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I abuse my DCs

(65 Posts)
FlojoHoHoHo Thu 27-Dec-12 14:09:31

It's far far worse than I ever thought. I knew it was bad but I just figured it'd get better. I'm snappy, I'm impatient, I fuss over everything and I get snappy when things don't go exactly to plan, when my DCs don't jump to attention every time I click and when they don't move fast enough. I shout, I say horrible things.
I'm so scared I will lose them. I love them so much.
BF (who broke up with me on Xmas day) just text this
"I've had enough, and who wouldn't! Watched on in disbelief as u ripped into those poor kids for little or no reason. (at least I know now It's not just me) difference is though, the kids can't just walk away....."
I want to commit suicide. I know they are better off without me but where would they go? DD has no dad and is so shy with strangers. I know its not the answer. But what is?

Mumsyblouse Thu 27-Dec-12 14:15:35

Well, even if you are not the best mum in the world, your children wouldn't be better off without you at all, they would be devastated if you abandoned them.

This is fixable, but only if you get some support and help, I'm guessing you are on your own doing everything, you are probably tired and exhausted and taking it out on them.

There will be parenting classes in the New Year which you can join, sounds a bit weird but I have friends who say they are brilliant (1,2,3 Magic? ones)

I also think you should visit the GP, you may well be depressed/able to get help with an anger issue there (or a health visitor).

I think the key thing is to realise this is changeable, it is easy to fall into the habit of being angry and cross and shouting, but it is possible to change things.

It is also possible your BF is using this as a weapon against you , so bear in mind that you are doing the best you can, people sometimes lash out when they leave and this may be part of that.

D0G Thu 27-Dec-12 14:15:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mumsyblouse Thu 27-Dec-12 14:16:58

And, if you do feel desperate, or just want a listening ear, they really have heard it all before, don't sit alone and work yourself up into a paddy:

http://www.samaritans.org/

littleladyindoors Thu 27-Dec-12 14:19:13

didnt want to read and run- now you know and you have seen what you are doing, then you know that you need to change. Thats a good thing. Now you can make active steps to do it. I am sure you are not alone, and everyone loses their temper and shouts.
They will never be ok without you, be proud that you are asking for advice and wanting something better. You are a good person.
All my very best OP

forgetmenots Thu 27-Dec-12 14:21:30

The fact you've identified this is a huge start OP. Be hugely thankful this has happened and take steps (classes, counselling) to look at the behaviour and how you can change it. Meanwhile give your DCs a big hug. You need one too.

festivelyfocussed Thu 27-Dec-12 14:21:53

Flo. your children would absolutely NOT be better off without you.
I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. No one is a perfect parent. I don't wish to speak out of turn but it sounds as though you could be depressed. and having bf leave on Xmas day can't be helping how u feel.
Is there anyone you can talk to openly? Family/ friend?
Take some pressure off yourself. Gather your kids up and give them a hug. Either go out for a walk or eat some chocolate or watch a funny movie - whatever makes u feel comforted.
Personally in your position I would call my GP and make an appointment.
If your dc are under school age then also your HV. There's support available for you. You are not alone and I promise you, you're not the only one who worries about how u r with your kids.

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 27-Dec-12 14:22:15

But I don't know how to make things better.
No matter how hard I try.

BoffinMum Thu 27-Dec-12 14:22:19

Heavens above, if tearing into your children verbally was a sin I'd have been in hell long ago. I think the 1 2 3 Magic or Triple P parenting course is the way forward here, plus you sound stressed with rock bottom self esteem, so perhaps making yourself a bit happier would be a good idea.

