Single Mothers, Working Mothers Depression and Anxiety Disorders

It is no wonder that single mothers and working mothers become depressed. We are doing the jobs of too many people. We usually do not have enough help. The help that is offered is often more of a burden that it is helpful. People guess at what will be helpful rather than asking us.

It is hard for other women to understand the stress on single mothers. This is also true for working mothers that do not get enough support from their husbands.  

We cannot go out and spend time doing social things that other women do. They ask us to come along with them and they are offended when we keep telling them no. It becomes a burden on the relationship and we end up losing the friendships with our female friends. We become more alienated.

Our families may try to help but they do not know what would be helpful. If their effort to help us, they often create more anxiety for us. The teachers at the school expect us to be able to all the things that other mothers do, but we cannot keep up.

Our boss is demanding when we are at work. Being a single mother is no excuse for not living up to all the obligations of our job. We are exhausted when we get home from work, but there is no rest.

We are still working until  we drop from exhaustion.We fall into bed and have thoughts running through our heads about all the things we did not get done today and have to add onto tomorrow’s schedule, which was already overloaded.

We have little time to do anything for ourselves. We have little or no time to rest. There is no end to the endless responsibility and endless stream of chores, errands, workload, and unexpected problems.

On top of that, people are always complaining to us that we “should” be doing things in a different or “better” way.What they mean of course is that we should be doing things their way. But they have no concept of how our brains are suffering in torment.

Everyone had suggestions and criticism about how we should be doing things differently. My ex mother in law once told me that I should spend all Sunday afternoon making casseroles to freeze so that I would not have to cook during the week. “Then you just pop them out of the freezer and microwave them”, she said. She had decided that this was the answer for me because my “perfect” sister in law did that.

First of all, I tried to explain to her that my  kids and my husband (her son) hated casseroles and would never eat them. Then I tried to explain to her that I was entirely too exhausted by the weekend, from work, to stand in the kitchen and cook for five hours every Sunday. Nevertheless, the bought me the casserole book that my sister in law used and insisted that I try it.

My sister in law did not work and was maintained in a rich fashion be her husband. He ability and desire to make casseroles was completely different than mine. Come to think of it, I had no desire to eat frozen microwaved casseroles every night for dinner either!

Speaking of crying, we don’t even have time or any private space to do that. We don’t want to break down in front of the kids. We have no time for therapists or to go out with friends to vent. We cannot cry at work without  appearing incompetent. So that leaves us to cry in our car for 5 minutes when we get home from work, before we go into the house.

We worry about the kids while we are at work. We worry about work when we are home. We feel guilty about leaving the kids to go to work.If we cut back our hours to spend more time with the kids, then we feel guilty that we are not making enough money to take care of them.

No matter what we are doing or where we are, we feel like we should be doing or worrying about something else. We are happy we have children but at the same time we feel guilty that we have ended up in a position of being so overworked that we do not have enough energy for them.

The guilt leads to a lowering of our self esteem and we become depressed. The constant worrying turns into a severe anxiety condition that interferes with our ability to function as well as we used to.

We feel behind all the time. We have trouble keeping up with the kids doctor appointments and their homework. We feel more and more like we are getting sucked into a pit of quicksand.

Our own minds begin to work against us. Our brains begin to fill with obsessive thoughts that are fearful about the future and regretful about the past. Why did we end up here? How can we keep going like this? Who are we anymore?

We begin to lose touch with our own identity. We are not a whole person anymore. We are fragments of different people who wear different hats at different parts of the day.We keep changing hats from work, to mom, to nurse to the kids, to the person that has to talk to the teacher, to the bad friend who has said “NO” the last 5 times our girlfriend has asked us out for lunch.

We have little time to talk on the phone to a friend and even then we are interrupted. We crave a moment to ourselves, a moment of rest and peace. We feel guilty that we want to do something for ourselves. We want to be beautiful again and desirable to men. We want to be a woman who is allowed to have needs and desires.

