Sometimes it’s hard not having any help…

I thought I would write this post because although I hope not a lot of people will be able to relate to it, I know some people will.

 

I’m originally from Essex, but now I live in Cheshire, nearly 300 miles away from my hometown. I don’t get a lot of visits from my family to be honest, my Dad visits about four times a year and calls me once or twice a month. My Nan used to visit four times a year, but she isn’t very well and now only makes a trip once or twice a year. The last time my Mum visited was over 18 months ago, so as you can tell generally we don’t get many visits from my family.

I didn’t really notice the lack of visitors at first, but then I used to speak to my grandmother once a week, we would talk about my grandad who had passed a few years before and I would tell her all about life in Cheshire. Sadly her dementia took over before I had Monkey, now she doesn’t remember me and the phone calls started to distress her, so I never call her anymore.

 

Now when I’ve had a really difficult day I don’t really know who to call, I don’t really have anyone to talk to and although I’m very lucky and have some really incredible friends – who would listen to me until the small hours if need be – it seems a lot to put on them.

 

I have tried explaining to people I’ve met since becoming a mum, how little support I have. I have explained that we were really lucky Mr. C’s brother wasn’t on call the night I was induced with Monkey, or else we may not have had anyone to look after Bear and I may have had to have done labour on my own. I spent two days in the hospital with Monkey after my labour with him (it wasn’t an easy labour either) and Mr. C could only visit me for four hours in those two days because there was nobody to look after Bear.

 

I find myself feeling envious of my mum friends sometimes. When they are having a difficult day, they can call their mum and have a chat. If they are having a difficult week, they travel down and stay with their parents for a few days to recuperate. When they are really struggling, their parents will drive for hours just to nip in for a coffee. I don’t really have that. We would travel down south more often, but the last time I went to visit my family, there wasn’t anywhere for us to stay and we ended up spending a few hundred pound on a hotel… so it isn’t exactly cheap to take a trip down south.

 

Despite being somewhat envious of my friends, I’m also incredibly proud of myself. Despite having such little help, I actually do a really good job raising the boys. I have days where I really struggle and I have days where I wonder whether I’m doing it all wrong, but I always keep going. I always drag us out of the house on little adventures, I always makes sure we eat good, healthy food, I always make sure the boys have activities to occupy them and I always make sure the boys are happy. I always try my best and even if the day goes a bit pear shaped, the fact I keep going is enough!

 

Recently a friend of mine sent me a talk that was held in her church about how sometimes we are put into certain situations, in order to be perfectly placed to help others. It really made me think about how I could use my situation to help other people and found a really wonderful volunteer scheme that gives parents who feel a bit isolated and children who are going through a difficult time, someone to talk to and  someone to be there for them. I start the application process tomorrow, so perhaps the focus all along wasn’t what is difficult, but instead how to use that difficulty to help others.

 

 

What do you think about this? Do you think we are all perfectly placed to help other people? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

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24 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s hard not having any help…

  1. What a lovely idea and thing to do. We lived in France for the first 18 months of Jamie’s life away from family. It affected my a lot and I’m so relieved to have family so near now. Helping others in the way that you were looking for help sounds really lovely. I’m sure your friends wouldn’t mind though and may tell you off if they read this 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you have a good support network now, it definitely makes things easier. Thank you, I’m hoping I can use my experiences to help other people who are going through a difficult time.

  2. Oh boy, can I relate. I live in Sweden and had my kids here. My partner is close to his family, but they aren’t MY family. I always felt they didn’t do enough to help me through my pregnancies (I had hyperemesis gravidarum and was very poorly), and certainly not when they were babies, although at times I did think perhaps I was being over dramatic. That was until my partner’s sister had her babies and how different things are with how much help and support she gets. I just missed having people to hang out with and share mummy stories, but was very lucky to have had an amazing online pregnancy support group to help me through the tougher days x

    1. That’s awful, I’m so sorry to hear about your experiences. I’m glad you found such a great and supportive online community to help you through those difficult times. Sending love.

  3. Well done for wanting to turn your situation into something positive! I moved to be closer to my family just before my baby was born so could have easily been in your shoes – I completely sympathise. Well done you!

    1. Oh thank you, it will be nice using my experiences to help other people who are having a difficult time. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. My parents live ten minutes away but never offer to help, so I can relate, but not because of a physical distance. I have other family in the same town who don’t ever call. I’ve mentioned to them and my parents quite a few times in the six months since my baby was born, that they are more than welcome and I would love for them to spend time with her. But they don’t and it makes me sad. There’s no family problems or drama or whatnot; I think they’d all just rather be gardening.

    My in-laws live far away but would be round every day if they could be, which makes my own parents’ lack of interest all the more frustrating.

    Thanks for writing about this; I too struggle with the feeling of being isolated and am envious of my mum friends whose family are happy to help. The volunteering sounds like a lovely way to turn your experience into something positive.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you are a difficult situation. It’s frustrating when the people we expect to be supportive just aren’t. I’m really glad your in-laws are so supportive, even if it is from a distance. I think motherhood can be lonely and it’s so important to build up a network of ‘mum friends’ for when the times are difficult. Sending love.

  5. Similar. A couple of years ago I had awful flu. No-one local took my pleas for help seriously. It shook me up. I am afraid of getting too close to other people but the problem with that is it goes two ways. Then people don’t feel close to me either!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you had such a difficult time, it can be so difficult when we reach out and still don’t get the support we need. I really hope you feel comfortable enough to trust in people in the future. Sending love.

    1. Parenting can be quite difficult when there is little or no support. I think our situation definitely makes us stronger as a family unit though.

  6. You should be so proud of yourself. I can completely relate. I feel very isolated and alone as I don’t have a lot of support around me at all. You’re doing an amazing job xx

    1. Thank you, that is very kind of you to say. Parenting can be very difficult, especially when there is little or no support. It’s awful feeling isolated, please reach out if you ever need somebody to speak to on the more difficult days xx

  7. i too have family that live far away,but I am tempted to move closer, because as you said it can become lonely, but just know that they are always at the other end of the phone if needed.

    1. Parenting can be quite difficult when there is little or no support. I’m glad you have people on the other end of the phone who you can talk to when you need to.

  8. I could have written this myself as I have no one to ring and talk to or help with my children either. My mum died when I was young and while I do see my dad often he does not look after my children and I couldn’t really talk to him about personal stuff. My other half’s family are useless as they always have his sisters kids and not ours. I too had to stay in hospital for two days and the other half could only stay for a few hours as he had are then 14 month old with him as no one would watch her. xx

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that your situation is so difficult. Parenting is a lot harder when there is little or no support. I found the hospital stay when I had Monkey very isolating, I hope you felt a lot better once you were home. Sending love.

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