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It's just dawned in me what a shit parent I am

(28 Posts)
Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 19:31:06

I'm a single mum with 2 dc aged 6 & 4. I don't think I can manage any more. Most of the time they're fine but my 4 year old ds just sometimes explodes and I can't deal with him. He's been shouting and screaming and hitting me for the last hour and a half because I told him off for not being rude when his friend gave him a little present. I feel ridiculous, like we've both just lost control and I don't know where to go. I'm crying my eyes out and I swore I'd never ever let them see me cry or know that they've made me cry. He's shut himself in his room and I'm just leaving him there. I don't know what to do, I just hate myself right now, I'm so shit at this.

Eebahgum Thu 01-May-14 19:34:33

That sounds like a really hard situation. Leave him in his room for a while so you can both calm down. You need to approach someone for help with his behaviour. Try talking to someone at school, your local children's centre or your gp.

You're not shit! We all have moments when our children do something that we're not ready for or feel able to control.

You didn't lose your temper and hit him back and he's now in his room which is the best place for him until he calms down.

Letting him see you cry is not the end of the world. It's probably not a bad thing really as it shows him that he pushed you too far and made you unhappy - an emotion he'll be able to relate to.

When he's calm go in and give him a cuddle, explain why you cried and tell him that there'll be consequences if he behaves like that again ie, losing a favourite toy or tv time.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Thu 01-May-14 19:37:55

You'll be okay, love. 4 year old are little shits sometimes but it will help to take a parenting class or similar. I did, totally revolutionised our lives.

daughteritsmeagain Thu 01-May-14 19:40:58

deep breaths. you and he are taking space to cool down, that's all. you don't have to be emotionless in front of your children.

revolutionarytoad Thu 01-May-14 19:41:04

Oh OP, it sounds very stressful! You know with tempers running high everything seems much worse than it is. Can you get yourself some time to calm down, maybe a cup of hot milk, watch ten minutes of something funny on the internet?
Then maybe go up to his room with a glass of water for him, he must be thirsty, and talk it through calmly. Best to get everything back to rights before everyone goes to sleep, that way tomorrow's a new day.

Most of the time they're fine? You're doing a fab job then. You tell him to not be rude, that's you educating them and being a great mum. Not a shit one! It makes me feel sad to hear you call yourself that when it's very likely far from true.

How come you don't want them to see you cry?

revolutionarytoad Thu 01-May-14 19:43:45

I think what OldBag says about him seeing you crying is spot on. If you're always a perfect emotionless mask, he's not going to get this opportunity to see that other people have emotions too. It'll be good for developing his empathy skills and making him see that he's not the centre of the universe (normal for small kids- but they have to grow out of it).

I think children profit enormously from seeing their parents behave less than perfectly on occasion. Not that you have to be ashamed of crying- I'm talking of losing control, being angry etc.

VashtaNerada Thu 01-May-14 19:45:52

You're a single mum with a 6 & 4 yo. That is tough, it really is. Don't be too hard on yourself thanks

rabbitrisen Thu 01-May-14 19:47:42

Just come on to say glad that you have posted.
I have been concerned regarding another thread, that posters who are struggling with parenthood, wouldnt post.

And there is good advice on here.

RoseberryTopping Thu 01-May-14 19:48:59

Don't be so hard on yourself, it's hard enough being a parent and trying to get everything right, never mind doing it alone.

My DS is 4 and is what some would call 'a handful' to deal with. I've found when he is in one of his moods or is playing up, if I get myself stressed out and shouty it makes him 10x worse. I really need that calming down time to be able to deal with him properly and calmly.

Please don't call yourself a shit mum, you actually care about teaching him to be good, and the fact that you feel so down about not feeling a good enough parent is proof enough of how much you love him and want to do right by him.

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Thu 01-May-14 19:55:13

Hey sweet. Shit day. Look I've been there too. Maybe you weren't great at that moment but that moments gone now. Make this moment better.

Big cuddle


Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 19:58:47

Thank you everyone for the lovely supportive comments. I'm sure I'm just over reacting, I've just had a rough few weeks and feel like I can't enjoy it any more.

He's calmed down now, we've had a cuddle but I shouted so loud at him that it didn't even sound like my voice. I'm now so worried that he'll be scared of me. I know we all have these moments, I just don't feel like I'm coping with them very well at the moment.

I love being a mother and I love being single but I fucking hate being a single mother if that makes sense. I didn't sign up to doing everything alone and I don't think I've ever felt lonelier than I do right now. I hate not having that support or back up or just someone to give you a hug.

