I’m a single mom of 3 boys ages 15, 13, and 3. I do not live close to any family members and because I’m a mom 24/7 with no personal time except work, I have no “friends.” I have one co-worker who is a single mom of 4 boys that lives 45 minutes away. She and I have both agreed to watch each other’s children one night a week, so we can pick up an extra shift at work. Her mom style is a little different from mine. Meaning, she lets her four boys scream inside, jump on furniture, throw temper tantrums, fight each other, etc… I appreciate her helping me immensely, but I’m starting to see her children’s behavior influencing my youngest son’s choices and actions. I feel like raising my children on my own and having to counteract behavior issues that were never a concern before are even more exhausting. I have asked my youngest son’s dad several times for help with $ for daycare and splitting the time to watch our child when he’s sick so I don’t miss numerous days of work to no avail. He is homeless, lives in his car, has no bills, but can’t take off work and come to my house to watch our son because he needs the money. My two older boys help me here and there, but it’s more of a maturity thing that makes it difficult for them to watch my youngest son for hours at a time. I’m beyond frustrated and I don’t know what to do. I live in a small town with a large population of older people without many other single moms in the area. Should I ignore the unpleasant behavior my son is picking up and be grateful for the help? How do a build a support system with no family around? When do I say that enough is enough with my youngest son’s father when he only wants to see our son when it’s convenient for him and doesn’t help financially or in emergency situations even though I try to support his involvement at all costs? I’m so lost, and I feel like I’m letting my children down every day. I work 60 hours a week, just to stay afloat and try my best to be present at home with my children. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Have you looked into child care vouchers? My state has a non-welfare voucher for children under 6 and not in kindergarten yet.
At the very least, bring up your feelings about the situation. Especially since that type of behavior could get one of your kids hurt. I babysat until my son was diagnosed with Autism and I stopped because I was afraid he would hurt one of the kids I was watching. If she cares, she will understand. If you are that uncomfortable it may be best to just find a new provider.
Everyone parents differently. It sounds as though she picks her battles and has decided the things you mentioned were just not worth the fight.
You cannot expect her to change her parenting style to fit yours.
Either have her watch your child or don’t.
Let the 15 year old babysit
I feel you. No advice but I know how you feel
So you have 3 different kids by 3 different dads-ish. You are getting free help by another single mom, trying to make due with what she has and you want to berate her bc your boys are now rough and tumble due to her boys being rough and tumble. I’m not sure why you threw in the info about your homeless baby daddy if your problem is your free babysitter. I think you’re just trying to get a sympathy comment rather than actual help.
Hit all those dads with some child support.
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I would definitely find someone else or have your oldest do it and pay him to babysit.
Talk to her about it. It’s literally the best thing you can do and tell her about how you do it with your boys. Like don’t force her to change her children but explain to her that you do things differently
The teenagers know better.
You say," We’re not at ______ house we don’t do that here or you can say," take it outside" how about say, one more time and I’m taking away _______ for the rest of the day. You need her help right now and if she’s not abusive you got ta. He is homeless. Not a very good role model and if he has no Bill’s and lives in his car he’s spending his money on a bad habit. I’m sorry things are so tuff right now. Your older children are going to half to understand that your home and her home run differently.
Can you tap into a church or other religious institution to find sitters? How about those old people? Are there retirement villages where lonely old people or couples would watch your kids for the fun of it? Are your kids in scouts or other activities where you can make friends with other parents? Is there a “Big Brother/Sister” Program available?
I’m sorry, your life sounds so hectic. Where do you live? Maybe someone on this forum could help you out. Does Care.com have any listings in your area?
Idk what state you are in but NY has day care assistance. All you have to do is go to social services and apply. If you are approved which is mainly based on your income, you can get help paying for daycare.
File for child support he is working but not supporting his kid !!!
You know alot of older parents dont live close to their grandkids would prob. Be happy to help you, then maybe in the summer your older one could mow their grass…
Why cant the older 2 watch the youngest?
I mean, you have to let them know the rules of your house. They can play like that at theirs but not your house. That’s what I’ve done with a few of my friends kids. Tell them no we dont at like that in my house. Then there should be punishments like time out. No tv. Etc… and talk it over with the mom. And let her know.
The fifteen year old.is old enough to baby sit let him watch.the.children
I agree 15 year old could do it. I was babysitting at 13.
Be thankful you have someone to watch your kids so you can work!!
This is where you teach your kids not all households are the same and if they bring that behaviour home with them, they’ll be grounded.
Yes it might be unfair to them but if you don’t let them then keep on stopping them.
And if you need that lady for the shift, just let it slide. Worry about your kids and how to make money.
Here’s a FB group that you can join & see if you can find other Moms in your area
Mama’s support and chat forum.
Also search for Mom groups & the city you’re in.
You’d be surprised what kind of network there is out there for Moms in your area.
Check with your kids teachers and see if they have any resources for programs or leads to help out.