But there is no time and if we make the time, we feel guilty the entire time we are out. Men have trouble understanding that we want to check in with out kids while we are on a date. They feel slighted because after all, men want our attention as much as the kids do.

We are more and more and more drug along by life and the schedule that we are not able to keep up with. We cannot continue without something having to give somewhere. We are headed for a breakdown.

We can become very depressed to the point where we have clinical depression. At this point we need help but we are still in the same boat of not having time to do anything for ourselves. We have no space during our week to schedule a therapy session or even a doctor appointment.

We put it off, We become filled with more and more anxiety and depression. We cannot continue.

This happens. It happened to me. We have to find a way to reach out and get help from someone, somewhere.We cannot just keep ignoring the feelings that our mental health is in jeopardy. Our feelings are trying to tell us something.

It does not get better without reaching out for help. Reach out to someone, whether is be a friend, a  paid service for chores and errands, a therapist for counseling, the church, or anyone who will be compassionate. You need to talk to someone who will listen.

Look through your schedule and find something that can wait, even if for a few weeks, so that you can use the time to help yourself. You have become conditioned to feel that all of those things you do for others are life and death. You might be surprised when you take a second look at your routine.   If you change your perspective, to seeing the situation as a personal mental health emergency, you might find something that can be put aside for a time.

Behavior that repeats over and over becomes imbedded in the brain. It feels like there is no other possible way to do things. Find someone else to take your kids to church for you every other week  and take a yoga class or sleep in. Have a niece help help you around the house and pay them by a barter. They may be glad just to get out of their own house for a change and spend time with you.

Think of anyplace that might have free counseling and also might offer assistance to you for a short time, like the church or a community organization. Be creative and barter for services, like laundry and making dinner.

Another parent from the school may be in the same boat as you are.  They may be happy to trade days driving the kids to school, so they can have a few mornings to themselves also. Or maybe to take turns one night per week, making the dinner for all of the kids.  This way each of you has one night off.

Seek out other single working mothers who might feel like they are drowning just like you are. Get ideas and help each other. Think outside the box a little and do not stay locked into your same schedule.

Every tiny difference you make, could make a difference to your mental health. Being locked into the same exact routine for too long is devastating to your mental well being. Humans are built for some variation in routine. It stimulates the creative centers of the brain and will help you to think of more ideas and to be less depressed.

The longer we go without help, the worse it gets. Make the time for yourself. Do not feel guilty. If you crash then what will happen? You are not superhuman, even though  other people may be relentless in their efforts to demand the world from you.

All the adults that are making demands of your time are only looking out for their own agenda. It is your turn to look out for yourself and your family.

Your kids will probably not mind a change in the routine, because they are probably stressed over the same day to day routine as well. Get help and be creative. The more you think outside the box, the better you will be able to make small alterations in order to preserve your sanity.

Take care of yourself.

Blessings,

Annie

Bullying from Your Boss

narcissistic bosses

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Live Simply

declutter

Little Girls Grow up but They are Still Your Little Girl

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Dreaming of the Beach

Beach Dreaming………………………………………

I have not been on a vacation since I was married and on my honeymoon, which was only a visit to my aunt in Connecticut. We could not afford a hotel, so we stayed with my wonderful aunt, who was great, but it was not really a honeymoon.

That would have been quite  while ago, because my daughter is 18 and we were married three years before we had her. So, I guess that 3 day vacation was about 22 years ago.

My husband decided to look for martial arts schools to go visit and work out in, and leave me at my aunt’s  house. He also ruined the honeymoon by scheduling something that cut our vacation short. So, it was three days at my aunt’s house and he only spent some of the time with me.

That is how my marriage started and it got worse from there.

In college, I had a sweet boyfriend and we drove to Florida one time. My father was living there and stayed with him. It was the last real vacation, with beach and ocean time, that I ever had. I was 19 years old then. Now I am 49.

