Are you a parent with no life of your own?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kbrand0554, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. kbrand0554

    kbrand0554 New Member

    Do your kids monopolize every waking moment of your life?

    My kids are teens, and I still cant break away on a break with my boyfriend, and I feel resentful.

    My kids are so bad noone will help out with looking after them, its been that way since they were small.
  2. kbrand0554

    kbrand0554 New Member

    I used to not be able to hold onto a babysitter to even work, I was always called to pick them up and take them home. my depressive disability came along and depression stole my life.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Luckily, we are past that point now. difficult child has been to enough therapy and is on medications, and is 13, so we can leave him alone for short periods, such as when we go to dinner nearby.
    But we had yrs when we couldn't do anything. I even got yelled at by a dad at church because my then-5-yr-old difficult child made his wussy 14-yr-old daughter cry when she was supposed to be taking care of him during the svc. Aarrrrgh!
    Our favorite babysitter was 6'1" tall and as cool as a cucumber. She would lift up difficult child by the back of his pants, hold him out at arm's length, and let him kick and scream until he wore himself out. She never even asked for a pay raise!
    One of the worst things we did was pay our daughter to watch difficult child. She is kind, considerate, gentle, and very sensitive. There was so much going on while she was watching him that she never told us, and she'd be so stressed out she could hardly function. One night, she just broke down in tears and begged us not to go out to dinner. We asked her why she hadn't told us earlier, and she said that she knew we needed our time alone and didn't want to ruin it for us.
    That's when we started including her in our therapy. I felt so guilty!
    My advice--I would find a huge, older teen who doesn't take any gruff. Seriously.
    Would the YMCA take them for an hr or two if you want to go to a movie? What about church?
    Network, network, network. If people get burned out, go on to the next person.
    Best of luck!
  4. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    You situation does sound difficult. My kids are a lot younger than yours and until recently I was in your shoes...absolutely no life. I have finally found three really good babysitters who can handle my son. All of them are trained in Special Education and have a lot of experience. They are full-fledged adults with lives of their own, so I have to be a bit flexible with their schedules, eg husband and I often have our date on Sundays.

    I found one of our babysitters through the autism inclusion program at difficult child's school (She's a paraeducator). One of the others is a teacher at my daughter's preschool and the other was an aide at the preschool while my son was a student there. All 3 have degrees in child dev and/or Special Education, so I pay them well, but I also trust them completely.

    So, I would recommend looking around for schools and programs that deal with teens with issues. Then, visit or make some calls to find out who is good and see if you can post a request for a babysitter. In my experience, administrators are not allowed to recommend their employees for babysitting positions, but they often will let you post an advertisement.

    Good luck.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Me! husband and I went out to dinner last night without the kids for the first time in years. The only babysitter we had that could really handle the kids was my cousin M when she was 17 -- she even went into special education and now has a roomful of little difficult children. It was my parents anniversary and M drove in so that we could go out. It was so nice but I can only ask her on "big" occasions like that cause she's a grownup with her own life now.

    husband and I both take time alone to see a movie, get a message, etc. because we learned that if we didn't, we would crack.

    I struggle with depression and husband has become great about understanding that sometimes I CANNOT DO ONE MORE THING and he sends me on my way...
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Kbrand, welcome!

    Honestly, until we got our difficult child into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (Residential Treatment Centre) we didn't have much of a life either. Every time we left difficult child with someone, we ended up being summoned home in a panic.

    I would recommend looking into respite services in your area. Terry's suggestions are also good ones. Network, network, network. If there's a college or university near where you are, find out if they have a Personal Support Worker or Human Services or other program where the students deal with special-needs children. You might find a pool of babysitters there.

    Whatever you do, don't give up until you find someone. One of the best things you can do for your children is to take care of yourself.

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    We had very little life until respite came into our lives. We could live thru anything once we knew we had respite 2x monthly.

    Now things are changed back to the no life but I'm working on that - giving kt a bit of rope to hang herself with, um, er, no - give kt a bit more freedom with the responsibilities that go with that.

    Respite is an underused, not understood or very available service. In my mind it should be the first thing offered to a parent with a child with such special needs as ours.
  8. Red Chief

    Red Chief New Member

    What's a "life"? J/K

    wife and I definitely feel that way. We do manage to make it out occasionally though. We spent the quickest hour & a half ever at the hot tubs last Friday. Our easy child managed to find a little time to babysit for us. (She normally has no time for us unless she's sick or needs something). We were supposed to go to a party on Saturday night, but couldn't get a babysitter. easy child didn't want to give up her Saturday night, and my niece was with her Dad & he wouldn't let her go. We thought we had a line on another babysitter, but that fell through. I'm almost glad though. I've never met this girl, and no one except for daughter or my niece has ever babysat difficult child. I would have been too paranoid about difficult child having a blowup in her fragile state.

