this alone" Because there is some truth in it. We cant do it alone, but in reality we are not!! God is with us to grant us wisdom, courage and peace in the storm. So some days I feel like I cant make it!! I repeat out loud......"In CANT DO THIS!!"........then i realize again, that this is only a half instead of fightin that thought, I agree, and say....."Thats right,,,I cant do this! But I will come to realize that God is doing for me what I cant do for myself"... Anyway,,, I am now a single parent, and widowed unexpectedly less than 3 weeks before Christmas, and it is overwhelming at times, but it is time to increasew faith in God and not in my own wisdom. I used to say the serenity prayer like a ritual, never really believing that I need to get courage, wisdom, and serenity from God.....I cant work it up in my own strength.. Bless ya.... VIctor

It looks like its been awhile but your post seemed to have hit home with a lot of other readers. I have same experience with NO support from Anywhere. Just seeing I am not alone is a big help. I've been raising mine for 10 years now only to have them turn on me when their dad entered the picture blaming me for his absence. It really was all worth it until now. Thank you for posting.

I honestly..don't know what I would do in your situation.Sounds like you're already doing everything you can.I am a single mom and the father of my son is not in fhe picture. My mom watches my son while I work full time but every chance she gets still tells me how bad of a mom I am for getting myself in this situation in the first place.Its hard. Emotionally one of the most difficult situations in the world. For""" everything that you may think to even consider doing..there's always that thought in the back of your head wondering if its the best thing for your child. Pray about it. Keep faith that. Things will eventually Work themselves out. Its so hard. Keep moving forward and doing what you gotta do.Try not to feel guilty especially shen you're doing the best you can.Good luck..If you ever want to talk feel free to message me.

check and see if your town dfacs has a program to help with daycare. I have 3 kids and been on my own for about 7 or 8 yrs now. my kids was just the right age for the boys and girls club to watch them after school.

You do what you have to do for you & your child. Your mother is not obligated, she raised her kids. I was a single parent of 3 and raised mine without any help. My mother worked & lived her life until she passed away. Besides we did not live in the same city anyway. She would babysit sometimes on weekends , so I could get a break. I had to find babysitters, daycare so I could work. Network, network ,network. It may be hard, but not impossible. Find someone great to take care of your child, that is the most important thing.

I won't say I empathize,but I know what you're going to. I'm not a parent,but my mom is mine...all by herself. My grandma did the same thing,one minute she was willing and there to help and the next it was too much. My advice to you is to hold on. Moving around a lot does take a toll on a child, so if you do move make sure that it can and will be stable. If anything try to see if some new found friends in the area can help-that way it's not all on your mother. No matter what the decision make it with a clear head, don't stress too much-C will sense that-and know that you are doing the right thing. Obviously you've done an amazing job so far...just keep it moving. :) good luck

move to south east asia. you will get a maid, driver and a home.

i'm not a woman, so it may be silly for me to answer this. Im sure you know all about the mistakes you made, so i'm not going to bother with those. Here's what you're doing right:<br />
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keeping the baby away from the father if he is abusive and crazy.<br />
Getting help in any way you can. your baby will know her grandma. That's a good thing.<br />
Accepting that fact that your mom has her own life and can't help you constantly.

What about calling to see about getting assistance? Even if it's just child care, at least that would be something. <br />
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Your mom sounds like how my MIL was when she was with us. She'd get mad if we'd ask her to watch the kids. Then when she found out that we'd just take them to daycare, then she was insulted. "You're not putting my grandbabies in that place", and she ended up watching them again.

This post makes me feel so grateful for my own parents, who were no picnic growing up due to their own issues, but have really stepped up to the plate in terms of helping out with my daughter.<br />
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I'm not a single father, but my wife and I both work full-time, so juggling things can get difficult at times.<br />
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We've also got my wife's mother and family to call on, and the same woman who babysat me as a child is still doing babysitting and takes our daughter a few days a week.<br />
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My heart goes out to you in your situation. I can't imagine being a grandparent or an absentee father and not working to be as involved and supportive as possible in my child's life. In my experience, karma will kick those people's ***** and you'll either get to watch them learn their lesson, or dance on their graves. LOL A bit bloodthirsty on my part, but I'm sure you get the metaphor...<br />
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Anyhow, I see it's been quite some time since the original post. Here's hoping that you resolved things for the best possible good of all concerned.

