Friday, October 9, 2015

When your child breaks you.

We all have those moments when we reach the end of our tether and just want to lose our shit or crumble into a useless mess on the floor, right? I know I do. Parenting small humans is such a hard and relentless job. And tiring, oh my god its so tiring. There are bound to be periods of time where we feel like we just can't cope with it all.

Yesterday I had one of those moments.


After a week of up and down night sleeping plus unpredictable day naps {i.e. will she have one or won't she}, I've been exhausted. But I went off to mothers group regardless because I still needed my adult time {with real people outside of facebook} and to ply myself with copious cups of tea {mothers group is always good for that} plus I knew she needed to socialise with the other kids too. We definitely aren't home bodies, it drives us batty being stuck in the same four walls for too long, so we go out more often then not even when we're a little bit exhausted.

Inevitably though there comes a time of the day where all the kids get tired and are losing their shit and start to get frustrated with each other's company. Their play deteriorates into play fighting and we become referees instead of relaxed mums watching our cute kids play together. Coincidentally yesterday this point in time coincided with me having a raging headache, so that didn't help. Funny how kids can always pick the moments where you're at your weakest to cause the most havoc. They're smart like that.

So at this point in time we decided to call it quits and leave. Cue mass exodus of mothers group. If you have kids though you'll know leaving somewhere is not a quick exercise, it takes time. Time to pack stuff away, time to bribe convince them to stop playing with the toy they've recently taken ownership of that isn't actually their's and then more time to get them out the door and into the actual car. This time is often filled with crying, yelling, screaming, kicking, throwing things, and any other way they can exert their displeasure at the situation. It's so much fun.

One of the other mums was doing much better than I was and managed to leave without much fuss while I had a screaming banshee follow me into the toilet. When I finally managed to remove her from the toilet {after yet another tantrum because I stopped her trying to pull off all the toilet paper and shove it in the toilet} I was greeted with an empty peaceful {apart from my still screaming child} room while they were outside. As much as I wanted to hurriedly pack said screaming child and all our things into the car and disappear, I decided to take a moment and sit on the couch and re-group.

And then I lost my shit and cried like a baby right along with her.

I'm usually ok with handling her tantrums. I can usually keep my cool. But given how exhausted I was + my pounding headache + her relentless screaming and kicking I reached my limit and lost it. I just sat there on the couch and cried right along with her. In fact I think I had a lot more actual tears than she did. She broke me and I had nothing more to give.

A few minutes later Lyndi {who's house we were at} came back in and saw pathetic me on the couch in a blubbering mess us having our moment on the couch and went and got a toy to distract bub to stop her crying, and then set up a dvd for her to watch for a bit to calm down. Isn't it amazing how kids will respond to someone else, but will ignore everything you say to them. Anyway that's not the point, the point is she saw I wasn't coping and she immediately offered to help. And on top of that she then told me I was doing a good job.

Those are the best words someone can tell you when you're losing your shit and feeling like a really inadequate parent. You're doing a good job.

Those words made me feel so much better. They justified my feelings and reminded me that I have got this and I can do this. No matter how shit I felt in that moment I knew I was doing the best I could and it was so nice to have someone else essentially tell me you are a good parent. We all have good days and bad. We all have those moments when our child breaks us. But its ok. You're still doing a good job.

Of course today bub is back to being her adorable sweet self, and she's having a nap {hallelujah}. Like adults, kids are going to have their days where they're feeling off and they're going to make their feelings known. And often they will do it relentlessly. They're going to push your buttons, and some days they might break you down to the point where you can't do it any more, but its only temporary. It will get better and you will get through it, even if you need to have a good cry. I want you all to know that you're doing a good job.

Have you had a day where your kid/s got the better of you?



53 comments:

  1. I have days like that on a regular basis. They know just how to push you, kids do. it's a knack they have. But the fact that you don't run away screaming says you're trying. And if you are trying, you're doing a-ok in my book xx

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    1. Definitely, although Im not going to lie there have been a few occasions in the past where I've wanted to run away screaming {at least to the next room}.

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  2. Today! My boys are pushing the boundaries with their behaviour something shocking. My head is pounding and I have the sniffles again and I was a grumpy mumma this evening. Kids are hard work sometimes aren't they?!

