“It’s been a bad day, please don’t take a picture”
May 26, 2016
I have debated long and hard whether I was going to share this post today. I’m aware that it shows me at a terribly low point, at my worst and that makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.
Saying that, I started this blog largely to be humourous but more importantly to be an honest and hopefully relatable account of the joys of parenthood. Something that maybe someone could read and go “Thank God it’s not just me/my child”. And so, I decided to share. I guess if I get uncomfortable with it I can always delete it. Just do me a favour, if you see me in actual real life, just pretend like you didn’t read it OK? Cheers.
Deep breath……. Here we go……
This is a message that I sent Rory the other morning.
Do you ever feel like this?
Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve your children? Like they would be better with a different parent because your consistently failing them at every turn?
I do. A lot.
We’ve been having a few difficult nights with Aoife. She’s been shouting and crying at bedtime for no reason that I can get to the bottom of. “Mummy I need you” I go upstairs “What do you want?” “I want Daddy” “But you shouted me” “I changed my mind” Rory goes up and the scene is played out again. We’ve tried ignoring the shouting. It doesn’t work. We agree with her set times that we will go and check on her, she chooses the times, but starts shouting before we’re even at the bottom of the stairs. She wants her bedroom door closing. I close it and go downstairs. She gets out of bed to open it so I can hear her shouting better.
She wants socks on. She wants water the water next to her bed passing. She wants a book. She wants to go in my bed. All of these demands screamed and cried at me. Initially I try to explain she can get her own water/socks/books. That doesn’t work. In the end I fulfil each request only for her to declare she wants to move house. The only request I can’t fulfil. This leads to more tears. She shouts “I need you mummy. I neeeeeeeddddd you” I feel awful “What do you need? ” “I need you” I don’t understand this. I’m here, in the room. Sat on the bed. We’ve had cuddles. I can’t be any more here. I don’t know what you want from me.
After an hour I’m fraught, confused and at a loss. I’m meant to be making dinner but I’ve not even got as far as the kitchen. I’ve tried being calm, I’ve tried reasoning with her, I’ve tried explaining that I’ve done all that is being asked of me but nothing is making her feel better. Aoife starts shouting more and then I’m shouting and saying mean things.
The neighbours are probably thinking we’re trash and calling social services.
She’s I’m my bed, she’s got everything she asked for (except the house move) and still she cries.
I eventually go downstairs and cry. Big, ugly cry. I can’t stop. I feel frustrated. I feel useless. I feel angry. I feel selfish. I hate myself. I hate how I handled it, or didn’t. I hate that she’s probably thinking how awful I am. I hate that I was mean. I hate that she probably would rather have a different mummy (I believe Miss Bolton is top of the list). I believe deep down she deserves a different mummy. A better one than me. I cry at how much I’ve potentially scarred her by being a short tempered bitch. I think of her in 20 years recounting this night in a therapists office. I feel guilty for thinking I deserved an hours quiet to myself. I feel exhausted. As I sit crying and hating myself I think how I need someone to give me a hug and tell me it’s OK. I’m not alone. Then it strikes me. Maybe Aoife needs me to give her a hug and just tell her it’s OK. Maybe she just needs to cry and have a hug*. The most simple role of a parent and I’ve forgotten it.