FellatioNelson Thu 27-Dec-12 14:22:41

sad Yes, it is fixable. go to your GP as soon as possible and be honest with him. Tell him what your DP said. And ask your DP to meet you and sit down calmly and talk to you about how he feels about what he has been witnessing. It will be tough to listen to, but it will help in the long run, if he can be completely frank with you, without you trying to justify the way you are or flying off the handle. Good luck. smile

saulaboutme Thu 27-Dec-12 14:23:05

I'm so sorry for you feeling like but you've realised that your behavior is damaging your family and now yourself so it's time for a big change. Suicide isn't the answer and its going to damage everyone even more. Have you thought about calling the Samaritans? It's not going.g to be easy but try hard to swap the hate for love with your dcs. Maybe leave the room if you feel you are going to snap and calm down. Please get some help. Its a new year and you and your dcs deserve happiness

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 27-Dec-12 14:23:36

Look...your ex is horrible to have said that. He is saying that because he is hurting over the relationship ending and knows it will really really hurt you. And it has. You are clearly not having a great time at the moment. Please call someone you can talk to,suicidal thoughts are very worrying.

My mum,when I was younger was exactly how you just described at times. Mostly before my parents split. At 24 I have a great relationship with her and as a whole,remember my childhood very positively. I feel lucky in comparison to some of my friends descriptions of their childhoods,short tempered mum included..

You are not being abusive. Short tempered yes,unhappy yes. Not abusive. Your children will not and could never be better off without you. Please don't think that. It's simply not true.

FellatioNelson Thu 27-Dec-12 14:24:17

Sorry - Are none of the children his?

If you're recognising a problem then you can do something about it. Go to your GP or your local sure start centre and ask for help. Good luck.

Flo - please don't think that your kids would be better off without you. They love you and need you.

As others said, this can be fixed. Go speak to your GP. Or why don't you write down how you feel and give him the letter. Let him read it and let him help you.

Come back and post on here. We're listening.
BTW, no such thing as a perfect parent. We all loose our temper sometimes.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 27-Dec-12 14:27:40

Please please don't give up or continue like this but make a decision to get help in the new year. Make appointments with gp, hv, and home start. Get as much help as you can.

You need to move beyond any self pity or, sitting thinking how awful you are to positive action. Sometimes its harder to work at improving things than to just wail or give up but you can do it. You can improve things for all of you and just think what a different year you will have and how different life will be next Christmas.

You need to be open and honest with homestart and hv. Say something like, I'm on my own and struggling and I'm not treating the children as I'd like -can you help me. Ask if there's parenting courses (these are usually good and you find others that are finding it tough too). There may be other v!groups or avenues of support locally.

Homestart can provide you with a volunteer once a week who can come alongside you and play with the children with you and generally help and give you ideas if you want them.

People are not quick to take kids away and are far more impressed by a mother who wants to improve things and asks for help.

Christmas is a stressful time of year. Try not to keep beating yourself up and instead channel that energy into change.

zippey Thu 27-Dec-12 14:29:01

I would have to say that children are always better off without an abusive parent, male or female. Where you are abusing them or not I cant say but its best you get help, if you want to help your children. At least you are admitting it.

Maybe speak to a health visitor to see what can be done. Do you have any family around?

MissyRain Thu 27-Dec-12 14:30:07

You cange on step at a time ond day at a time.

I think you need counciling for a start. You have no self esteem and you need to sort that out. Forget about other people for now. You need to sort out your relationship with your kids first.

If there is a surestart centre by you contact them about a parenting course.

Talk to your gp about depression and take the questionair.

You have the ability to make your life better.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 27-Dec-12 14:30:18

Meant to say, it is positive that you have realised that your behaviour is not quite right. Do seek help in some way. But really,it sounds like you are stressed and unhappy not abusive. So it's you and your state of mind you need to focus on.

Wishing you all the best.

FobblyWoof Thu 27-Dec-12 14:31:13

You sounds stressed and down beyond belief. But it will get better. We all get in a rut sometimes. I'm not trying to downplay how you feel, just show that there are others out there and you're not alone. Nor are you the worst mother in the world.