    On a personal level, I don't have much time for myself since difficult child got kicked out of school. She is with me 24/7. wife works 7 days a week, so there isn't much time to let her watch difficult child while I visit friends, unless it's for an hour or two after she gets home from work. But then I don't want to leave because I would like to see my wife every once in a while. And since I'm having some issues of my own, I find it much too easy to blow off my friends & just stay at home. I've been feeling really antisocial lately.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My kids are adults and I still have no life! Ok, maybe I am just kidding a bit They grew up and then had kids so now I have grandkids hanging out! 1 of my boys still lives with me, 1 other lives 3 miles away but the last one is 6 hours away so that gives me time apart from him. The one who lives with me doesnt have kids, thank heavens. The one who lives 3 miles away has my oldest granddaughter and we get her at least every other weekend. Sometimes every weekend. We split her with her daddy.

    It seems like I am starting all over again with kids!

    My boys were hard too when they were young. No one would babysit them. There was no such thing as respite back then. We just dealt with it. They finally grew up...somehow.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can so understand how you feel! When difficult child was younger it was hard to get a babysitter-we had one that would come occasionally. Once in awhile now we leave difficult child home alone (not for very long) but we have to look at his mood so it's never a given. Also once he falls asleep easy child can watch him.

    The thing that has really helped us is respite. We have a great respite family right now. They really enjoy difficult child and have foster kids around so he is not the only one there. Our only thing is our respite $ will probably be cut soon and then we'll be back to no life.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow! Fantastic that you have a relative who has gone into Special Education! Bravo! I don't know how people like that do it. Of course, they've chosen it and they're trained for it.
    Most of us were caught by surprise ... :sick:

    My husband sends me out when he sees I'm about to crack, too. He'll tell me to take a book to the sushi bar and just GO! NOW!!! :faint:;)
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    A life? What does that feel like?
  13. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Ahhhh, a life. I do have a vague recollection of what that was like...

    Babydiva my high energy, high maintenance easy child takes up much of my *ahem* "free" time since I am a stay at home mom. I get separation anxiety from her if we go anywhere overnight. Dang the luck. I don't trust her with just anyone so outings can be hard. There are two relatives who watch her but they have lives of their own. Dang the luck!

    difficult child is a different story. We live outside of a village of 370 people and he hates to get off his kiester and put the effort in it takes to socilaize. He hangs out with his uncle a lot. Problem is that as soon as I MUST take a break he has been a brat/disaster and sending to Uncle is a reward he just lost.:faint: The rest of the time I feel bad leaving him behind because him at home alone without a healthy social agenda seems too depressing and unhealthy.

    husband works insane hours, seasonally of course. He's free a lot now during deep gloomy winter when I want everyone to back off. Even on good days there is no "us" time. If we try to talk the difficult child pops in needy for attention. As soon as he walks away babydiva starts whining. We haven't had a single conversation go uninterrupted in almost a year.

    I wouldn't feel so desperate for free time if it weren't for the chaos. At the end of the day when I am burnt out the most the baby needs a bath and dinner while she is getting to crabby time, difficult child is being a pain about goodness knows what, dinner has to be made, I want a shower because that's my evening relaxation etc. etc. etc. Then husband comes home.

    It's an all out battle of boiling over pots, ringing phones, poopie diapers, a whining teen all competing for the fumes in my emotional gas tank. By the time I finally relax enough to enjoy husband he is a yawning, twitching knot of restless leg syndrome and well, pretty much useless for any coherent conversation. (though I love him for trying)

    The best thing I could ever hope for is a good nights sleep, a family outing to a park on the weekend and home to a PEACEFUL evening of beers in the rockers on the porch while husband char-becues burger-coals for dinner, knowing all along the baby is sleeping and difficult child is watching some well earned tv inside and doesn't need to hover or eavesdrop for once.

    Forget a vacation I just want a "normal" weekend day, just once a month or so.:whiteflag:
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I got a break Sunday when I was vomiting so hard it was coming out of my nose! mother in law took N to the movies and k was manic so husband took her away.
    But we all paid the price because N wanted to leave the movie because my In-laws are, well, incompetent after years of trying to explain... husband went over their house to pick up N and they somehow messed up K even more when husband took Dexter the Dog for a short walk... so NO we have not had an actual break in so long.
    If it is a Doctor Apt. We will ask... Or we will all go and see them.

    I have actually just started a Special Needs Support Group here and have made a FRIEND!!!
    She has an Autistic daughter same age as K and I really like her. She reminds me of a lot of you on the board. Feisty and loving... LOL
    One day husband and I will have another date...