Your dilemmas: I'm a single mum and every day is getting worse

Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist addresses one reader's concerns
Your dilemmas: I'm a single mum and every day is getting worse
"I don't know what to do with my life..." Picture: Stock shot posed by model.

Dear Joan

I am a single mother and I don’t have anyone to help me with my four-year-old daughter and one-year-old boy.

Their dads are not helping me even though I have been in court lots of times to get maintenance from them.

I am sick and tired of trying to get help for me and the kids. I am constantly in debt and worrying about money. I never get a break from the kids and everything falls on me. I am 22 and feel my life is a prison.

I get cross a lot with the kids and found myself slapping them a lot lately. I can’t help it, they are so bold and won’t do anything I tell them. We are in a tiny one- bed apartment, you couldn’t swing a cat in it. I am so fed up.

Nothing is working out and sometimes I can’t even get out of bed even. My doctor is useless and my family won’t help and have nothing to do with me! I am sick of hearing about people not getting homes and being on the street, but where I am now I would willingly swap places!

Please tell me what to do, I don’t know what to do with my life and I’ve these two hanging off of me. Every day is getting worse.

Dear Reader

Wow! That is my immediate reaction to your letter, to be quite frank!

You sound like you feel you are dying in quicksand. It sounds like you’re being buried alive there!

I do sympathize with your plight but I’ve also got to be honest with you. You must get yourself and your children help and support NOW!

You have had these two children and are responsible for them. While their dads are also responsible, it doesn’t sound like their responsibility is going anywhere fast, sadly.

Will you please go back to your GP and tell him what you have told me. There are lots of services in the HSE which are there to help you. You cannot keep going as you are!

You sound totally burnt out emotionally, psychologically and physically. Also the financial pressures are too much for you on your own. There are Social Welfare services and some family support systems in place within the HSE and other departments who are there to help.

If your doctor won’t help, try another one. In fairness, GP services are quite good once the patient lets the doctor know what’s really going on.

You are also allowed six sessions of therapy through the HSE when you have a medical card, and I expect you do. However, this will not be a quick fix so you will need to have patience. But if you preserve, it will work out for you.

You are so very young to have so much responsibility, this is tough for you, no doubt. You should be out having fun at your age! But you have brought two little ones into the world and they now need you or someone to take care of them. You cannot so all of this on your own so go and ask for the help and support you need and deserve.

With therapy and support you can also examine your family system and see if there is anything you can do there in terms of getting a better relationship built there.

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