It sounds like your ex is trying to get at you, and he's succeeding, so please don't listen to him. First step is the doctors then parenting classes just so you can break the bad habits

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 27-Dec-12 14:32:59

Just read all the posts that happened while I was typing! We all agree it seems!

I understand you don't know how to change things and that's why it's important to ask for help. Can you ring hv this afternoon? Our are v.quiet this week as people don't tend lo want visits.

Also when you children's centre opens ring them or go in and ask for a family support worker.

WorraLorraTurkey Thu 27-Dec-12 14:33:46

I would have to say that children are always better off without an abusive parent, male or female. Where you are abusing them or not I cant say but its best you get help, if you want to help your children. At least you are admitting it.

I agree with zippey OP.

You've taken the first step towards admitting it...now's the time to do something about it.

I'm sure the posters here will give you some advice as to how to get the ball rolling regarding help.

Good luck thanks

strumpetpumpkin Thu 27-Dec-12 14:34:10

youve recognised this, its a huge step. Its difficult when you are so overwhelmed that any little thing not running to plan makes you feel like its all falling apart.
Stress mangement techniques. Parenting classes, and learning to relax about things.
It can and will be fixed. Maybe this was a really good wake up call.

chocolatespiders Thu 27-Dec-12 14:36:48

Changing starts now with good support.

I have been snappy with my children today but this is because I have no child support for 6 months and I am now worrying how I will pay rent on 1st jan.

It is hard going being a single parent and you need to ask for support.

Do you have family near you?

CecilyP Thu 27-Dec-12 14:46:45

Your children would absolutely not be better off without you - get those thoughts out of your mind now. You are the only mum, and in some cases, the only parent, your children have.

You have acknowledged that you are not the most patient, but others have given advice on how to get help and support to try to improve things. And, as they get older, you may just find things easier anyway. I had a really short fuse when DS was young but now he is grown we are the best of friends.

Don't forget your BF may feel a bit guilty for breaking up with you on Christmas day, so will have focused on anything negative about you in order to make himself feel better.

shockers Thu 27-Dec-12 14:51:06

I recognised shades of myself in your OP. You are stressed and your tolerance bank is low, but you care enough to want to make a change and you are honest. Your children would not be better without you, they would never get over the rejection. Please talk to someone. Sending lots of virtual love your way.

IceTheChristmasKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 27-Dec-12 14:51:08

Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone who brought this thread to our attention, and for all your kind replies to the OP. We're going to move it to Mental Health in a moment, as we feel it's more suitable than AIBU.

pigletmania Thu 27-Dec-12 14:53:15

Oh op bless you. You need professional help straight away. Please go to your GP ASAP. I have been where you are, went to the GP who was great. M dd has ASD an is getting help. You dnt sound abusive at all, who has nt yelled at their chi,dren. Your BF s not nice, not so best after all your better off without her

MammaTJ Thu 27-Dec-12 14:56:58

You are basing suicidal thoughts on the opinion of someone who leaves you on Christmas day?

OK, so you shout at your children,not ideal but you want to change. Truly abusive parents see no wrong in what they do. You are not an abusive parent.

Get youself to your local surestart centre and see what is there to help you.

Willowisp Thu 27-Dec-12 15:10:19

Perhaps it the wake up call you need ?

I don't think posters should be saying you're not abusive when none of us know what is going on. I think the bf has done you a favour here & good for him standing up for the kids & making you realize your behaviour has to stop.

As a child of abusive parents, yes you will damage them, but you will damage them far more by committing suicide & leaving them.

I agree, get yourself some help. Be kind to them & yourself.

Good luck.

zippey Thu 27-Dec-12 16:12:15

I agree with almost everything that Willowisp has said - We dont know the OP or the BF, so its not really fair to target the BF. It might be a good thing to mention the kids in his parting text, and again it could be a low parting shot. We dont know.

Id say that if the OP does doubt or wonder if she is abusing the children, then she should contact someone impartial like GP to discuss if thebehaviour is normal. Its natural to be worried but you will be doing it for your children.