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    1. Such hard work! But then there are the awesome times too which balance it all out, thank god.

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  3. I had quite a few days like that when my twins were toddlers. I was usually too proud to ask for help but I luckily had the most gorgeous grandmotherly neighbour who on more than one occasion saw me struggling and swooped in at exactly the right time and offered to take the twins to show them her puppy and then have a play at her house allowing me to have a much needed sleep after which everything was good again!.

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    1. Your neighbour sounds amazing! I'm so glad I have my mothers group girls, they keep me sane.

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  4. Oh love you're certainly not alone there! They can be right little pains in the arse!

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  5. Amen! I can totally relate to this! It drives me batty when they can be all sweet and normal the next day...and I'm still getting over it!

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    1. I know its amazing how quickly they can turn it off and be little angels again.

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  6. Oh god, only every other day! Or at several different times every day! Indeed, just tonight! Possibly why I'm slurping on red wine and ice cream right now...

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    1. Sometimes I wish I drank wine {well at least more than once or twice a year}. Ice cream sounds good though, I should've come home and had a huge bowl of ice cream with ice magic!

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  7. I had a day like that today! I have them all the time. You're doing great xx

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    1. I have them usually once a fortnight, but I rarely actually cry. You're doing great too Christine!

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  8. OH god, I know that broken feeling! sometimes having a cry is all you can do, and it's ok. Not pretty, but ok xx

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    1. Yea crying is really the only way I have to relieve stress so when I get to that point its the quickest and easiest way to let it all go.

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  9. Thank you for writing this! I have these ALLLLL the time! Sometimes we forget that kids are just little drunk adults.

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  10. Yes, I have moments during the day when I feel broken. Parenting is hard work. But we all do the best we can and on the whole we do a good job.

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    1. Yep I think everyone does a good job just getting through each day.

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  11. Some days - no hold, most days for us it's just about putting one foot in front of the other and eyeing off red wine in the cupboard. Some days I get it out early just so I have a better view of the reward that's to come once the monkeys are all in bed.

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    1. Bahaha I do the same thing but with lollies. Although everyone talking about wine is making me think I should get on the wine bandwagon.

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  12. I read an article that said that children are 800% worse when they around their parents then when they are in the company of other adults. Makes you think...

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    1. I'd be inclined to believe that its at least partially true {especially when they're cracking it}.

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  13. Gawd, kids! At least you stopped, owned it and got it off your chest. Imagine how much worse you would have felt had you bundled yourself up and got home. Sounds like you've got a good network.

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    1. Yea I can just imagine how annoyed I would've been the whole way home. I'm glad I stayed for a bit longer and we both calmed down before I drove home.

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  14. I hear you and I wish I could be your neighbour too. I miss my grandkids like crazy and would be only too happy to help out where there needs to be a bit of space...so sorry you had this happen. Glad you are Ok now. Oh, and I read once a long time ago that the reason kids act up for the parents is actually about how secure they feel. The reason they do not with others is they are worried they might not be 'safe' even though that's not meant to sound 'creepy.' D x

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    1. You can come be my neighbour any time Denyse :)

      It makes perfect sense that they'd act that way with others because they're not sure if its safe.

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  15. YES!!!! Parenting is such hard work. I never imagined that strong, organised, defiant me could crumble so easily, but we all do at some point. Thanks for writing this with so much honesty.

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    1. Yep I feel the same. For someone who can be so in control its amazing how a 2yr old can bring you to your knees.

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  16. I've had times for sure my kids have gotten the better of me. And also been really lucky a few times it's happened with friends around - and as kind of embarrassing as it feels in that moment to let it fall apart in front of people, it gives friends a cue to help put you back together. It's so much harder falling apart home alone with nobody to say "you're actually doing okay". That said I hate crying in front of people. One time it happened and I ended up losing it badly because then I was crying *because* I was crying... I was afraid that I was never going to stop - stuck in that loop forever. lol. ah. but it felt better afterwards. ;)

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    1. Yea I definitely find her meltdowns at home more challenging because I'm usually by myself. I was embarrassed that I was crying in front of someone else {because I hate admitting that I can't cope}, but also grateful that I did because it meant she could step in and be my backup to help deal with the situation.

