Saturday, 19 November 2011

My daily struggle

I've noticed from being online that not many people actually admit to having struggles with their children.  Its like if you admit that you are struggling, then you're a crap mother and your children should be taken away from you or something.

So I'm going to admit it.  I am struggling.  I'm not struggling because I'm depressed, I'm struggling because I feel I can't meet the needs of my children.  I don't know what people think of me when they see me out with all the kids.  Do they think I'm stupid for having them so close together?  Brave?  A bit of a tart who keeps getting knocked up?

Some days I long for my uncomplicated, stress free life before children.  I say to Elf Man "why the HELL did we have children?"  Children (I thought) were supposed to bring joy to your life, fill your life in a way that nothing else can - at the moment, my life is just full of stress.  I know I have to do something about my mindset, but its so hard when day after day - everything is just shit.

Sparrow and The Baby are pretty ok really.  I know I lose my temper at Sparrow, with his incessant whinging for things.  He asks over and over and over for the same thing, even if I have already told him "yes, in a minute" because I'm stuck doing something else for one of the younger ones.  He waves the playstation controller in front of my face at all moments of the day, even when feeding The Baby because he wants me to play to get him through a level.  He yells to get my attention, even if I have previously answered his question.  Its incredibly frustrating, and he's not even a big issue out of my day when it comes to major frustration and stress.

The Baby is pretty cruisy.  Eats, sleeps (sometimes) and generally a happy baby, except when Speedy is around.

Speedy.  Oh what can I say.  My near 2 year old is a major bully.  She attacks everyone.  She throws things at everyone.  She takes toys from other kids and runs away with a big shit-eating grin on her face because she knows she's just made someone upset and that makes her happy.  I call her my monster.  Which, isn't really that fantastic, but if you were to meet her - you would probably think the same.  You would probably think that Elf Man and I are doing a hideous job at raising these kids - because she is just mean to her siblings.  Every time I put The Baby down on the floor to play with toys, along comes Speedy to hassle her.  And by hassle her I mean pushing her so she falls over, pinching her arm, tapping her on the head really hard, poking her in the eye, head butting her, putting boxes on her head so she can't see anything, or if she is on the bed - she puts the covers over her head and presses down.  All this could happen in the time its taken me to get off the floor with a dirty nappy to put it in the bin.  Then she's just as mean with her older siblings.  She throws things at them, she hit Sparrow in the head with something the other day, cracked him a good one so then he was bawling.  She is very mean to Coo, and Coo is so highly strung, she stands there and screams/wails/screeches until we do something about it.  I'm at a loss on how to handle her behaviour.  Taking her away from the situation doesn't work, she'll come straight back and do it again.  Put her in the corner for a time out, and kneel down and explain that we don't push Coo into the dishwasher or kitchen cupboard - she'll come straight out and do it again.  Smack her - she'll still go and do it again.  I'm hoping this phase will stop soon and she's just working out her place in the family, because I can't handle too much more of this behaviour.

Then the Coo.  Highly strung as previously mentioned.  She wails/screeches.  Its a horrible noise, and I know its one of my triggers for my anger because it pierces through my head and gives me an instant headache.  And she does it every day.  Sometimes all day.  It could be something like Speedy is standing in her way, she doesn't think to go around Speedy, she'll just stand there and screech.  Then when you ask her to put it into words, she'll cry that she can't get through.  We don't know how to make her think "hey, Speedy is in my way, I'll go around her" so again, I'm hoping this phase will end soon too.

Sometimes I want to walk out the door on a bad day.  Sometimes I don't think I'm handling things very well and maybe someone else could do a better job.  Sometimes I think I should get stoned so things like the stuff mentioned above doesn't stress me out.  I just want things to be easy - everything is so fucking hard.  Changing nappies is hard because of tantrums.  Getting dressed is hard because of tantrums.  Getting in the car is hard.  Getting out of the car is hard.  Everything - is a struggle.