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 27-Dec-12 18:35:12

Is that what this is, a mental health issue? Am I losing my mind? I don't feel mentally ill, yes I have low points but this isn't about them. It's about a genuine concern that my children are better off without me. Thankyou so much for not telling me I'm being an attention seeker or anything because that's the last thing I want to be. I just need to find a way of sorting this mess that I am in and tbh I've been in for some time.

Tortington Thu 27-Dec-12 18:40:27

i think this is about power, coping, control and structure.

starting tomorrow you need to think of a fun activity that YOU would like to do with the kids. what might that be?

look for parenting classes, and take other advice from people - but do something fun and nice with them.

Tortington Thu 27-Dec-12 18:42:18

its all about memories.

Kids remember loads - think about yourself and what you remember - kids especially remember shit things.

but what they do remember isn't x boxes or expensive gifts or toys - they remember ' that time we went to the beach and it was freezing and you made jam butties and a flask of vimpto" type things

Selks Thu 27-Dec-12 18:42:35

Go and talk to your GP ASAP. Just do it.

FivesGoldNorks Thu 27-Dec-12 18:44:31

Flojo, please be careful at taking this person's word as law. Snappy and impatient describes a lot of parents. Not convinced it actually means abusive. Maybe organise a parenting course? Sure start or something?

SA3008 Thu 27-Dec-12 18:55:08

OP, phone the Samaritans please NOW.
I feel/felt exactly the same way. I finally got some help & am reluctantly taking medication to help lift my mood. I am no longer as irritable, still feel anxious & do fly off the handle.
Hang in there, my dc need me, despite the awful way I treat them. You will get better and your dc need you.
Phone your gp & samaritans. My HV called me a dictator, that's how controlling I am :-(

GracieLoo Thu 27-Dec-12 20:03:14

How has today been? I wouldn't wish it on anyone but I felt some relief reading your thread as I completely relate to it and I'm losing it completely. Im a single mum to dd, 4, whose behaviour has got worse and I'm worried I don't love her. I'm irritable, snappy and feel detached. Today I felt like crashing the car, and I'm so on edge I feel I can't cope anymore.

I don't think you really mean you want to end your life. I do think you need to find a way of parenting your children where you don't end up treating them badly, then end up getting upset about it.

I think a really good idea would be to contact your local SureStart, if you have one, and ask them about parenting classes. In the mean time, walk away if you find yourself getting wound up by them and try your best not to shout.

I know its difficult when you are stressed, but you can start taking small steps now to make things better.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 27-Dec-12 20:29:40

So what are you going to do? Start a list. Find some phone numbers. Did you ring anyone this afternoon?

Gracie -I suspect you do love your child but it is very hard to feel anything when depressed or tired. Please ring Samaratons if you feel like this. Please also get help. Things can change but you need support .contact hv, children's centre and home start.

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 20:35:29

Samaritans are on 116123.

OP - are you still there?
How are you feeling now?
How has your day been with the kids?

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 27-Dec-12 21:42:55

Yes I'm still here. My parents who live locally (who I night have popped round to for a brew when stressed) have just gone to Scotland and my best friend (actually only friend) was busy and is off to cornwall for a fortnight tomorrow.
I rang the GP but they said to ring back in the morning because they are busy and I left a message asking HV to call me and she didn't.
I took the kids out for tea, as I knew I would hold it together better out of the house, and I did, though struggled to eat etc because I've felt in turmoil all day.
Gracie and 008 it really helps to know other might understand where I am.
Thankyou so much for everyone for their advice.
My surestart is pretty rubbish locally but I'm hoping the HV can help me, maybe with Homestart but I've never wanted to use them before because I've always felt there are others more in need but I think its time to face facts and get help and put my DCs first.
Custardo I think you are right, I totally spoilt my DCs at Xmas and I take them on lots of holidays partly to spoil them and partly to get out the house. It's the basic day to day stuff I am lacking.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

How old are your kids flo?
Sounds like you had a good day with them.
I think it's always better when you can get out of the house with them, even for a little whilst.

