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Old 11.03.2018, 09:57
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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You just nailed it Jag.

The "boom you're having an argument while trying to help your child" sounds already too familiar... I'm honest enough to admit that there may be things I'm great at as a parent, but I seriously suck a quite a few others, like patience and diplomacy.
Although it's implicit (to me) in what I posted earlier, I should perhaps make it explicit.

Don't farm out all tutoring. Tutor your child in a few of the subjects that you are good at, preferably ones which you have a passion for.

The child learns that you're not a dolt, and that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and your passion will bleed through. Even if the child doesn't share your passion for that subject, they will see that some subjects aren't chores, but more like a recreation (and for you, it's a re-creation).

In my case, I concentrated on physics/chemistry, and literature/writing skills.

Avoiding the arguments which consist of both sides shouting "You don't know this, and you're supposed to know it!" is great.

Fostering the conversations which contain "Cool! So that's what geometry is for!" is also great.

(Can you tell that Dickens' Mr. Gradgrind left a mark on me when I first read him abusing Sissy Jupe when I was about 13?)
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  #22  
Old 11.03.2018, 10:15
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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Although it's implicit (to me) in what I posted earlier, I should perhaps make it explicit.

Don't farm out all tutoring. Tutor your child in a few of the subjects that you are good at, preferably ones which you have a passion for.

The child learns that you're not a dolt, and that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and your passion will bleed through. Even if the child doesn't share your passion for that subject, they will see that some subjects aren't chores, but more like a recreation (and for you, it's a re-creation).

In my case, I concentrated on physics/chemistry, and literature/writing skills.

Avoiding the arguments which consist of both sides shouting "You don't know this, and you're supposed to know it!" is great.

Fostering the conversations which contain "Cool! So that's what geometry is for!" is also great.

(Can you tell that Dickens' Mr. Gradgrind left a mark on me when I first read him abusing Sissy Jupe when I was about 13?)
Jag, great advice, once more. Since we're talking primary school I'm not quite at the stage where I can discuss my strongest subjects with him, but you're absolutely right.

I'm not thinking of farming everything out. I would never want to outsource reading the bedtime story on a regular basis, it's the highlight of the day (even if he makes fun of my German), for instance. And on weekends I'll happily do homework with him. But I wouldn't mind paying someone to get him to practice his multiplication tables on weekdays, possibly someone with more abilities than me when it comes to dealing with learning disabilities.

At the end of the day, what creates the biggest tension at homework time is that I'm super structured (not by nature though, through willpower) and have an excellent memory, whil he has close to zero working memory and a complete inability to focus at will (although both have improved A LOT since we started medication a month ago and is likely to keep improving). Not only am I not equipped to help him develop systems, the whole situation drives me nuts and leaves me close to tears each time. His dad is of the "he will grow out of it" school of thought, so this is an area where my input is 110% vital if we want him to make the best of his abilities. He's actually super smart, it's just very well hidden.

I was traumatised in high school by a math teacher who used to humiliate us in public when we asked questions, saying "if you so dim as to not understand what I just said, come to my office after class". I learned to stop asking questions and pretend I understood. I don't want Junior to get the same trauma from a tired mom trying to cook dinner while explaining for the gazillionth time how to do substractions vertically.
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Old 11.03.2018, 12:31
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

@Trollemor: the conversation here, between you and JagWaugh, makes it much clearer.

I remember one child who was helped once he could learn his time-tables and spelling outdoors. Brisk walk to the sports field chanting set spelling words, mad run around there with no pressure, then brisk walk back chanting times-tables.

I hope you find a tutor. For any time you don't have one, perhaps you and Troll could do the brisk-walk-chant thing, because at least that would get you (both) outdoors and physical.

Last edited by doropfiz; 11.03.2018 at 13:06. Reason: grammar
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Old 11.03.2018, 13:31
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

Trying to think of additional things that might help...

Trollemor, I seem to recall from your previous posts that you and Super-X get along well. Does he know you're at your wits end, and would he be able to help out a bit more in the short term? You say Junior is going to his place next week. Any chance he could stay an extra few days while you get your bearings and some sleep? Or maybe spend an extra night with X from time to time when work is totally nuts?

