I hope this doesn’t trigger anyone. I feel it is among one of the most confronting and sincere posts I’ve put out there. It’s uninhibited, raw and honest and I’m pretty nervous about that. I should perhaps rephrase the title and not put the whole blanket of “parenting brings out the worst in me” out there. Parenting THREE children brings out the worst in me.
I hate dealing with so many number twos. I find it difficult juggling all the individual needs. I feel like my patience is already around zero when I wake up in the morning due to the everlasting sleepless nights. I’m not enjoying the constant. The fact that there is no reprieve and that there will rarely be any for us is underwhelming. I’m totally and utterly burnt out.
Yes, we somewhat kinda’ chose to live away from family (for work purposes). But that still means we don’t get those precious Saturday nights where Nan and Pa can take the kids, or even just Little Man, for a sleepover. Heck, I can’t even go round for a cuppa and an hours rest on a weekday, and that’s hard because it’s a very real lifeline. I can’t think too much about the babes missing out on that certain special grandparent relationship because it makes me pretty sad.
ROSE TINTED MEMORIES?
When it was just Little Man my life flowed so much more nicely. I had patience. I enjoyed him. Parenting him made me a better person and I was acutely aware of that. I would happily declare that I wouldn’t change a thing. But now? Now I feel like a monster most of the time.
I shout. I yell. I regularly have regrets. Today I would describe myself as largely a steaming pot of pent up frustration, anger and loneliness. Sometimes I want to cry because it’s been hours already and I’m still doing things for other people and that’s not going to let up because it’s not even lunch time yet. The realisation that I’ve faded into the background of my own life is a tough one for me to accept. Where is the line between selfishness and selfless?
I tell myself often that this is all just a moment in time. That these feelings of hopelessness and despair will soon pass, like when all the kids start school for example! But it doesn’t end then does it? I have to wonder if I’m actually cut out for this. Maybe I just can’t cope with the mammoth responsibility and anxiety that parenting brings. On the other hand, perhaps I could just manage those feelings better when it was one child.
UNASHAMEDLY TRYING MY HARDEST
I have to say that I will never celebrate the mediocre parenting craze that seems to be all the rage at the moment. I refuse to become a Mum that is okay with the substandard, even though I agree it sometimes is necessary. I get that, I’ve done it. Some days I AM the very definition of substandard parenting. We’ve all had to chuck a frozen pizza in the oven and I’d say most of us have dropped the F-bomb at least once.
The thing is I want to do more in this role. I always strive to be the best Mum I can be and I think that’s why I’m so emotionally extreme about the subject. When I feel like I’ve failed with the kids, and that is an almost daily occurrence, I get down about it. I’m unashamedly trying my hardest yet I feel like since the girls arrival I’m still not getting it.
IS PND TO BLAME?
I guess, sometimes you can’t see the light when you’re up most of the night, and it’s all too easy to feel the darkness when you’re alone with small children everyday. But I have to believe it will get better. In some respects I have to blame the Post Natal Depression but I am a little scared that my feelings aren’t completely due to that. My needs come last. Always. I get bitter about that. Especially during those times where I’m desperately trying to keep myself alive. And no, that isn’t an exaggeration.
The reality is though, parenting has saved me from that confronting subject of suicide. I’m going to share with you that there was a time, earlier this year, when I actually made a plan. But, I had to look after the girls because it was lunch time. My looking at local train times had been fortunately interrupted. They were so happy to see me after their nap that it all kind of melted away and I was hit full in the face by fear that I had gotten too close to making that terrifying decision. By the time their tummies were full I’d come through it enough to be able to take the plan off the table and realise how unwell I actually was. It was all really frightening and the thought of not seeing my children grow up made me want to vomit.
Parenting saved me that day. So, for me, it’s a contradiction to the core.
I love my kids but I sometimes hate my life.
I wouldn’t change what I have but sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.
I’m trying to be the best Mum I can be but I often don’t have the energy to go the distance.
But the truth is, even if I knew I would feel all of this before I had children, I would have still had them. When I get down to the heart of it I know that the regrets are fleeting and the love is constant.
Guest blog written by: Katie McVie
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