Please try again tomorrow with your GP. They'll be busy just now, but you are just as important as anyone else, so please keep trying.

FlojoHoHoHo Thu 27-Dec-12 22:29:19

4 and 7. It's my 7 yo that gets it worse. He never stops talking so that makes him worse. I love him for being so chatty but when I'm stressed and he's constantly chatting I feel like he's in my face and I can't get that space between us to cool off. Even though its usually the 4 yo that's not doing as she's asked. I'm usually yelling at DS to hurry up and stop messing can't he see I've enough on with his sister messing around without him wittering on and being too slow etc.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 27-Dec-12 22:37:14

Flo is there anyway your parents would have dc one night a week? Or one afternoon evening after school and bring them home to you fed bathed and in pjs?

I get like you, I get shouty snappy and scare my dc with my "barking" because of the mess and that they're under my feet. My lovely lovely nan has dc one night a week and it really really helps me. Also don't feel bad that they annoy you, send them to their room for a hour, it won't do them no harm. Everyone needs space and everyones dc annoy them.

I find the more happier I am the better parent I am, where as if I'm stressed I can't deal with them around me <channels scream>

Please don't ask ex for a blow by blow account of hoe you are as a parent, he is not an impartial judge.

Ah yes! The non stop talking. My DD is like that too.
Sometimes you can't hear yourself think for the constant chit chat.

The holidays are difficult too. No school to burn off energy or to give you a break. It's hard too when your family is away. Do your parents know that you have split up with your BF? Do they help out and look after your DC's sometimes?

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 27-Dec-12 23:56:26

Sounds like a really positive day, well done :-)

Home start is amazing (I'm planning to volunteer when mine are at school) and for anyone struggling for whatever reason. Here I've known it be a mum with twins or pnd or just a stressful time. I had my husband away during the week, ill heath a toddler and a new baby and having someone come each week really helped me. There isn't really a typical demographic if that worries you.

You're doing the right things seeking help and you've recently come through a lot. And Christmas! Be gentle on yourself.

FlojoHoHoHo Fri 28-Dec-12 01:35:42

Brandy they arent usually that hands on. I usually stay with the kids and use that time to have a brew and communicate better with my DCs rather than at home snappy. I usually go about once a week for tea for a couple of hours.

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 28-Dec-12 14:02:18

Flo what makes you happy? Do you work? Do you have a hobby? Can you cultivate more friendships? Join a toddler group? Go to softplay so they bugger of and let you read a book in peace.I truly truly believe if your more happy and less stressed you'll stop taking it out on the dc. Don't feel bad about it we all do it sometimes but you've done really well to see it now you just have to make you happier now <hugs>

So sorry for you OP that your having such a tough time. Your taking the first step in recognising you have a problem so that shows that you care for your children & are not happy with the way you are treating them. I have worked with families where the parents are treating their children horribly but actually don't care. I would suggest seeing your GP to see if you have depression and he can help. My own df committed suicide 10 years ago after years of abandoning me & my db. I hate that he did this as I'm sure your dc would. They would not be better off without you or in care. They need you & need you to be well. Good luck with getting the help you need. Try not to be too harsh, bringing up children is exhausting & if your not sleeping its no wonder your snappy. Big hugs for you

FlojoHoHoHo Fri 28-Dec-12 16:12:06

I emailed surestart but got an automated response that they aren't back til the 2nd of Jan. I also emailed Homestart but they haven't got back to me so I'm guessing they are away til then too. My GP was full again today so its going to be then when they reopened again.