Hang in there!
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Old 11.03.2018, 14:31
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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I don't want Junior to get the same trauma from a tired mom trying to cook dinner while explaining for the gazillionth time how to do substractions vertically.
I'm actually wondering if he's in the right school system, but unfortunately it's too late now - sorry . I went through the single mom process since my daughter was nearly 4. Had to find some income, daughters father manic depressive, used all my energy re-building career, child-care, cleaning (no money for help), no relatives etc. etc. etc.

Daughter now 23, happy, and has just finished bachelor dissertation summa cum laude, and started her masters .

It was was very, very, very hard (for me), but we made it.

I have to attribute a great deal of it to the Montessori School system - full-day schooling at a pace in which the child feels able to tackle what they feel interested in at the right-time. I took my daughter to things like piano lessons (she's quite accomplished) in my lunch hours on the bus, made sure she got enough contact with friends, (who are still her close friends), ice-skating at weekends, played tennis with another mom while our kids had lessons on another court, latched onto coop home delivery services so that the time I had was spent with her etc. etc.

As far as I remember your son has a supporting father - essential, and ensure he does his part. If my daughter felt she had a deficit in preparing for her matura entry examination, she went to the Flying Teachers school in Zürich https://www.flyingteachers.ch/en/ on Saturday morning with another friend to cover where she felt uncomfortable.

Having said this, I do think that you are doing the right thing looking around for a good solution. I'm not sure I would have done things differently looking back, however it was very hard, and sometimes I wish I'd have had an easier time. Unfortunately I have no quick answers, except that to make sure your ex-OH steps up as he should...

I'm sure you will find a good solution, a few suggestions on this thread - so much more available now-a-days!
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  #26  
Old 11.03.2018, 16:48
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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Trying to think of additional things that might help...

Trollemor, I seem to recall from your previous posts that you and Super-X get along well. Does he know you're at your wits end, and would he be able to help out a bit more in the short term? You say Junior is going to his place next week. Any chance he could stay an extra few days while you get your bearings and some sleep? Or maybe spend an extra night with X from time to time when work is totally nuts?

Hang in there!
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I'm actually wondering if he's in the right school system, but unfortunately it's too late now - sorry . I went through the single mom process since my daughter was nearly 4. Had to find some income, daughters father manic depressive, used all my energy re-building career, child-care, cleaning (no money for help), no relatives etc. etc. etc.

Daughter now 23, happy, and has just finished bachelor dissertation summa cum laude, and started her masters .

It was was very, very, very hard (for me), but we made it.

I have to attribute a great deal of it to the Montessori School system - full-day schooling at a pace in which the child feels able to tackle what they feel interested in at the right-time. I took my daughter to things like piano lessons (she's quite accomplished) in my lunch hours on the bus, made sure she got enough contact with friends, (who are still her close friends), ice-skating at weekends, played tennis with another mom while our kids had lessons on another court, latched onto coop home delivery services so that the time I had was spent with her etc. etc.

As far as I remember your son has a supporting father - essential, and ensure he does his part. If my daughter felt she had a deficit in preparing for her matura entry examination, she went to the Flying Teachers school in Zürich https://www.flyingteachers.ch/en/ on Saturday morning with another friend to cover where she felt uncomfortable.

Having said this, I do think that you are doing the right thing looking around for a good solution. I'm not sure I would have done things differently looking back, however it was very hard, and sometimes I wish I'd have had an easier time. Unfortunately I have no quick answers, except that to make sure your ex-OH steps up as he should...

I'm sure you will find a good solution, a few suggestions on this thread - so much more available now-a-days!
Super-X is really super. He's actually taken Junior in for a couple of hours today so I can get on top of housework and prepare for the week. We're practicing a 50% shared custody, and he's definitely not running away from his responsibilities. But he has a job, he travels quite a bit for it, and he has a 45 minute commute each way that doesn't help. He's actually gone down to 80% so he can work less on the weeks he has our son. Meaning he's working at least 100% on the weeks he doesn't...

I'm probably a bit more anxious than I should since it's only a 6 months contract and I'm desperate for it to become a real job. I was getting close to giving up on finding a relevant position when I got it, failure is just not an option right now.