In the mean time, stay strong & don’t lose hope. You’re doing a great job Mama!! You’re NOT FAILING your children. This is just a rough patch.
Their Dad is useless so don’t even consider depending on him. He will justcause you more grief.
Also, Don’t depend on your oldest to pick up the slack. Once in a while is ok,But ultimately It’s not fair to put that responsibility on him.
You got this Girl!!
If she’s a single mom I would say dont throw unneeded stress on her. I couldn’t imagine being a single mom of 4 boys the two I have with my husband are crazy enough. She’s probably trying her best and if your styles don’t mesh then walk away. Don’t make her feel bad for her kids being the way they are. Some kids are
More hyper and you have no idea how her children’s behavior already effects her. Instead of pointing out the obvious and making this woman feel bad about herself why not offer help or advice. It’s obvious she’s overwhelmed and STILL doing you a favor. We all cope with this mommin life differently and no one has the right to judge!
Child support? People saying the older son should babysit. Wrong. He is also a child. He didn’t have those kids. Ask him to babysit. If he doesn’t want to, do not force him.
It is not his responsibility. You need to be collecting child support for your kids.
Or be careful who you have kids with.
Unless you isolate the child he will pick up behavior from anywhere just reinforce your rules and expectations
Your 15 year old can watch them. I was babysitting at 13 years old
My 2 cents here: why don’t you tap into that older generation? I’m sure there’s some lonely seniors who would love to help you out.
Kind of scary to want the youngest ones dad to help out unless your kid stays in his car while you work long hours, or you let him stay with you. Maybe find a roommate that can trade off child care and help with the bills. You might not have to pick up that extra shift if someone split the bills with you.
Go to child support for starters
Do the older boys have close friends at school? Do you think you could find the time to get to know one of their friends parents and come to a similar agreement? I know it’s easier said than done. Until then, just keep enforcing your rules at home Mama!
If you do not like her parenting style… do NOT confront her… find another sitter. End of story.
But you can implement rules at your own house.
I believe the 15 and 13 year old could babysit. I have a kid at 15 🤷
Cynthia your perception of the homeless is not necessarily right. “he has no bills & lives in his car he’s spending his money on a bad habit” Do you realize how much it costs to eat when you don’t have a refrigerator or stove to cook? That right there can cost all your money. Plus he has laundry to wash at a laundromat, gas for his car. Plus just because he’s homeless doesnt mean he doesn’t have bills. He likely pays a phone bill. It’s his only connection for interviews, Dr visits etc. He could have past utility bills or back rent he’s trying to pay off so he can get a place to live. This notion that the homeless must have “bad habits” or they’d have money is completely wrong. Bring homeless is expensive to survive.
Either you want her help or not … You have a 15yo that’s perfect age to leave the other 2 with. Don’t make your life complicated Just make a decision.
The woman these days dont
Take time to find out what
Kind of man they are getting till
It to late. And that is sad
Move closer to family or
Ur 15 yr old can watch the kids
Dont watch ur co worker kids anymore! Its more problems and annoying
Process child support in DA office…they will charge him child support in his paycheck. All u need is the company name and location. His name. Dont tell father u r doing this!!! He will quit his job and go in hiding just cuz he doesnt wanna share his money.
Doesn’t matter that he lives in his car or homeless, he should be providing for his kids at least financially. U would no longer be struggling and shouldn’t have to work extra hrs. Approx. $700 for all 3 kids each month for child support.
Ur too soft and is why u have so many problems
Ur not being a gold digger.
District attorney office for child support.
Ur ex husband will always be a loser and always say he has no money…yes he does have money hes not paying rent nor Bill’s.
U r ruining ur boys character by explosing them to bad behavior in ur home
You don’t get to decide how she raises her kids but I wouldn’t ignore the behavior. If you don’t like it arrange other care for your child. Offer to pay your 15 year old a little bit of money to help you out. As for the dead beat dads, just don’t even count on them or take him to court for child support. You’ll make it on your own even if it’s hard.
For everyone saying let the teenagers watch the 3 year old…She states in the post that her older children CAN NOT watch the little one due to maturity issues.
First of all…take their father to court for child support so if he does work they will take it out of his check. Second…tell your friend you appreciate her watching your boys and vice versa BUT the rules in your house are no rough housing etc…then set up visitation through the courts for their Dad!!
Get child support at least. I would also tell your older boys you’ll pay them to babysit their brother then give them a list of dos and don’ts. Plus side of that you don’t have to watch her kids and you’ll have more time for yours.
U need to pick ur battles so ur not so stressed…I would continue to let the child see their father weather u like it or not it’s not ALL about money a child needs both parents (if possible) in their life & as for ur friend maybe when it’s ur turn to babysit u could help “train” the children maybe give them chores and have talks with them about manners etc etc like u said ur both single mothers so I’m sure she feels just as helpless if not worse
Your kiddos have to adjust to being consistent with your expectation. When school starts I guaranteed there will be a student with behavior needs and your son will have to adjust to your consistent expectation vs following. At four your asking too much from him, as he grows he will learn. Definitely request child support. Your sons deserve the assistance. Hang in!