I love the ocean. The way it smells. The way it sounds. The way it looks when the sun sparkles on the waves.

In high school, about 9th grade, before my mother left my step father, we used to go as a family to Ocean City , Baltimore. My step father had a timeshare there. He would take my mother, my sister and I a few times a summer. We stayed for a week or so, eating at nice restaurants and sunning at the pool.

annie beach

It was very nice. I would swim in the ocean and then swim in the hotel pool. I love swimming. I miss it.

So, one day handsome guy will some and take me away to the ocean. If not, then I move myself there when I am older, maybe 60.  I will be one of the people on beach, painting the ocean on my easel,  and then playing guitar at the local bar in the evening.

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It is a beautiful dream ❤

When Times are Hard…Time for Chocolate !

chocolate mug

Believe in Yourself !

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Financial Emergency – Hoping to Find the Silver Lining

I am going to be off from work for the weekend. My CNA license has expired. I received letters to my current address about the fact that a renewal letter was on its way. Then the renewal letter was sent to my old address, and I never received it.

The facility I work at was forced to pull me off the schedule. It is not their fault. They are only allowed to have nurses and nurse aides with valid, current licenses. I am not upset with them. They could get into legal trouble if there were any incident such as a patient fall, and I was the aide they had to list on the paperwork. Falls to happen from time to time, when the residents are in their rooms, because we cannot be on all the rooms at the same time.

This is good and bad , but I am trying to think positive.  I will lose the pay for the entire weekend. As I am going paycheck to paycheck, this is a huge problem as far as buying enough food for my kids to eat. There are a few food banks near here.

I can go to the local food banks, in order to get some canned food. If need be, there is also a soup kitchen. I used to eat there years ago. Some of the homeless people might still recognize me.

The good things about not being allowed to work are:

1. I have not had a weekend off with my kids for over 5 years. I have worked every single weekend and every single holiday, including Christmas, easter, mothers day 4th of july for almost 6 years. 

2. I can use some of this time to work on what I want to work on, which is starting my own businesses.  I have skills and things I love to do.

1. I can teach guitar lessons at people’s houses and online.

2. I would love to be a home companion for elderly, hospice, and dementia. I have an idea that I could bring my guitar, some art supplies and some cognitively stimulating activities. I would individualize a plan for each person and do things that would improve, and more maintain their cognitive level.

3. I also want to do Life Coaching via Skype.  I would specialize in people with C-PTSD from childhood abuse, people that are recovering from domestic abuse. and narcissistic abuse and people with People Pleaser Syndrome. I would really love to do this, because I am very good one on one with people. as far as being compassionate, listening and giving intelligent guidance.

4. Writing –  well this one is hard to make money at right away, but I would like to do self publishing at some point in the future

5. Playing guitar and singing at nursing homes. I would love to do sing alongs at nursing homes. I have a lot of ideas for musical activities I can do with small groups

 I have a degree in music teaching and also 16 credits of graduate studies in music teaching. I am trained to do musical activities for young people, but the same ideas and activities can be adapted for the elderly.

I have 6 years experience with the elderly and dementla, so I know how to adapt the musical activities for them. I also have an art background, a teaching background and I have done activities with the dementia patients, as part of my job. (actually I was doing that extra work during the course of my shift, because I liked it, not because it was part of the CNA job description. I spent time at home getting the activities together and used my own supplies )

So, I feel like I have been underemployed for a long time. I had been through a couple of domestic abuse and narcissistic abuse situations and my self esteem was crushed down.

I feel like I work doing a combination of the skills and dreams that I have. I enjoy a varied schedule with different types of jobs during the course of the day.

It was hard for me to get my self esteem back and my traction, so to speak in order to move forward in life. I ended up in a job that was far beneath the pay grade for my education and skills.  I have been blogging since October and blogging has helped to get  my self esteem and my self confidence back.