Montessori school...yes, very good system, and saved the day when we switched from the French school to it. BUT, and here I have a major reservation: we lost at least a year on his diagnosis because they kept saying that he would grow out of the distraction, that he was such an inquisitive kid nothing could possibly wrong about it, that the problems came from us splitting (that once came from our somewhat eccentric school principal). And since he could pick the projects he liked best, he himself didn't notice that all the other kids were breezing passed him. Until last fall when suddenly everyone was complaining about him being so slow and not remembering anything and he started being picked on by other kids in class.

Needless to say, since we've started the meds, the school is super happy and everything is rosy again. But I'm pretty sure that if he had been in public school he would have been screened in at the end of 1st or early in 2nd and he wouldn't be as far behind as he is now. At least in Norway he would have been.
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Old 11.03.2018, 16:51
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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@Trollemor: the conversation here, between you and JagWaugh, makes it much clearer.

I remember one child who was helped once he could learn his time-tables and spelling outdoors. Brisk walk to the sports field chanting set spelling words, mad run around there with no pressure, then brisk walk back chanting times-tables.

I hope you find a tutor. For any time you don't have one, perhaps you and Troll could do the brisk-walk-chant thing, because at least that would get you (both) outdoors and physical.
Brilliant idea, and not too far from what one of his teachers does with him with spelling: he has to look at how a word is written, walk to another room, write it down and go back to the first room to get the next word. Apparently works better than doing a similar exercise while sitting.

I learned my multiplication tables in the car with my mom on my way back from school. I still think about them when I sit in the passenger seat, halfway expecting to be drilled by the driver while we're on our way. Come to think of it, might explain while I prefer to be the driver.
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Old 11.03.2018, 16:52
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

@Trollemor
over and over again you impress me because you are able to be so clear in your analysis, differentiated, taking an array of possibly opposing perspectives into account, while being so authentic in your emotional investment. Bravo! Lucky Troll to have you as his mother.
Wish you courage... and that permenanent job.
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Old 11.03.2018, 22:25
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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@Trollemor
over and over again you impress me because you are able to be so clear in your analysis, differentiated, taking an array of possibly opposing perspectives into account, while being so authentic in your emotional investment. Bravo! Lucky Troll to have you as his mother.
Wish you courage... and that permenanent job.
Thank you, thay's very kind of you. Believe me, I don't feel very analytic when I stand in the middle of it, feeling like a pressure cooker about to burst. I'm lucky to have a baseline with a HIGH energy level and the ability to think pragmatically and be process oriented to the extreme. But while the outside keeps the show going and seems totally in control, the inside is anxious, stressed and fretting over not being good enough. And one thing I'm discovering is that having a high energy level doesn't mean that my body doesn't have limits; it means that I don't feel the limits until I'm totally drained if I'm not vigilant.

But nothing irritates me more than problems or situations I don't understand/control; usually, I gnaw at them like a dog at a bone until I've figured out a solution, at least partial. Been gnawing all week at this one, getting close to a solution I think/hope...
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Old 12.03.2018, 15:12
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

This might be a drastic solution and given that your son has already switched schools a couple of times, maybe a complete non-starter...
Anyway, I'm also a single mom who works full-time etc, and one of the sanity savers is that my son goes to a public Tagesschule in Zurich where Hort is integrated into the school which means he could be there from 7AM to 6PM.
PM me if you want details
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Old 12.03.2018, 15:38
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

You know what Trollemor? I’m a public school teacher, I work with teenagers all day long, and doing homework with my own kids is a nightmare... I somehow have way less patience with my kids than with my pupils, especially as we’re all tired after a long day.

I sincerely believe that tutoring can do wonders for your parent-child relationship, and for you own mental sanity.

As for the single mom part... I work full time and have three kids, with a very absent father, who works at night anyway so I’m mostly alone with the kids. So I hear you there, it’s hard... hang in there!
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Old 13.03.2018, 00:21
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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Trollmor, you mentioned that you already looked on Babysitting24; have you also looked on the tutoring site that is part of that group of job platforms?

https://tutor24.ch

If your main need is for tutoring help this site might get you better response. But if there is also a sitting component to your need this site might be of less help, as some folks registering as tutors might not be willing to provide additional services.

But nonetheless perhaps worth taking a peek at the site.

(I believe each site in the '24' franchise requires separate registration, though.)