i planning on moving back to my hometown too. i have a friend who does babysitting anytime of the day and week. i don't have a family in town i am currently living and it is hard to do by myself. his father, well, is a selfish jerk. it wasn't difficult when my son was a baby, now he is rambunctious, actively 20 months old always up to something. mind you, he is more than a yard tall, and a very smart. i don't think anyone in my family will help me with him. i have a friend who does babysit for a living, it is rare she takes a day off from babysitting. she love children and never have her own. so she will help me while i go to work. she always need money more than vacation time.

Get ex to pay child support whatever you can get. Then find out about state supplements that might be able to help you while you work full time. I'm sure they would be willing to help rather than see you on welfare. Don't bother your mother. Her heart was in the right place and she ment well. Good luck. FEWWWW you women can talk.

if u need any help .i can help u ,im enjoy to help people

I grew up in a country that values family ties. If I will ever be in a kind of situation similar to yours, I know that my parents would never abandon me or deprive me any help I need. In fact they'd be more than willing to have me back at their home without question. Parents here, now matter how old their children are, they still take them back if needed. I just grew up in a place where parents could not endure leaving their child suffering alone so I will never understand how your mom could just date and live her life like she doesn't have a daughter who obviously needed her. As much as I want to hate your mom for it, I don't blame her because that's how life is in your place. Life where parents thinks after they've already done their responsibilities to their children like having them grow up, provide them education till they're 18 and married or something, that they can just continue life as they pleased.<br />
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Right now, I could not give you a meaningful advice since I'm not yet a parent myself. But I wanna tell you that I admire you because despite the circumstances you were in, your still did what you can to cope up with the situation. Your child is lucky to have you as a mom. Don't blame your mom anymore even if she promised to help you. Just think of it as another trial you need to endure to make you a better and stronger person for your child and for yourself. I certainly hope once you get through it that you'll find complete happiness.


thats what being a mum is all about. good luck. i've been a single mother of 3 for 11 yrs. when their father left they were 1,2 and 3. its hard and you sacrifice but ultimately they're ur kids and no one elses. find work that works around ur baby, it'll make things easier for you and structure ur life so you dont need to rely on anyone bacause ultimately as nice as it would be to have some one there, your in this alone. do whats right for you and your baby and things will fall into place.

iI think your mom expects a payment why not just pay her?

i am so sorry for the situation you were in. i do hope that at this time things have gotten better for you. i am a single mommie too. i raised three on my own. i did manage to get a bachelor's degree while raising them and working, sometimes 2 jobs. i never really did anything with that degree because i was so worried about the same situation you are flexibility with work. <br />
my advantage is that my mom has been the 2nd parent in my children's lives. she has been so very good to me over the past 20 years. my daughter is 20 and my boys, twins, are 17, will be 18 in april. i could not have done it by myself. the two fathers are both deadbeat ***** donors and have only been in my children's lives or helped financially sporadically. very very sporadic. <br />
i want to tell you that you are doing a very good job. you are trying to give your daughter stability and a good home. as i am now looking at the changing roll of being a mommy to three adult children i know i did my best. my kids always came first and i have no regrets. keep your head up mom!! your daughter will appreciate all of your hard work one day and it will be so very worth it. <br />
mommies are strong forces of nature. and single mommies are twice that force.

i would have advised having a chat with your mom. but, u love your daughter, u want her in your life and to do right by her. i think you will always find a way, even if it's as simple as you have no other choice than to find a way. many moms do it, i don't reccommend it if you don't have to but if you have to, it will always make you and your child stronger.

Have you considered polygamy... Im just saying

you can

Relying on family is always a mistake in my opinion, they say it is okay then they get mad at you and say you are taking advantage and criticize you and complain to others about you. I have no family. I wish I was more strong like you. It is so hard to things alone, people have always let me down, You sound like a wonderful parent. You sound like you are doing then very best you can. Why does life have to be so hard? Superwoman is a myth that was a made a 80's, also a marvel super hero. You can't do it all. I couldn't do half of what"normal" people do. I seen so many people fail trying to be perfect, be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to be human. That will allow you to be a good parent, you are on the right track where I have failed. I will never forgive myself. I've been judged in the eyes of others, held up tp ridicule for my failures and I can't live with myself. It warms my heart that you have some hope and so does your child.