TheABC Thu 01-May-14 20:01:41

No real advice OP, just a hug. This too will pass.

littlesupersparks Thu 01-May-14 20:03:45

No idea why people warn you about the terrible twos, and threenagers... 4 year old tantrums are so much worse!

It's a tough job and you are doing it. No one is perfect xxx

Psycobabble Thu 01-May-14 20:05:06

I bet your not a shit mum at all kids can play up and have tantrums even with the most seemingly perfect parents take a breath and star again remember your the mum your the boss keep on with the discipline even when it's hard x

Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 20:08:59

I know you're all right really, it's just hard to convince myself of that. I have this constant feeling that I'm letting them down although I don't know why.

I've also realised my initial post says I told him off for not being rude - obviously that's not what I meant...

Bigbird01 Thu 01-May-14 20:09:01

How old was your DS when you became single? My B/G twins are just 5 - I left their dad last year. My ex is verbally abusive and my DS has learnt some of his behaviours - to try and get his own way he starts shouting and screaming and has called me a "stupid women" and a "fucking arse". I do find myself shouting back, but have started to learn the best response is to go very quiet and either silently put him on the naughty spot (which will often results in a few minutes of verbal abuse), or if he is not so bad I will kneel down and look him in the eyes and very quietly and firmly tell him off.
It's really hard to make yourself respond in a rally calm way when they behave like that, but it is definitely the way that I have found get the best results.

You are not a shit mum. Being a mum is hard. Being on your own and being a mum is REALLY hard. None of us get it right all the time. If you start to lose your cool, try and step back for a couple of seconds and I agree with other posts - I don't think it is bad for children to see their parents upset - especially if they have caused it - it might be the thing they need to realise the effect of their actions.

Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 20:14:22

Ds was nearly 2 and dd was 3 1/2. Exh has had no contact for 2 years so he barely remembers him. He was verbally and emotionally abusive as well and now I think about I reckon the reason I hate myself so much for shouting at them is because I'm worried I sound like him.

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Thu 01-May-14 20:23:01

Bed times are the worst. I hate my house between 4-8pm. It's rather nice before and after!

I'm having a vino. About to cook tea. It's just rubbish some times.

You won't scare him. I used my 'calling in horses from back of field 2 miles away ' voice the other day. Town criers would be proud. Dd now copies it. Humph.

revolutionarytoad Thu 01-May-14 20:28:13

I bet if you weren't critical of yourself so much, you'd see that the amount of time you're a great mum and person far outweighs the times you get a bit shouty.

I've been shouted at by my mum. I've shouted back. It's got very ugly! We still love each other. Never underestimate what stress or a plain old bad mood can do to you.
I feel for you- being a single parent with two young kids with no one to pick up the slack- you definitely deserve to treat yourself with kindness and not be hard on yourself. Easy to say, hard to put into practice, I know....

Can you plan something nice and low key to do with them this weekend perhaps, something to look forward to?

Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 20:55:22

I'm sure I am too over critical of myself, again that maybe stems from spending many years being criticised, I don't know. I know they're mostly good, I just wish I could focus more on that than when they play up.

Anyway, he's asleep now, we had a cuddle and a chat and both said sorry so I feel a bit better but still a bit teary. I think planning something for the weekend is a good idea.

Thanks again everyone, I hate the bad press and in fighting around Mumsnet, there are so many kind hearted people on here, that's what's most important about this site. Xx

Meglet Thu 01-May-14 21:15:01

Ah, bless you. It's gruelling some of the time. We're often a shouty single parent household. But they're great at school (teachers sing their praises) so I suppose something I say sinks in.

I do apologise and explain when I really lose my rag though. All lines of communication are always open, even if on bad days they're rather loud.

Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 21:22:25

It is hard, I think I just don't want to admit that because I'll feel like a failure. I want to sail through it and be bright and breezy every day but it doesn't really work like that.

Ladymoods Thu 01-May-14 21:23:18

But then I would never call anyone else who found it hard a failure, so I don't know why I feel the need to label myself as one.

aziraphale Thu 01-May-14 21:37:26

If anything you are teaching him empathy. Take the time to talk it through with him tomorrow. I'm a single parent too (entirely on my own) and it is tough. And take some time out for dealing with your own feelings too, recognise your frustration etc. you're a human being and your patience is tested sometimes, same for everyone. You sound like you're doing a great job love. If you weren't bothered by this, you wouldn't have posted.

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