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Wish someone would reach out to me

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I know that I have a tendency to be really hard on myself.

However, it is frustrating me that people haven't been reaching out much to me. At least a neighbor has in the past little while.Granted, I can't always answer my phone when it rings. Also, if someone asks if they can do a specific thing for me it may not be what I need and I don't know what is off the top of my head.

I've had it with people telling me what to do. I was living with other's right after he was born, as a new mother.  I've been alone with my 14 mo old since he was 9 months old. I can't seem to shake this interpretation that 1. mothers in my age category are probably the most disregarded, unloved, and disrespected 2. people want to make me accountable for how I'm raising my child (i.e. tell me what's best) if I do get any help from them. 3. If I need help then it must be because I'm not doing something right, according to them

It really seems like my friends and family are hoping that I'm just going to come to them with a victim mentality and ask to be saved. I know that my Mom does...she called me up recently to tell me that things are so hard for me. The time after that, the last time, she made sure to tell me that if I get sick someone would need to help me. My mom must suffer from a personality disorder because she has yelled at me in front on my son about totally unjustified nonsense, so I've been avoiding her. My father and all my extended family has always taken her side - if I give her a piece of my mind she has liked to let these people know how badly I've hurt her. Their position has been sympathizing with her and stepping away from me because my mother also gets jealous if anyone she knows is closer to me than she is. And, she can be a social saboteur and I believe it's because they're afraid of that more than believing I'm wrong. I'm not going to call my parents, my brother, my grandparents, my cousins, my aunt.

I shouldn't necessarily lump my friends into this, but I my friend Kathy (who has helped me out a ton when I needed it most) suffers from epilepsy and is always on a ton of meds. She has been very aloof, especially since her delinquent 16 year old step-son came to live with her, and the last time I visited her I calmly defended my position when she made sure to tell me that she thought Head Start home visits were for parents who didn't know what they were doing. My son has been in Head Start since last fall when I moved into this new apartment. So, she's a tough one too. I've called or texted her in the past few months just to see how she's doing and she's just responded with "what do you need?" I haven't asked her for hardly anything in the past, she's offered - I've been her project. At this point, I want(ed) to be a reciprocating friend.

There's other mothers near me with children just under 2 years that I could possibly trade child-care with. However, I read the book "Map of the World" and I have always felt that I'm about 5 seconds too slow with kids this age. That's about 5 seconds too long.

I guess my only way to be happy and healthy is to make enough money to hire a baby sitter from time to time.

by on Mar. 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM
Replies (11-17):
by Gold Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM


by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I guess I'm just going to have to ignore and remove myself from emotional demands/undue judgment/criticism. I'm highly familiar with being guilt-tripped, manipulated, tore into. I guess I should just be in touch with whom I want to be, and expect that they would essentially get me to bug off by telling me to be in contact with my mother "because....but...she's my mother". There's a reason why my sister-in-law doesn't appreciate being in contact with her either, it's because she's abusive and controlling inside of her personality disorder. If someone says that I'm selfish or don't care....I'll just say the opposite in a non-agressive way and then "mentally" put my hand up to them. My friend Kathy has helped me out a ton, more so than my parents by a long shot. If I owe anyone anything, it's her. However, she doesn't seem open to pay back.

by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 4:34 PM
1 mom liked this
I can relate to what you're going through because I'm kind of going through the same thing. I find that people always seek me out family included when the need help, but I have a hard time asking. In your post, I didn't read that you asked for help. I guess sometimes we need help, but assume people know we need it. Sometimes we expect people to help without asking because we say what we're going through in a round about way, but never ask for help. It sucks and it's hard because we may have friends that are single moms that have been in our shoes and know what it's like to need help. I hope you find the help that you need. A lot of it come down to trust to because you not necessarily want everyone in your business too. Try to research programs that will help you in your area. My family makes comments that are hurtful like yours and is was justified by being turned into they just wish I had my daughter under better circumstances and wasn't struggling. Just focus on you and your children and being the best mother like you are doing and ask for help from those that you know that aren't going to throw it back in your face, because that's not a good feeling either.
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 8:22 AM
1 mom liked this

Thank you all for your input.This board is really outstanding.

Yeah, I was watching "Dancing with the Stars" lastnight, and Winona was described as extremely hard on herself but determined to get things done when she put her mind to it. I know I'm like that, and it's separate from the childcare issue.

Childcare is a different issue, I think, but ties in. We need to trust those that help us, and relinquish some of that responsibility. I want to spend more time on these boards about this issue. That, and getting closer to 2-parent families that have reached out to me - because I feel jealous and sad almost instantly getting to know them. Playdates, trade-offs for sitting etc.

