Single Working Mom and Very Depressed Not Seeing My Son for More than 3 Hrs a D

Updated on August 25, 2010
M.P. asks from Orem, UT
16 answers

So for 9 months I was a stay at home mom since I live with my parents, no car (mine was expired and a two seater, not the best for a car seat), and no job (I had to quit my job because i was in so much pain and always sick during my pregnancy).
I started school online for two terms and at the beginning of July I had to start taking the classes at the campus since I had done all my GE's and had to do my major classes. I was fine with doing part time daycare and going to school in the morning, but now I also have a job and work till 5. My son wakes up at 5 despite what time he goes to bed. So in order for him to get his 10-12 hours of sleep (which if he gets any less then 11 he is CRANKY! His dad was just like that) he goes to bed at 6. Not that I can push it any because he refuses an afternoon nap lately.
We share a car with my parents (we are in the process of getting me a car) and my mom has to be to work at 7. So I have to drop O off at day care around 6:30. So actually I only get 2 hours of time with him and its killing me!!!! This weekend I spent every second I could with him. I even took naps with him just to be near him. Once I get a car, I will get probably 45 extra minutes with him.
How do I deal with the fact I don't get to be with him as much? Oh he is 10 months now since that usually gets asked.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Oh I just remembered that my work will eventually be able to let me take work home with me but that's not for months :( So I guess I have something to look forward to. . .
Stacy!!!! I KNOW!!!! Our system is soooooooooooooooo messed up! I can't tell you how many times my schoolmates and I have talked about this in my business class when we talk about our current events. UGH!!!! I am so tempted to move (legally, of course) to (I think its) Switzerland who is soo mommy friendly.
Oh and It's a goal by in 6 months time to be moved out of my parents house because it not toxic but stressful since my dad and I are constantly fighting about money (I am non stop cleaning, cooking, helping around in general and still am told I have to pay X amount even though my younger brother sits and doesn nothing all day and does not have to pay a dime) I share my food stamp, child support, and school loan money with them, my mom is a 2 year old in a 53 year old's body and the house is not baby proofed and my dad refuses to baby proof. He works on guns and leaves buckets of water around, tools and gun parts on the floor, tables that tip over sooo easily, cords and electronics all over the floor. So I HAVE to get out of here for my son's sake and for my nerves.
Deborah-Yeah, I'm trying to get him out of his current daycare, but have some things to work out. But my son does refuse to take a nap at 3, sometimes he does, but it's rare. I but I don't want him to be awake till 8 cause then he get's less then he should get and if that happens then he is so grumpy. So him going to bed that late is not going to happen. Either way when he does nap at 3, he only stays up till 6:30. That's not me putting him down, but him getting GRUMPY which includes screaming, flailing, and then putting his head down and almost falling asleep.

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answers from Boise on

I'm not a single mom, but do work full time. My kids wake up about 6:30, drop off at daycare about 7:15-7:30, and picked up about 5. My son goes to bed at 6:30. It is awful thinking of the time that daycare gets with them that I don't. But, I try not to focus on that part and just appreciate the time we do have with them. At night, we don't eat with him, but sit with him while he eats because I don't want to be making dinner when I could be playing with him. We try not to take weekends for granted and just know that we are doing the best we can for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

His sleeping regimen will change often in the next year. I would have daycare make him take a nap, so that you can put him down around 8 (which is a normal bedtime). All kids take a nap that are that young, and if he doesn't I would be wondering what's going on at daycare???

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answers from Kansas City on

Wow, how depressing, I couldn't imagine having to do this. I hope your situation turns around for both your childs and your sake.

I wanted to address your comment regarding our system being so messed up. I'm sorry, but it is not our systems fault that you had a child before you were financially ready. It is not the systems responsibility to help you out because you made the choice to get pregnant before you could handle all of the responsibilities that came along with it.

Stacy C. said the following..."I had state aid, for med. insu. food, and cash assistance... if I didn't work, they'd take it away," and then she goes on to say that the country needs to help moms stay home with their kids. And you agreed with her. What!? Talk about messed up! It is not the country or states responsibility to pay for the choices we make! Talk about messed up. I just don't understand why so many people think it is our job (those who pay taxes and don't get any assistance) to help those who make the wrong choices. With all the "help" we give out, we are just encouraging more of this behavior. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you chose to give your child life instead of abortion, but you shouldn't expect people to help you. If people want to help you out, then that's wonderful, but don't expect it and force it.

