Schools Out for Summer

Schools Out for Summer

So school is out for summer, something that I think most kids will be very happy about. 6 weeks of playing, holidays, ice-creams and no routine. I on the other hand, whilst I am kind of happy, (no strict get ups, not rushing out of the house everyday), I also feel a sense of dread, I have 3 children to keep amused and occupied and try and not let ww3 break out in the house.

I’ve been doing okay over the last couple of months, I’ve been busy with birthdays and parties, and also working. However it’s all caught up on me and now I feel exhausted, I just want to sleep, which isn’t going to be helpful whilst looking after 3 children. I can see that the house is a mess and I need to get sorted and tidy up, but I am lacking in motivation to get it done.

This is the problem with my depression, it gnaws away at me, it brings me down, it stops me getting organised, it makes me want to just hide away and hope that everything will sort itself out for when I come back. Once it has done that, it then starts to tell me how useless I am, how pathetic I am that I can’t even keep the house tidy.

I’ve sat at the computer for the last 1.5 hours mostly playing cards, it is such a waste of time, while all around me is a mess. I know I need to fight back, stop it taking over again, I need to get motivated anyway I can and give myself the chance to enjoy being with the kids for a while.

So this is it, a promise to myself that I am going to fight this stupid illness and battle through the summer, and hope that my kids have a great time away from school.

 

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Being a Parent

Being a Parent

When I was younger I remember thinking when I have a child I will do ‘X, Y, Z’, I can’t remember what I thought I would do differently except to be more openly affectionate. I also remember that I wanted to be a parent so that I had something that was mine, that had never been anyone else’s and was a part of me.

I think like a lot of people I also expected when I was an adult and a parent then I would get respect from those younger than me, I would get respect from my children and they would do as I asked. This expectation has probably come from me respecting those around me and doing what I was told to do, and would never have answered my parents back.

Like a lot of parents, I chose to be one. I was married and had been for several years when we decided we wanted to try for a baby. Luckily it didn’t take us long to conceive AJ, although it was a slightly different story when it came to FJ and TJ, but all 3 were born healthily and to all concerned I had what I had always wanted, 3 children.

This journey started almost 11 years ago, and I guess over the years I have felt like I had a purpose, I was the one raising the children, I was the one carrying the child for 9 months. We both lived through the difficult months of trying to conceive, but I was the one ultimately responsible during the 9 months of ‘incubating’ the baby.

Now we are at the present day and 11 years on, I feel like that purpose has disappeared. We have finished having children, neither NJ or I want anymore, and the decision has been a mutual one. However I am now on unfamiliar ground, TJ is now 3 and when the other 2 were this age I was pregnant, thinking about the next child we were going to bring into the world, thinking about the things we needed and changing bedrooms round and generally preparing for the next chapter in our lives.

I do not have the respect from the children that I had expected, and I have no idea how to gain their respect. I struggle with all 3 children at different times, and all 3 are rebellious and do as they please much of the time. Apparently I have done well with bringing them up as they are very good when they are at school / playgroup and when they are with other people. Unfortunately that knowledge does not help when I am struggling to keep myself going, and deal with their constant demands and back chat.

I thought I wanted to be a parent, I thought I would enjoy being at home with them during the holidays, I thought seeing them grow up would be an enjoyment. Instead, none of this seems true, I struggle daily with their different moods, I struggle having them at home and having no ‘me’ time, I struggle as they grow, as their moods change, and so do their demands and I don’t ever seem to catch up with them.

It’s not that I dislike being a parent, it just isn’t what I thought it would be, I don’t get that warm glow thinking of the holidays, I don’t get that dread when they are going back to school (that’s when I get the warm glow!).  This is when I want a time machine, to go back and see how I was before TJ was born and see how I was then, did I enjoy parenting then? Is it just the depression that has caused me to have a lack of enthusiasm and passion for my children?

This is where everything becomes a blur, I can’t work out what I want or what I enjoy, and I have no idea if it’s me, the depression or the medication? I know the medication has helped in recent months with some very bad anxiety, but it seems to be slowly be destroying me, it feels like the real me is gradually disappearing under a mountain of tablets. I know I did used to have passion and drive and I am sure at some point I used to enjoy playing with the kids, it’s just now everything seems like a distant memory and too long a journey to try and get it all back.

What was your idea of being a parent? Is it everything you thought it would be?

 

Tiredness and Mood

Tiredness and Mood

We’ve just had 10 days away on a camping holiday, something which I know I enjoy, I enjoy being outside and being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and just being able to chill. Except this year it didn’t feel as relaxing, the kids bickered quite a lot and I was constantly tired. We had relaxing times, time on the beach and walks round various castles, but I never felt completely rested.