I started a small bona fide online job. I haven't done this yet (becuase I haven't gotten paid yet), but I intend to ask a babysitter over to our place to play with baby while I'm there and on the computer. The sitters here get $10 an hour, because the summer snow-birds are wealthy and pay that.

My counselor wants me to work on making boundaries. I've actually been in victim of abuse counseling, and retaliation for standing up for myself happened - just like I was taught it may. Makes things rough. I mean, I'm not even in my position due to irresponsibility  (except not using BC) - my husband cheated on me and was emotionally abusive/neglectful. Not that it matters, but you'd think that someone judging me would take that into account. It really doesn't matter, the lot is the same. Not that it's any of their business. I'm lucky that there is a counselor that comes to my home to counsel me. There's really not group programs in this area, aside from AA, Alanon and the Women's Shelter. I've heard that larger areas even have Codependency groups, etc. That would fit me.

by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Hugs to you, mama.  My daughter went to daycare and then off to public schools when she was little.  I had no problems dealing with her teachers.  My situtation got worse with my marriage later on.  I found myself to be a single mom due to my ex's cheating and breaking up our family and destroying our marriage.  I've had a few friends simply not care enough to stay in my life and very few that actually wanted to help me.  I was on my own basically.  That's why I come here for support, help and advice.  It also helps me to give advice to other moms in need.  I agree with the other moms - stay away from negative people.  Don't let them draw you into their life and make your life even worse.  Remember YOU are the mom and YOU make the decisions for your child.  Other can give you advice, but you ultimately make the decisions.  Head start is a good program.  I've heard it was.  So stick with it.  That's my advice.  ; )

by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 7:19 PM

I totally understand what you are going through with your family. I am going through a similar situation. As a single mom you can feel disrespected by your family, as if your opinion does not count because what THEY believe is best for your child is what you should do, no matter what, even if you have valid reasons. You can also feel disregarded because you do not have a husband to support your opinion and instead you feel you have to cave in or do what your parents say.

My parents are both in their mid-70s. I do not agree with them all of the time, but generally I do what they recommend. On this particular instance, I did not agree. I am not a big fan of allowing my 5 year old daughter to hang out with my older brother (mainly because he curses heavily and forgets she's there, and also because of the way he disrespects women - he's a big player). My parents came over after a big event that was important to my daughter (the day went great until they came over afterward and started arguing right in front of my daughter on her special day) and told me that I better allow her uncle and his girlfriend to take her out of the country for several days. My mom would go also, but I wasn't invited. I don't know his girlfriend very well other than she is half his age. I didn't agree with this because I wanted my daughter's first trip out of the country to be with me, her mother. Also, her grandmother is getting on in age and it's pretty tough to stay focused on a 5 year old all the time. I also know my brother is NOT the kid-loving fatherly type either. I did not  like the idea and was completely against it. But I do what I usually do and cave in because (1) I don't have another parent around to say "no, we can't do that," and (2) because if I don't, I'll be seen as the evil person not allowing my daughter to have fun.

Ever since this, I have kind of cut my parents out of my life and try not to have too much to do with my brother. It hurts, yes, but I feel the only way my opinion will count for something is if they don't know too much about what goes on in my life anymore and I put quite a bit of distance between us. I wouldn't have minded so much if I was asked politely but I was basically told what to do. Even though my brother paid for the trip, I don't feel it was respectful of him to leave the mother out. I feel he was only doing it to appease his girlfriend who is trying to get him to marry her so she can have kids, etc, etc. It's really a tricky situation.

And talk about being a social saboteur -- Now I feel that my parents have been talking with a couple who have been good friends of mine, but they are also friends with my parents. They are older than me, but younger than my parents. I feel they are not only totally sympathizing with my parents but are trying to manipulate me to agree with them anyway. I feel I cannot share anything with them anymore because they will go right to my parents. The whole situation really makes you feel isolated. Its as if you have to agree or you will be the odd one out. And you will ALWAYS be the odd one out because it's JUST YOU!!!

Of course people will tell you - you should be glad for a break, let your parents help and yes it is very helpful at times. But if there is something that you clearly disagree with them about, you will always feel that you have to give in just because they have offered their help in the past. If there was another parent or husband there and you both said, "thank you but we will be busy at that time and my child won't be able to go" there would be no issue, but because you are alone and a single mom, you will be the bad guy if you don't comply.

by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 7:24 PM

 Hang in there, I wish you the best.

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