It’s not a healthy situation. Your youngest is modeling their behavior. It’s not worth it. No one is going to teach better than you, his mom. I would not had ever let let them stay with one child behaving that way, let alone 4 kids😵
There are always high school girls looking for babysitting opportunities. Maybe try to find one that is responsible and can drive. Maybe you can pay her to babysit (the 3 yr. Old) at your home. And maybe you could give her a little extra to check in on the teens and report any behaviors from them. That may teach the bigger boys to be more responsible. They could learn from her. They will likely not want her around so they will eventually offer to take on the responsibility themselves. Good luck mom!
Girl if I’m watching my neighbors kids, they can’t act at my house how they act at home. “AHT AHT” them and they need to be on their best behavior when at my house. If my kids don’t act like that, someone else’s kids won’t in my house. My neighbors kid listens to be and not his dad and that’s sad cuz he doesn’t listen to him at all.
The 15 and 13 year old are old enough to stay at home by themselves as well as they can watch the 3 year old with no problem. Also maybe you can work something out with your sons dad so he doesn’t have to sleep in the car and y’all can switch off I know he can not possibly be working 7days a week unless he has 2 jobs. I’m not saying get back together more so like a I scratch your back you scratch mine. Times are hard and since you are far from family just a suggestion. Then you two can work around one another’s schedule.
Parents without partners is an EXCELLENT support system.
You need to get in a good church and build up support system. Most larger churches have help for single mothers
I don’t understand why you don’t have your oldest watch the younger ones. He’s plenty old enough. Leave a list of emergency numbers and tell him what you expect from him.
Your oldest is 15 he should be able to help watch the kids it’s time to grow up
The man who cany pay child support because he has not money is usually the same man who cant watch the kids because he had to work.
That was my exact situation for years upon years.
Hes out of the picture now.
They have high school students that can help for a low price. Check the school out.
From the standpoint of being 66, would some of your older neighbors be willing to keep an eye on the boys?
U need to take ur kids out of that situation… put the lil guy in day care… the 13 and 15 yr old should be able to stay alone with some strict orders…go to court get child support from tbe dead beat dad…
Go to your local work force they will help pay for your day care
I know DHS here gives childcare vouchers maybe check into that?
Isn’t 15 old enough to watch his siblings?
Many college students in the early childhood education classes babysit. Check with the local colleges.
Yes, fire her and get a good sitter or your kids will be brats!!
This is my advise don’t let your kid act like them it not fair to you and when u have her kids tell them they have to mind u what they do at home is ther business but what they do at your houses is your business don’t let your child be a mess cause she don’t make hers mind u are the adult and tell your kid u are not having him to act that way by omega Collins
I can actually say this coming from the other side, there was a time I was the one watching others kids. My oldest has autism along with some other things ocd adhd and especially sensory processing disorder make our household crazy at times (to others) one of the moms got mad at me because her son started picking up on the things my son would do. Repetitive speech, banging his head on things, crying over things that no one understood like the way his tshirt felt. And she got mad at me. Told me it was too unruly for her child. But here’s rhe thing…no one should have ti change how they parent their own children, to please the parent they are babysitting for. That’s up to you to try and either make your kids understand what you expect our of them, or find another babysitter whose lifestyle is more similar to yours. As long as the kids are safe, and fed and actually being taken care of, then she is doing her job as a baby sitter. That comes off harsh and i don’t mean it to but it’s reality. If something is going on where it is unsafe then absolutely speak up about it. If she’s willing, send a list of things they can and can’t do or something like that but you can’t expect her to change how she parents if it works for her kids, just like she can’t expect the same. This is also why i stopped babysitting.
First yes girl forget your baby daddy he’s a child and I would continue to let her watch them just let your oldest kids know that it’s not ok as for the younger it will be fine they are kids if that’s the best situation at the moment then that’s fine everyone has to start somewhere it may not be the most comfortable but it’s a start
She has 4 boys, she is not going to be able to control them every moment of the day, along with your children. But with that being said, your children will begin to learn things from these other kids and vice versa. But that’s anywhere you take them, rather it be daycare or whatever. Keep on doing you. I know it’s hard to support a family and be a mother. I’ve been there. Prayers for you!
Is it possible that the father of your youngest may be trying to save up money to get his own place so he can take your youngest? Don’t forget he’s paying for the car and food every day since he’s no were to store things and it isn’t easy being homeless… I’ve been homeless while working only I didn’t have a car so I know its rough. Could try creating or searching for a mums group for your area make friends then possibly help each other with the kids for the support way of things
Your 15 and 13 yr old should be able to watch your 3 yr old.