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  1. #1
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    Default How do you calm down?

    Being a single parent comes with a whole new level of challenges in my eyes, there's no one to give you a few minutes break, you can't just nip to the shop for milk if you need a minute, or ask your partner to feed the child/ren so you can eat your dinner before its cold for once...
    You all know what I mean.

    Well yesterday was our first day of attempting toilet training, DS screamed and chucked tantrums every time I suggested going anywhere near the bathroom or toilet, or seeing on the grass. We went through six pairs of clothes and by the end of the day I was so livid that I just couldn't calm down.

    I do not really need advice on the toileting front, that is a whole kettle of fish I do not want to go into.

    But I am thinking maybe I need some new stress management strategies, so what do you other wonderful single parents do to de-stress when you can't actually take any time out for yourself?

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    I started seeing a psych recently for this very reason. There's no shame in asking for help from a professional...I know only too well the feeling you are describing.

    I sometimes chuck the kids in the double pram and take them for a walk to the park. They can play, I can walk and breathe and then sit on the grass and watch them while i get 5 minutes to myself...just to breathe. I also find I lose my psycho persona in public, and talking to other parents casually can be helpful.

    Or I call a trusted friend, i haven't many but I have my sisters on speed dial so I can just ring them and have a rave when it's all getting too much.

    And I go to work. I don't know about your circumstances, but I find going to work very soothing. I get away from the kids, I'm among adults and can have some conversation, have a vent with close colleagues if I need to. Am working on things where I actually see a result, however small, without interruption. Get a lunch break. It keeps me grounded.

  3. #3
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    Oh, I hear you SS. I, too sometimes really need a big giant stress ball to hurl at something or someone! Actaully- that's not a bad idea. From now on, if DS stresses me out- I'm going to go outside and kick the absolute cr@p out of a soccer ball against a wall.

  4. #4
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    Very good topic to discuss! I'm not coping well either. I'm actually arranging to go see a counselor to give me coping tips. I have some tips when things do get very hard and they are: if you feel your gonna scream or snap at your child. Put them in their room for 2 mins or even a few seconds ( let them cry). Go outside and breathe, count to 10 and walk back into the room. Another tip is stop pushing yourself. If the child has a temper tantrum in the supermarket and you feel your gonna break down... Just walk out and go home, take a breather like going to the park and try shopping again later. Or call your family or friend and ask if they wanna come over so you can vent and plus you have an extra hand.

    Us single mums have it tough and I think we need to learn to reach out for help every so often. It was hard for me to admit that I need counseling because everyone would say how tough I've been. Now that I've admitted that I'm struggling everyone has been saying " I don't blame you, we are here for you". I'm very eager to hear what everyone else has to say!!

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    I have no advice. A few months ago I went outside and put my fist into a brick wall and broke my hand. I have
    Never ever in all my life been pushed to that point before and by somebody so small! Needless to say I will NEVER do that again. I've had a few moments where I've walked outside and done some deep breathing exercises.

  6. #6
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    really really hard... I have 3 under 7.. they eat before I do (yep we don't eat altogether at the table.. I just can't do it as I'm up and down all the time with them and get indigestion).. so they eat early 5ish.. then I clean up after them and sort everything out.. bath them and then but them to bed in stages - 2 year old goes down at 6.30, then 4 and 7 year old go down at 7.15/7.30ish - I always hear people tell me that is early but the older ones get to read with their bedside light on for an hour before I turn the lights out. However, if I didn't get them down early then I would have no time to myself at all. Once they are in bed I eat and chill out.. I have a tv in my bedroom and I'm lucky I have an ensuite so it's up to the bedroom and I have my own space.

    One thing I've found really important is to let the kids have a bit of freedom during the day (they have a playroom/garage and outdoors but I let them build traintracks in the lounge room etc etc.. during the day) but before tea they have to tidy it all way. We have to return the main areas: kitchen, dinning room and lounge room back to normal (ie no toys or mess) before tea. It's a ritual the kids know.. there is no tea till the place is tidy. This way, by the time they go to bed the house is tidy and it's a lot less stressful.

    I also personally find it a lot less stressful to wake up to a kid-free-lounge - it doesn't stay that way to for long but it does help take the stress out of things I've found.

    oh btw.. I'm toilet training my 2 year atm so understand that can really really stress you out. I switched to the old foam/terry toweling pants (wish I had more of these!) and they are great, save on washing. Know you don't need any advice on that but it helped reduce the old stress/wash pile a bit.

    hang in there...

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    I have also been at the point of snapping really bad. There is no one to even call to have a vent or de-stress to. When the school rings for the 3rd time that week, you are on the verge of unemployment, and you are not up to dealing with that particular behaviour right now, there is nothing you can do, no other person you can call to do pick up. You just have to, once again, leave work, go home with a child you are incapable of fully being there for right at that time.


 

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