I really do hope you get to spend more time with your son, but not on my tax dollar. Stay at home with your parents as long as you can. If they are willing to help you out, then take it, that's wonderful they are helping you. But don't expect them to change their house around simply because you decided to get pregnant. It is not neccessary to baby proof the whole house. We have not baby proofed anything in our home and our kids have never gotten hurt on anything, but then again, we are always watching them too.

Good luck with your situation and I hope you get to spend some more thime with your little guy. As you are finding out they grow up way too fast! Can you take any online classes to help you spend more time with him? Is it absolutely neccessary right now for you to go to school, or could you wait until he starts kindergarten? Right now, you are still very young and would still be young when he went off to kindergarten and could go to school then. Just an idea for you to spend more time with him. Best of luck to you!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

One thing that got me through was something my husband's stepsister said. Even though it's hard on you, this is a time he will never remember. Spend as much time with him as you can, but remember that everything you're doing, school, work, whatever, will make your lives better in the future, and that will be what he remembers.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Just hold out that when you get it all together he will still be there for you to love.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I know it is hard!! You just need to look at the positive example you are setting for your son. He is young right now and it probably doesn't look to you like he is noticing but you are trying to make a prosperous life for the two of you. I had to start back to work when my son was a month old and that was very hard on me but we both appreciate our time together a little bit more. Getting him up in the morning with a simple kiss and giving him lots of hugs before getting his clothes on means the world to him. Things will lighten up and you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are really hard for a single mother but enjoy the little time you have with your son. Trials make us all stronger!! Believe me!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I hate this too. I've actually enjoyed going back to work, and it was high time for my 4 year old to be in a more daily school-type situation, but my 22m old is KILLING me! I want to spend more time with him, and I'm going to have to find some way to cut my hours after October (that's as soon as I think I can get away with it and not lose my job completely). Having some actual money finally and being away from the kids has been fantastic for me, but I didn't want to be away THIS much! All I can say is spend as much time on the weekends and in the mornings and evenings with him as you possibly can. I really wish I had a solution!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

When I worked, I had 2 kids. I did get to see them more than 3 hours a day, but it was very very hard to put them into daycare. They were 1 1/2 and about 3 months old. I had state aid, for med. insu. food, and cash assistance... if I didn't work, they'd take it away, and I'd lose the apparment.. I was a single mom at the time, and very young...
Ok, I know one person wrote to do everything while your son is young and when he is older and "REALLY" needs you you 'd be there, but this is not entirely true.
I don't want to make you feel worse, but very early parental bonding is so very important! Not just to your son, but to you! It is brain chemicals that help you bond!!
Isn't it sad how it is proven time and time again that having a parent w/ a child full time is better in the long run w/ not only school, but the law etc. (not true in EVERY case, but most) and the state gives aid to only those who are working??? I think our country needs to help moms stay home with there kids, and encourage us to do so. (If you can't tell, I am quite conservative). Most other countries give paid maternity leave for like 3+ months, AND paid paternaty leave! How about that? And that is NORMAL! NOT this 6 weeks unpaid, and only some companies giving some sort of pay...
How do you get more time? Simple, If it is ok w/ your parents, stop working, and do only your school, or vise versa. Had I have been smarter (I almost 20 when I had my 2nd), I would have either moved in w/ my dad or my grandparents. And I would have tried to be w/ my kids as much as possible.
I see my older sis getting about as much time w/ her 2 kids (almost 16 and 2 1/2) but she doesn't seem to mind... the daycare potty trained my niece!! I find it hard to believe that she chooses that... but she does.
I think you also need to look at your long term goals... Where do you want to be in a year, 5 years, 10?
Also, you should find some support in a local church... even if you aren't a believer you can find some very nice people there...
Sorry I put such strong thoughts forward, but I truely am trying to help! Your son will only be a baby once....

p.s. can you try a work at home? or maybe even do a daycare yourself??

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My theory on it is he is really young, and I would do school now and get it out of the way, so when he gets older and REALLY needs you (not that he doesn't now but it's different kinds of needs and wants when older) you will be able to be there for him. You're getting your life together and it takes time! Just remember why you are going to school, why you are working, what you are trying to establish in your life...I bet the answers all involve him. =) Keep your head up!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Just keep telling yourself....You are doing the best that you can. Good for you that you were able to move back in with your parents. I'm so glad that you have their support. Think about all the great memories that your son will have living with grandparents. Don't be so hard on yourself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

You're doing your best to improve your situation for your son. Don't be so hard on yourself. Try to accept that the time you are spending with him is quality time when you're happy to be with him and interacting with him. You are a hero in your son's eyes!