I thought having 4 kids 4 years and under would be hard but I thought I was able to handle it.  I know its going to get better, but just at this very moment in time - its a struggle.  Its a struggle to find the joy in my children because every day I'm breaking up fights, or asking them to stop jumping on the couch/bed/table.  I'm having to ask them to just sit down and eat their dinner.  Or in Speedy's case tonight, get your foot out of your brother's dinner.  It is a madhouse.  Mostly I'm just sick of seeing my children hurt each other.  Every time they hurt their sibling, it hurts me.  I didn't want my kids to be hurt by their siblings the way that my sister hurt me.  I didn't want to raise a bully, but it appears I have one.

And I dunno what the hell to do about that.

P.s. I should probably mention that I'm sick with a cold, have a cough, am extremely tired and a little cranky.  So please don't call DOCS just yet, I'm just having a whinge.


  1. Sweets, would never call DOCS on you. The fact that you are admitting to struggling in my eyes means that you are a great Mumma. I struggle daily too. Its hard. How to get through it? Well i'm still not sure on that, but for me, it has meant medication so i'm not so highly strung and stressed out every second of the day. It really has made a big difference and you know, my kids are actually noticing the fact that Mummy isn't screaming all the time.

    You are going through big changes right now which are monumental at the best of times, let alone with 4 little ones who need your constant attention. Hopefully once you are all settled things will start to calm down a bit more for you all.

    Thinking of you, and you know where I am if you ever want to let it out! Mandi xxx

  2. Oh babe. I don't know about having 4 kids, but I know about 2 and atm that's pretty hard and I struggle, so I feel your pain in that sense. The one thing I have noticed (and I also notice in your children just from what you have said) since Paige came along, everything with Ava and I mean EVERYTHING is about Attention! She doesn't care whether its good or bad attention. ie; praise or punishment. Its all good to her. Because Paige is still a baby she still takes up a fair amount of my time, and she's fairly clingy. Well, compared to Ava. Ava was the sort of baby, even from birth, that didn't want to be cuddled and passed around. She wanted to do her own shit. Which explains why she was pulling herself up and moving around furniture at 4 months. Really independant. Paige is 11 months and has only just started walking around furniture in the past month or so. So I would take a stab and say that your kidlets are just doing what all children do when more children come along or change happens (ie; selling houses, moving etc). They are all just vying for your attention and it doesn't matter how they get it. Ava has been so feral lately to the point where, like you, I just want to walk out the door somedays just for some peace and quiet. And today, she was a perfect child. Like I mean really well behaved and I couldn't put my finger on it. Hadn't done anything out of the ordinary etc. Then I realised. Yesterday afternoon she had some 'mummy time' and we got our hair cut together. So there was no one butting in, she had my full attention and she was able to be girly. And I think that is what had her in such a good mood today. She'd had some alone time with mummy, where she could be a big girl with no whingy baby interuptions. I know that's probably a lot harder for you because you have 4, but I think that's all it comes down to, attention. They will grow out of it, when I have no idea. But your not a shit mother, by an means what so ever. Your doing the best YOU can for YOU and YOUR family babe. your children are healthy and beautiful and smart. And they always look happy. We all have shitty days and some days they last longer than others. Chin up hun, you'll be right. Your kids are fine and you and Hubby's parenting is fine. xo

  3. I hope you feel better soon, and the cold goes away. my only thought really is that you haven't raised a bully. Speedy is still a baby herself and lashes out in anger or frustration or to get your attention. At her age she pretty much doesn't have a lot of self control. As long as you keep reinforcing that she shouldn't hit etc it'll come together eventually. Also I agree that some time out just with each of your kids, even if it is only an hour or two once every couple of weeks, and they know they get to choose what you do in that time (within reason)will probably help with the jealousy between them for your time. Anyway you're doing a good job with them, and all kids fight and get frustrated from time to time, so I guess just go with it... as painful as that can be.

  4. Hugs hun you are having a tough time, but things will improve soon. I hear you on nearly 2 year olds bullying and hurting siblings. Harrison hits, pinches, bites, pushes etc etc To Jacob only!!!! I am hoping it improves soon as well as he is so nice at CC.
    Jacob who is same as Coo sooks and crys at anything and everything and wants constant attention. Again its a phase and it will to pass.

    I am always here for you to whinge too xoxo

  5. I completely feel your pain, I only have 2 and some days I wonder why the hell I had kids when I just can't handle them

  6. Sending you lots of love - I totally get that. Totally. xx