BoffinMum Sat 29-Dec-12 09:49:25

Can I suggest as an emergency measure that this is a hard time of year for anyone, as we are all so cooped up. But the more time you spend outside with the DCs, the easier everything will be to manage. It will be good for your own mental health, as well as wearing them out so they are easier to cope with at home. Swimming is another clever thing to do for all of you as well, especially if you can find a friend to go along with you to help. I am hoping this will help tide you over until 2 Jan.

FlojoHoHoHo Sat 29-Dec-12 21:38:29

Thankyou, unfortunately I've been floored today by flu type symptoms so can't see me venturing out any time soon.
On a good note, day 2 and no problems, unless u count leaving your kids to fend for themselves as I was ill in bed.

chocolatespiders Sat 29-Dec-12 21:40:52

You got through the day. Nothing worse than being ill and trying to look after children.

TheRoundTable Sat 29-Dec-12 22:03:49

Just want to give you some hope. I have been where you are and it was admitting it and talking about it that helped. I still have bad days and when my depression gets really bad, I feel the kids are better off without me, but things have improved so much. I still wish that the past never happened, but then I am grateful that we are not where we used to be.

You are doing the right thing and admitting shows that you are a very caring mum, Flo. It will get easier for you with the right support. Take a day at a time and please don't be too hard on yourself even though that it very difficult. We all make mistakes and it is harder when we feel so alone in our struggles and judged too.

Homestart are lovely. And Surestart too. I hope you get some support soon and you get to feel better about yourself.

Hang in there! It is going to be okay.

FlojoHoHoHo Sun 30-Dec-12 03:57:18

Thankyou, I really hope so.

Flojobunny Tue 08-Jan-13 18:38:21

Someone from Homestart came to see me. Asked me lots of grueling questions just be told at the end of it that theres a long waiting list and the chances of me getting 'matched' when my hours are limited with work are slim sad

Chooster Wed 09-Jan-13 22:35:51

Sorry that wasnt more positive flo... did you get to the gp?

I'm on this board as my dh has issues and the descrition of how you are with your kids is just like him. He has just seeing a councellor specialising in depression and seeing his gp soon.

Could you be depressed?

Flojobunny Thu 10-Jan-13 18:20:14

GP only mentioned anti depressants, but I don't want them, they didn't really help before.

I have been where you are and it feels horrible - at my worst I shouted at my lovely girls to 'fuck off' in the street, right outside my house, because they didn't get out of the car 'quick enough'. It was a real low point and something I can't take back. I then had to admit that I was unwell and the truth is that if I was not unwell then I would not have been in that state. I think you are also unwell, people get asthma, people get diabetes, and people get their heads not behaving right. If you had asthma and it was making you so unwell that you couldn't look after your children properly then you would go to the doctor and get something to help. This is what you need to do. It may be that anti-depressants didn't work before because they didn't suit or were at the wrong dose. You need to go back and explain this to the GP and ask for another prescription. It does take time, you need to give it a go because you can feel better.

The other thing that helped me was a course of Mindfullness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) info here. It was through the NHS after a referral from my GP.

You are not a crap mum, you don't need to have your children taken away from you, but you do need to get better so you can look after them as well as possible. My children are 3, 6 and 8 and I have told them about 'mummy's bad head' so that on days I feel snappy and crap I can tell them so they know it is not their fault. I think it's ok to say sorry I've been grumpy and snappy, I love you all loads but my head has been a bit poorly and I'm trying to get better.

Sorry if this sounds bossy and prescriptive - I have a grizzly 3 year old here so am trying to rush! I have never read a post on MN that so rings the truth with me and I really felt I had to respond.

Smudging Thu 10-Jan-13 18:43:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smudging Thu 10-Jan-13 18:45:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flojobunny Thu 10-Jan-13 18:53:15

I don't think I could go a week without being shouty. I struggle to hold it together for a day. I don't realise til after the event that I could have handled things better.
An outreach worker from surestart was supposed to be getting back to me but not heard from her since.
Struggling to find a parenting course in the evening, they all seem to be day time round here and ages off.

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