Working when you have kids is hard. I was just threatened with layoff last week. On the one hand I was terrified (I'm the breadwinner in our house), but on the other hand I thought... well, could we just declare bankruptcy and live off unemployment for a while?? I'd love to spend some time with the kids! But practicality reared its ugly head and I accepted that I have to pull my kids out of school, move my family 200 miles away, in order to keep my job and keep spending all day away from my kids. Ugggggh!

I don't really have any advice except that you are in good company. All of us moms who work wish that we could spend more time with our little ones. It's hard, but honestly we live in a country where big business rules, and big businesses don't care if families spend time together. =(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Being a single, working mom is really, really hard. Trust me, I know all too well. You do begin to feel like you never get to see your kids, but I had to work to keep a roof over their heads. We tried as much as possible to keep things light and fun when we did have time together. Not getting to see them often was a trade off for not having to see the look on their faces if I had to tell them we couldn't afford a single thing they wanted or needed.
My kids actually did fine with me working, they were proud of me. I've had really hard jobs, including managing an insurance agency.

Everything you are doing now is to make a better life for yourself and your son. You should be proud of that. Try not to let your little boy pick up on your feelings of depression and not being able to see him as much as you'd like because then he will think something's wrong that he has no real capacity to understand right now. He's loved, he's fed, he's happy. Those are all good things.
Try not to be so hard on yourself.
Millions of single moms work, sometimes more than one job, to take care of their kids and if you'll notice, all these famous football stars who were raised by single moms.....they say they owe everything to their moms (and take pretty darn good care of them!) :)

Your son will be fine and so will you. Even stay at home moms know that there are never enough hours in the day. That's just part of life.
Look on the bright side....
Soon you'll be getting a car and eventually be able to bring work home with you. You have a lot of positives to look forward to.

Hang in there and keep up the great work!

Best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My MIL had to leave my hubby with his grandmother almost full time to get her nursing degree. She did it to give him a better life, and she did! He is now in his thirties and they are great friends. In fact when he was in his twenties he worked at a restaurant so he would sometimes go to midday movie before his shift. One day he bumped into his mom and they were midday movie buddies for a while and they both joke about how fun that was. So even though you aren't with him as much as you want to be, he feels that your heart is to be there. My mom had to work graveyards at a refinery when I was growing up, one time on Christmas!! But you know what I remember, I remember skipping through a parking lot with her and my sis because we were all so happy she had four days off:) If your parent is doing all they can and when they are with you they love it, you turn out just fine. Hang in there and just know that it won't always be like this and everything really will be Ok:)

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answers from San Francisco on

You're doing the best you can...

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I know you are upset about not seeing your child but make the most of the time you get to be with him. It looks like you are trying to make a better life for yourself and your baby but it isn't the systems responsibility to help you out. I really hate the people that thing the world should help them out because they think the deserve it. I don't mind it if people get state assistance and then try to get off as soon as they can. But I am a working mom and with 2 children. I have a husband as well. A few months ago my husband graduated college. But it was the hardest thing while putting him through school. He worked full time and went to school full time. It was very difficult because sometimes I felt like a single mom because he was never around. But it has gotten better since he finished. Sometimes we have to do things that will take us away from our kids just so we can make it better life for them. I really hope you can get a place of your own so that you can start living your life with your son. Good luck.



answers from Denver on

Welcome to real life. There are a lot of women in your shoes--and not just b/c you are a single Mom. I am probably the polar opposite of you--happily married, had my kids much much older, and experienced, but I also don't spend much time w/ my 1 and 2 year old during the week. I have a career and work full time, as does my husband, so that our kids can have a good life, a safe place to live, and someday go to college. Be proud that you are providing for your son! Yes, it all comes with a price, but you knew that when you got pregnant I'm sure. You'll get used to it, knowing there really aren't a ton of other options, and you really are doing the best thing for your child. When he hits his 2s, you'll HAPPILY drop him off at daycare!

And yes, the U.S. does not offer the same Mommy options as places like France, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do. Too bad for all of us, but enough wishing and hoping, right? That won't do you any good, so let go of that part. You live in a wonderful place where you have to take accountability for your actions. It will force you to stay in school, get your degree, and get a decent job, rather than lean on the "system" as you say. Good luck--it will only get better.

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