I am in the same position with the OP and my solution was tutor24.ch. Within a week or two I got plenty of responses to filter the 'big sister' I was looking for. My focus is general support with the overall school topics and not doing the homework.. have someone close to ask school questions, some babysitting every now and the...
Started a month ago and it's going great!
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Old 13.03.2018, 07:47
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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...Tutor your child in a few of the subjects that you are good at, preferably ones which you have a passion for
While I agree generally, there are some people (like me) who are just bad at teaching. I was banned from helping my daughter with maths, as I'd go into Basil Fawlty mode within seconds. Now she's an adult, I'm permitted to help again - but that's because she's quite prepared to shout back at me.
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Old 14.03.2018, 21:29
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

Reporting here, it seems I have found a solution. The future will tell, but tonight Junior and I met the Wednesday to Friday sitter, a male student. The first contact was great, and within 5 minutes I had become invisible. He's starting next Wednesday, I have until then to figure out the contractual and administrative side of things (contract, contributions, and so forth).

Monday evening, we're meeting the Monday and Tuesday sitter, a female student. Have only communicated with her by email so far, curious to meet her in person. Junior will be there, since he has a say in the matter.

I'm prepared for hiccups, but I'm carefully optimistic. The advantage is that my son is old enough to speak his mind, if it doesn't work he will definitely tell me. And now I know it's possible to find people, I just had to identify what was important for me and be flexible on the rest.

Thank you all for the advice!
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Old 14.03.2018, 21:37
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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Reporting here, it seems I have found a solution. The future will tell, but tonight Junior and I met the Wednesday to Friday sitter, a male student. The first contact was great, and within 5 minutes I had become invisible. He's starting next Wednesday, I have until then to figure out the contractual and administrative side of things (contract, contributions, and so forth).

Monday evening, we're meeting the Monday and Tuesday sitter, a female student. Have only communicated with her by email so far, curious to meet her in person. Junior will be there, since he has a say in the matter.

I'm prepared for hiccups, but I'm carefully optimistic. The advantage is that my son is old enough to speak his mind, if it doesn't work he will definitely tell me. And now I know it's possible to find people, I just had to identify what was important for me and be flexible on the rest.

Thank you all for the advice!
Can you tell us where you found them? Could be helpful for others if it was a non-private source.
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Old 14.03.2018, 21:42
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

www.Babysitting24.ch

Tons of candidates, not all of them quick to answer, and lots of different profiles; it's not unlike dating sites, you have to read between the lines and ask the right questions.


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Can you tell us where you found them? Could be helpful for others if it was a non-private source.
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Old 20.03.2018, 20:21
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

Hi Trollemor
How's it going with the student helpers? Do you, and does your son, feel he'll get a long with them? I hope so.
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Old 21.03.2018, 14:22
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

https://www.know-now.ch/ provides young tutors and a reasonable price in case you are interested
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Old 21.03.2018, 21:28
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

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Hi Trollemor
How's it going with the student helpers? Do you, and does your son, feel he'll get a long with them? I hope so.
Well, the Wednesday to Friday student is great. We met him last week and he started today, Junior is very enthusiastic. When I arrived they were fencing with playswords while listening to Depeche Mode. We're doing it the real proper way, with a written contract and everything according to the book. Very happy about it.

The Monday-Tuesday student never showed up to meet us on Monday, so I'm back to start for this slot. Fortunately I have a ponctual kidsitter I can call for emergencies, he came in on Tuesday evening. Next week I'm child free, it buys me a bit of time to find a new sitter.

3 days secured is a huge improvement in itself, my stress level and quality of life have already improved. I believe that my son's quality of life will improve as well; it's probably a lot more fun doing homework with someone who's attentive to your needs rather than cooking dinner or reading reports at the same time. Plus I don't fence on weekdays, Depeche Mode or not.
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Old 21.03.2018, 22:11
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Re: Juggling work and single mom duty...and needing help

So glad to hear this!

Grrrr about the no-show. I hope there is some kind of referencing system on the website on which you found her.

Anyway, nice to see your sense of humour again.
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Single working mom new to Zug / CH daughter needs playmates - pls help Roshiebabie Daily life 0 01.07.2010 01:20
Mom and Dads Coffee and chat!! Jake's Mom Social events 0 18.10.2008 18:23


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