The children were definitely hard work this year, FJ seem to be very angry if he didn’t get his own way, and even after a good day on the beach his mood would soon switch to anger when we got home. TJ is now out of nappies, but this meant several issues with not going to the toilet when needed (no major accidents, just the pressure of her saying NO all the time!), we also didn’t take the pushchair and so often she was tired and wanted carrying. AJ wasn’t too bad I guess, but the stropy teenager side of her came out (she is only 10!)

My tiredness seems completely related to the increase in Quetiapine, I’m now on 250mg slow release, and I was asked to give it at least 3 months, that time is almost up and I have seen no improvement in how I feel tiredness wise. Yes I can say that my anxiety is better than it was, as it had become almost unmanageable, but this tiredness is just not workable. It’s effecting everyone in the family, NJ was up first nearly everyday of the holiday (we normally alternate), apparently I kept kicking him too as I was twitching a lot, I am getting grumpy and taking it out in the kids, and also I don’t feel like I have a life. By 10pm I’m wanting to go to bed, which wouldn’t be too bad some of the time, but it would be nice to be able to watch a film and have a drink (something else I can’t do as it makes me even more tired).

My mood has always been effected by how tired I am, but at the moment I never get that feeling of being refreshed after a sleep of any length. I used to, before all this started, I would wake up and feel refreshed and would want to get up once I was awake, now I can happily turn over and go back to sleep. Unfortunately with 3 kids aged 10 – 3, that is not a practicable option.

I know with depression and anxiety tiredness is part of it all, but I am fed up with being tired, not having the energy to get up and do the things that need doing. I’m fed up with just wanting to switch off and not have to deal with fraught children fighting with each other.

Failed!!

Failed!!

I have finally made the ultimate parental fail, I slapped my eldest because she had been winding me up all day and I snapped. It is an unforgivable action that a parent can do, made even worse by it being me that was angry and cross and it not actually being about what she had done.

I have apologised, and she hasn’t been ignoring me, so hopefully it has affected me more than her, not that it makes it better.

I no longer know how to discipline my children, and my anger seems out if control. AJ and FJ refused to get dressed this morning which meant we didn’t go out (which was their aim), but how do you make a 9.5 yr old do what you want them to, when they seem to have lost all respect for you and have no regards for other people’s feelings.

So I am now failing terribly as a parent and I no longer know how to claw back the respect that a child should give their parents, (the only saving grace is that up to now she behaves perfectly with others) they were both told no electronic toys for the rest of the day, but they just went and found other things to play with, so that didn’t work!

Any suggestions would be great, recriminations for my actions will not help I already know what a bad mother I am.

Should I be sacked?

Should I be sacked?

If I was in paid employment as the house keeper and nanny I would have been sacked by now as I am doing a very poor job as both! As it is I have to continue to struggle and battle with the housework and the children.

I know what I need to do, but I seem unable to carry out any of the tasks required. The house looks like there has been an explosion in all the rooms, there is washing that needs drying, clothes that need washing and ironing to do. The children are running riot and are just doing what ever they please, shouting, throwing, hitting and I appear to be speaking in a foreign language to them.

The house I think I can just about remedy, so maybe I would just be on a final warning for that, but as for the children I seem unable to control them and therefore my job as a nanny would be defunct. (If only!)

I know that I need to have more interaction with the children, they need to have less TV, DSi, iPhone, iPad and computer, and they need me to sit with them and play or make things. They also need more discipline, but I am so useless that when I try to discipline them I never see anything though, or not have any continuity so they just do what ever they want. I know that I need to have some self discipline to create more routine in the house and more time with the children than on the computer, iPhone, iPad!! I also need to feed them better, real meals that involve more than cucumber and tomatoes as their vegetables.

I possibly need to introduce reward charts, but again that would require my commitment to continue with it for more than a week to get any real return from the children, and with the ages 9.5, 6 and 2.5 it is quite hard to find something that will work for all of them. They have no respect for me or each other and are rude and selfish most of the time. Apparently when with other people they are wonderful, so somewhere inside them they have learnt something good.

I feel such a failure as a parent, you hear so much in the media about how bad children are and I know that I have 3 of them in my house, answering back, doing whatever they want and generally not being nice. No matter what anyone says, they are a creation of me, in both body and mind and I wish so much I could go back and re-do my work, and try harder this time.

I want to shout at them (which I have been doing far too much these last few days), but I also want to swear at them (which I won’t do) and bang their heads together (which I also won’t do). Sometimes I even want to walk out of the house and leave them to argue and fight on their own (again I won’t do), but my conscience won’t let me do anything to cause them harm, or put them in harms way.

I know that this negative thinking is the depression rearing its head again, but I don’t know what has triggered it, or maybe nothing has and I just have a broken mind? The worse I get the worse the children seem to be and then the worse I get, a catch 22 really.