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  17. Ooooh, yes! And, I'm often not proud of my behaviour/language when it happens. Thank goodness for mum friends ... we've all been there!

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    1. Yea I said a few choice words under my breathe before I got to the crying stage. Mum friends are amazing.

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  18. Yep, I think we have all been there. And you know what, I think it means you are doing an awesome job, because you obviously care enough to work yourself up to that breaking point. Hang in there, sleep and better days are ahead.

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    1. That's true, I never thought about it that way :)

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  19. Oh yes, I remember it all too well. Funny thing is, all these years later, Miss 18 (who was the Queen of Tantrums) says it was the times that I broke down and cried that stopped her in her tracks. Can you believe she remembers all these years later?!

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    1. I wish it would stop bub, sometimes it does, but not when she's super worked up {which is when I really want to cry}. Its kind of amazing that she remembers it, I don't remember much from my early years.

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  20. Oh gosh I feel your pain. I certainly have had days like this when the tears have to flow. It now freaks my son out a little bit if it happens which is not such a bad thing because it stops him in his tracks.

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    1. Yea I think that's a good thing because at least then they stop and at least partially understand you're upset.

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  21. Oh tell me about it. I feel broken most days at the moment. A 1 yr kid who still doesn't sleep more than a few hours a night & a 4 yr old who tests & pushes me every day!! It definately is toughest job ever this parenting gig & some days you just need to have a cry or scream & then self medicate with wine or chocolate.

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    1. Yep some days you just need to. I make sure I have some chocolate and lollies in the house at all times for this reason x

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  22. Oh, I just want to hug you. I've been there. It does get easier as they grow older, but I am still prepared to be a blubbering mess at any given moment.

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    1. I'm hoping it does get better, probably as she learns to express her emotions better. Until then we'll just have to take it one day at a time I guess :)

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  23. Don't they just ware you down? It's grueling to negotiate with little people. I'm in struggletown with it right now too. Usually it's only the one who gives me a hard time at any one given moment but recently both of my eldest boys have been going for it. They work at me ALL day. I resort to a lot of yelly business which I'm not proud of and there are a few mummy melt downs with tears and a much needed time out. It still doesn't seem to have a huge effect on the boys. They don't seem to register the angst it's causing.
    I'm so glad you had a lovely friend there to give you a rest and those encouraging words you needed to hear. You are doing a good job. Keep fighting the good fight me friend. I'm right here behind you xx

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    1. I can't imagine how much harder it'll been when there's more than one. I can only hope that she'll be old enough by then to somewhat realise the effect her actions have, although if your boys aren't at that point yet then I may be stuffed. We'll see how we go. You're doing a great job too Vicki!

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  24. Oh Toni this is me so often lately. And you are right. ..don't they just know when you have a headache and play up more than usual when you do! You are doing a great job. Hang in there! Xx

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    1. Yes! How do they know lol. Today wasn't the best day either, but tomorrow will be better I'm sure :)

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    2. I was going to say very similar to Shannon. It's amazing how they sense when you're feeling a bit off.. and run with it. Hope you're feeling a little better having got that off your chest. I've certainly been there x

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  25. It is the fatigue that gets us everytime. We actually aren't designed to run on empty and yet we do - a lot of the time. Well done you for listening to the inner voice that said sit down and let it out! Better out than in! Good job. Mel xx

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    1. Yes its definitely the fatigue. I'm way worse when I'm sleep deprived or she doesn't have a nap and its just continuous. Sleep does wonders for my mood and ability to cope with everything.

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  26. Oh my Lord yes - FREQUENTLY! I have just come home from the grocery store where my so called mature eight year old purposely toppled a display of tupperware containers with one swift kick because his older brother was shitting him. Mortified doesnt even cut it. But we all do the best we can and the fact that you cried is proof that you are an awesome mum, because you CARE enough to cry xx

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    1. Did you pick up the tupperware? I would've died of embarrassment. Sometimes I kind of wish I didn't care just so I could walk away for a second to have a breather, but I never can. She's got me wrapped around her little finger and she's firmly wrapped around my heart.

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