How do I get by?
December 16, 2012 9:53 AM Subscribe
Tips for single parents?
posted by tylerkaraszewski to Human Relations (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am not strictly a single parent at the moment, but my wife is completely debilitated by (and to be realistic, will almost certainly die from, eventually) colon cancer, leaving me as the primary caregiver for our 15-month-old daughter. I am coming into this as the breadwinner in a traditional working father/stay-at-home mother family. I am lucky to have a good salary, which will allow me to hire a full time nanny to work 8-4 mon-fri, which is just barely enough time for me to go to work.
This still leaves me responsible for 16 hours of child care per day on weekdays, and 24 hours a day on weekends. I can get some help from friends, family and neighbors, but working around their schedules and trying not to be too much of a burden on anyone on particular is difficult and not particularly reliable. I can only afford to pay for so much child care, and the nanny is using up most of that.
This has been going on for about a month now and I have made a few strides (my daughter sleeps through the night now, from 7:30 till about 5:00AM), but I am still completely overwhelmed. To make things even more difficult, I also need to take my wife to doctor's appointments and chemotherapy treatments several times per week (although the nanny can do some of this as well).
I don't really know how to cope with this indefinitely. I feel like I can't bail fast enough to keep afloat, and on top of that, no one really knows how long my wife will survive, or if she'll ever really be well enough to care for her daughter until then.
Does anyone have any tips, advice, or resources for someone in my position? As an aside, it's a bit infuriating how few parenting resources seem to cater to fathers at all.