I have met so many supportive people on here. I have gotten a wonderful group of followers and I love all of you. The connection with everyone here has helped to set me on a path of healing from both childhood abuse and also domestic and narcissistic abuse.

I am very thankful for all of you. I feel supported in moving on to a new phase in my path. I really want to use my skills to bring light into the lives of people who feel darkness and frustration. I know how that feels and I am very compassionate to that.

So, hopefully I can find a way for my kids not to starve while I am transitioning.  Any advice, ideas or encouragement  is welcome in the comments section below.

Blessings,

Annie

Sent Home From Work

I got to work and they sent me home. Apparently my CNA license expired yesterday.

I had received a letter from regarding my background check being done and cleared. Then there was another letter saying that the Renewal Letter would be sent to me. But I never received any renewal letter.

So when I called the place that does the licencing for the state. They said the Renewal Letter had been sent to my old address.

Apparently the dept that sends the initial letters to inform you that the Renewal Letter will be coming,  is a different dept that the one that actually sends out the Renewal Letter.

I had updated my address with the State Dept of Health but I guess I was also supposed to update it with the PSI agency that prints the licenses and takes your photo for the license.

I had assumed that updating my address with the State Licensing was going to update it all together.  How frustrating is bebureaucracy?

So, the guy on the phone said it was mailed to the old address.  He updated my address in his system.

He is going to email me the Renewal Letter,  hopefully in the next couple of hours, he said.  Then I have to take it to my Director of Nursing so she can sign it.

Then I have to see what days and times are available at the PSI  licensing office, which is a thirty five minute drive from here.

Then I go and get my picture retaken and hand them a money order for thirty dollars.

I do not know if I can get all this done by the weekend,  but hopefully I can.

I cannot work without the up to date CNA license.

Work is annoyed with me for letting it lapse. I tried to call just now to explain to the charge nurse what happened and why I did not receive the Renewal Letter.

I heard the Secretary tell her I was calling her about what the update was. I heard the nurse tell her she was too busy to talk to me .

I do not know if she is really too busy to take a two minute phone call. I doubt it. She is not a med nurse. She just sits in the office.

So, that is why bureaucracy is frustrating.  You try to follow the hoops,  but some of them are where you can’t see them.

My Little Niece’s First Exciting Experience Going through the Car Wash

I took the kids to the car wash – my 12 year old daughter, her boy cousin age 8 and her girl cousins ages 7 and 11.

They all thought it was fun.

The littlest one was the funniest of all ! Little Jade, age 7 was laughing so hard when the washing things came up to her windows ! She just laughed and laughed because it was such a surprise to her. Then the shower part started and they were all laughing.

Then the blowers. I told them they were like giant blow dryers. The thought that was funny too.

I am glad I thought of taking the extra kids. I knew my daughter would have more fun at the car wash, if we took a few more kids.

I was able to fit 4 kids in my car all together. Kayla , my daughter in the front and Nick, Jade, and Alexis all squished into the back seat. The little one squished into the middle.

So, I had to leave a  few kids home. I told them that when I get the car washed next month, I will take the ones who did not get to go. They were so very good about that.

I do things like that in the summer with the kids. All 5 of these cousins live in the basement apt. of this big house that I live in. Their parents and the 5 kids live there. In the basement is a kitchen, showers, bedrooms and living area..

My kids and I live in the attic, that is 3 floors above them.

It is hard for the mother to take all of them out very often. Their father is busy doing an internship. So, when I go out places with my kids during the summer, I try to take one or two of them and then alternate who goes.

So, they are used to waiting their turn and are good about that.

Anyway, the car wash is loads of fun for kids. It is especially fun if you take a little kid that has not ever been to one. It is  a great activity for under 10 dollars and the car gets clean too!

I felt good getting out in the nice weather. I can’t stay out in the sun too long because the antibiotics I am on say no sun. But a little bit of sun and nice temperature on my skin helped my mood…but not as much as that little kid laughing her head off!

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