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I suggest you go to a local church to see if they have someone they know or a group who can help you with childcare.Some churches have " Do Gooders " who love to help those in need. Dont be afraid to ask for help. All this stress will be making you feel isolated and unhappy. A trouble shared is a trouble Halved . They might not want a high rate..Some retired people want to help as they have plenty of " Free time " available because they no longer work.Getting a recommended person is better than a stranger.Always remember to thank your Mother, I am sure you are grateful for help given but some people feel " Taken for Granted "if NOT thanked.The important thing is not to get angry at your Mother, this could make her become hostile, and see you as the enemy. I suggest you send her a Thank you card of the " I love you Mother" types.Hopefully, This will help to " Restart " Things.

I suggest you go to a local church to see if they have someone they know or a group who can help you with childcare.Some churches have " Do Gooders " who love to help those in need. Dont be afraid to ask for help. All this stress will be making you feel isolated and unhappy. A trouble shared is a trouble Halved . They might not want a high rate..Some retired people want to help as they have plenty of " Free time " available because they no longer work.Getting a recommended person is better than a stranger.Always remember to thank your Mother, I am sure you are grateful for help given but some people feel " Taken for Granted "if NOT thanked.The important thing is not to get angry at your Mother, this could make her become hostile, and see you as the enemy. I suggest you send her a Thank you card of the " I love you Mother" types.Hopefully, This will help to " Restart " Things.

I do not know if you thought about this, but you can get russian and english nannys. All they really want is room and board, although some are now asking for a salary. But you r talking about having a nanny 24/7 for less than what you are paying in child care now.<br />
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I did the room mate turned into a relationship and then went bad. just be careful<br />
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Good luck. I wish you well.

I remember how my ex treated me so I left him. I was living on my own with my daughter who was a year in a half at the time, I couldn't afford a babysitter while I worked and I was lacking in the knowledge of welfare helping low income families in providing the funding 4 the daycare while the single parent worked so what I did was I got a job in a daycare. Sure it didn't pay much but I had an apartment that was low income. Utilities included. I stayed single 4 a few years by choice bec I became so independant that I didn't was afraid I would loose my own identity and independance in getting into any type of relationship. I have been married 2 my second husband for 6 yrs now and it is great. Things always start off rough in the beginning and it feels like you're always going 2 struggle like this but in the end, you'll become an even stronger person although it seems like you're pretty strong already. No, I don't think you're being unreasonable 2 expect 4 your mom 2 be there and help u raise your little girl while you're working. She made u an offer that she was going 2 do that should u move back close 2 home. She shouldn't make those promises then renig on them once u moved back. Any parents should be glad 2 take care of their grandkids when they r living close by. I think it's a great idea 2 move in with another single mom, u could work out a baby sitting schedule with each other 2 help each other out. Just make sure u get 2 know the other mom so that u could trust her. I understand u don't want 2 move in or closer 2 your significant other's home especially with the possibility that it may not work out between the 2 of u. U also have every right not 2 trust you're little girl with your ex's wife or girl friend when she doesn't want him 2 have anything 2 do with u bec 9 times out of 10, the child pays the price whether she is mistreated or has 2 listen 2 the other woman putting u down 2 the father. I wish u luck and hope everything gets better although I have a feeling it will if it hasn't already have.

I was raised by a single mother in a very similar situation. We moved a lot, and I wasn't too affected by it. Just let your little girl know that it's all for a good reason. Reassure her that she will make new friends. You didn't mention how old she is, but my least painful moves where when I was6 and 10. Basically the younger the better.<br />
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I spent most of my free time in daycare. You shouldn't feel bad about it, it's a great way to get her to socialize with other kids her age. She'll get a lot of play time and can be as noisy as she wants.<br />
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My baby sitter was a teenage daughter of one of my moms co-workers. Ask around. teenagers are always looking for some extra cash and will work for relatively cheap.<br />
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You'll be fine. I think I turned out better being raised by a single mother. It makes for a strong role model