It’s all back to normal on Monday, so maybe then my brain will settle down and I will get some sort of control of the house, if not I am seeing my psychologist on Tuesday so maybe he can help me work out why it’s all going wrong again!

A Battle

A Battle

We (NJ and I) are currently in battle with AJ, she has become someone I don’t like very much. Don’t get me wrong I love AJ and always will, I just don’t particularly like what she is becoming. She is becoming a very selfish, disrespectful, and moody little girl, and I feel responsible for this.

She refused last night to go to gymnastics, something that seems to happen every so often, but as she didn’t go over the weekend (school residential) she really needed to go last night, however as she is a lot stronger than me there is nothing I can do to force her out of the door. So grandma had a wasted journey as she takes her, and I had to make a call (but luckily got the answer machine) to say she wasn’t coming.

Once NJ got home we began a discussion with AJ about what was wrong, and eventually it transpired that she and her boyfriend were being pestered at school and it was upsetting her. So we talked and talked, but the other two to bed and talked some more about school, the kids pestering her and also about gymnastics. We felt like we had talked more to her last night than we have in months as she has a habit of shutting herself away in her room and not communicating with the rest of us. She was chatty and happy and said she did still want to go to gymnastics and she wanted to be as good as possible. NJ and I felt really positive about our conversations with AJ, we thought finally she’s talking to us and she sounds really positive.

Unfortunately a nights sleep and a day a school has seen all that change once again, she messed about at tea time, she wouldn’t get changed and she kept saying she didn’t want to go, which is fine until I say okay I will ring and tell them that you know longer want to go, and then once again we have the screams of NO DON’T. She went, and sat in stony silence with grandma all the way, but apparently went it quite happily.

This evening NJ and I have decided that enough is enough and it is time to end her membership, it is a constant battle to get her there, and it is doing none of us any good. It is such a hard decision as I know she enjoys it when she is there, and I also know that she is actually quite good, but she lacks the drive and enthusiasm to actually make anything of it.

This has all made me feel like a failure, I have a child that is moody and disrespectful and also lacks any enthusiasm. I see other children (including her brother) get excited about new challenges and want to practice and make themselves better, and I know that she is who she is, and I can’t expect her to be someone else, but I can’t help feeling that I have failed her. With these thoughts come the gremlins out of the woodwork, and however much people may tell me that it is not my fault, deep down I know it is.

I hope that one day she doesn’t turn round and ask why we stopped taking her to gym, why we didn’t push her that little bit more, gymnastics was her thing, she asked to do it (she even waited a year on a waiting list), she was a natural at it straight away, but on so many occasions it has been a difficult task to get her to go.

So this particular battle over gymnastics might be coming to an end, but I am not sure how long the battle of her attitude and behaviour will take to come to a peaceful end.

Rainy Days – ColourMeInRK

Rainy Days – ColourMeInRK

Yes I know, we are not having rainy days at the moment (I think  that is all set to change by the weekend!), but the clever people at Kellogg’s have replaced their usual Rice Krispies box for one that can be coloured in by your bored children on the inevitable rainy days that will come and that we have had!

I was one of the lucky Britmums who got sent a big box of Rice Krispies and an excellent bumper colouring case with 58 different pens, pencils, glitter glues and markers. I was very excited when the box arrived, I’m not sure who was more excited about the colours, the kids or me, as it had those colour changing pens that I have not seen since I was a child, I still think they are great and if you get the chance to buy some, your kids will agree.

As there are 3 children in this house, I knew that there would be an argument about who coloured in the box, so before they were given anything I went to the Rice Krispies Website  and downloaded some more pictures and printed them to card for the older 2 and to paper for the youngest. I told them they could colour in these however they wanted and then the 2 older ones would have to do the box together, although as the end of term came and cards for teachers had to be made and then the weather has turned the box is yet to be finalised!

They were as excited as I was about the colour changing pens, and got down to colouring straight away, I have to say it was lovely seeing them so engrossed in a project and excited about colouring in Snap, Cackle and Pop!

AJ finished her creation first, and I think she made a very good job of it, what do you think?

FJ wasn’t too far behind, a full range of different colours, what else would you expect from a 5yr old?

And finally TJ, she got bored quite quickly with the colouring in, especially as I wasn’t allowing her to use the new pens, she is far safer with the crayola washable pens, that are truly washable (they even wipe off with baby wipes!) especially when she decides to colour in her face. (she is after all only 2).

I think these activities are great even if the sun is out as when the heat gets too much the children still need something to occupy them, I think next time we might even try sticking sequins or felt or some other material on them and see what we come out with.

This post is for the BritMums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kellogg’s, why not pop over to Britmums and see how you could join in too?