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i am fucking up my kids.

(42 Posts)
BooyHoo Tue 07-Jun-11 19:07:14

i am doing exactly teh same as my mum did and i swore i would never do. my children aren't nusiances, they aren't getting in the way of my life so why am i treating them like they are? why do i get so stressed just trying to do the normal family things, when actually i am doing these things so that we can be happy? i shout every day, they cry every day and i cry most evenings. i hate myself. i swore i wouldn't be this parent. i swore it and i am doing it right now. my chidlren are re-living my childhood. teh only reason i am still alive now is because my mother worked full-time. i dont want to be her. i cant be her, i want my children to have good memories of feeling close to me, not feeling they have to get out from under my feet NOW!!!

i need to change. i need to re-wire my system and be a better type of parent. i dont want to shout or scold all teh time, i want to be able to go shopping without barking 100 times for teh same thing. i saw my friend's mum today and asked if she had any tips for me and she said "my children would have known better". what do i need to do? how do i make it so that being with my chidlren is a pleasant thing not a chore to endure. i am so sick of myself. i cant imagine how sick tehy are of me.

lilolilmanchester Tue 07-Jun-11 19:09:06

Hi BooyHoo, sorry you're feeling like this. I'm not an expert, but it sounds to me like you are perhaps a bit depressed. Do you feel you could talk to your GP about this, just them them exactly what you've written here?

throckenholt Tue 07-Jun-11 19:14:33

How old are your kids ?

schmee Tue 07-Jun-11 19:15:59

Your friend's mum sounds unhelpful to say the least... How blessed she must have been to have such perfect kids - but I bet your friend would tell a different story!

Remember, everyone has a hard time with their kids some of the time. If they say they don't they are lying. But it does sound like it is really getting you down so lilo's advice may be good.

As for "rewiring" - a friend told me that you should be giving your children 6 bits of praise for every bit of negative feedback. You might feel a bit bonkers doing it, but it might help - I've found it a useful thing to keep in my head at difficult times. Really really try to praise the smallest thing that they are doing well and it may help break the cycle.

Also - could you face a day out with them? Do you have a partner or relative who could help you out for a day or too to let you concentrate on having a nice time with them?

BooyHoo Tue 07-Jun-11 19:17:37

i was depressed until a few months ago but i thought i was doing well. i havent seen the GP. i dont want to start taking medication. i think this is just my 'parenting' (or lack of) style. ds1 used to be really well behaved. people always complimented me on him. since having ds2 thinsg have chanegd. alot in our lives has changed. i am now unemployed and my partner and i separated. i think i have just let things slide. i know i have but i need to get them back. i used to eb a good parent. i need to get back tehre.

tehy are 2 and almost 6.

BooyHoo Tue 07-Jun-11 19:20:49

i think alot of ds1's behaviour is jealousy of ds2. it is very hard to treat them exactly teh same. ds2 rrequires a lot more hands on attention and ds1 tries to muscle in. i do have time alone with ds1. we have dvd night once a week just us two and in teh evenings, if i haven't lost patience with them, ds1 gets to stay up later than ds2.

exoticfruits Tue 07-Jun-11 19:25:50

Go to a parenting class. I found it really helpful.

Nuttychic Tue 07-Jun-11 19:27:50

Sorry you feeling like this BooyHoo and I also wonder if you are perhaps depressed or exhaused. Either way I really would suggest you go and see your GP or someone.

I agree 100% with scheemee about the praise. Even if you dont feel like it just find anything worth praising and do it. You will see their faces light up and that will make you feel better and it really does become habit.

I also find "Dont sweat the small stuff and pick your battles" to be so true. When you wake up tomorrow, decide to just try and not raise your voice at all until say, mid-day. You will realise that you actually can do it (even if you have to grit your teeth a few times) and that will give you the confidence to do more to help yourself.

BooyHoo Tue 07-Jun-11 19:32:18

if i go to teh GP is there anything they can do otehr than suggest meds?

i will try the praise thing and not shouting tomorrow. it seems so simple to say it. i just cant do this anymore. i know exactly where this ends if i carry on like i am. i wont do that to my children. tehy deserve better.

chocolateorange Tue 07-Jun-11 19:42:22

Oh op, I was you 4 years ago. It's so bloody hard isn't it!

I second going to a parenting class.

The best piece of advice I had was to, when I could feel the stress levels rising, imagine I had a camera crew in the room. I acted out how I should parent and kept telling myself that come bedtime, I'd feel great for achieving my goals for the day - not to shout, spend time on the floor playing with them etc. As a result, behaviour improved and the circle continued and things got easier.

Want to say more but off out, good luck op

lilolilmanchester Tue 07-Jun-11 19:46:16

I don't know what a GP might offer BooyHoo but there might be counselling etc Another option might be to talk to a Health Visitor - there are some great ones but appreciate not all are. You have a huge amount on your plate, 2 little ones and you're on your own - no wonder you are shattered and being very hard on yourself. Is there anyone who can give you a break, or at least help out with the children some of the time?

AngryFeet Tue 07-Jun-11 19:53:22

Having my second child also made me the shouting horrid Mum I didn't want to be. But now the youngest is 4 I am handling things much better. I found this book a lifesaver

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1892222043/ref=asc_df_18922220433118288?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=1892222043

Are you getting time off for yourself? Do you work? The time I struggled most with was when I was a SAHM and with them 24/7. Made me stressed and depressed and I hated every moment. I now work 2 days a week, one is at school at the other at nursery 3 mornings and 2 full days (6 hour school days) so I can clean and tidy when they aren't around. Is your DH helpful around the house? Does he take them off your hands at weekend? Do you have help from family? All these things make life more bearable when you have 2 young kids. Doing it all yourself can drive you to the edge.

You are not a bad mum as you acknowledge the fact that you need to make changes for the better. You just need to figure out what needs to change then get some help and go about implementing those changes.

AngryFeet Tue 07-Jun-11 19:55:10

Oh and when you say "why do i get so stressed just trying to do the normal family things, when actually i am doing these things so that we can be happy?" what do you mean? Sometimes you can stress yourself out trying to be perfect and do everything right but your kids just need simpler things and will still be happy smile

BooyHoo Tue 07-Jun-11 19:55:14

i have a great neighbour who is always offering to have the little one while ds1 is at school, but what would i do? i would feel guilty letting her have him unless i really needed teh time to get something important done. i would have nothing to do.

we have a surestart m&t group locally and i always mean to go to it but never have myself organised to get out to it. i knwo they mentioned a parenting class one time when i was tehre. the m&t is on on friday so i will make teh effort to go to it and find out.

TheGoddessBlossom Tue 07-Jun-11 19:59:32

Sweetheart.

Firstly the fact that you are posting on here means you know you want to do better at things. That is a great first step.

Agree with Chocorange. Imagining someone is watching and observing the way you deal with things is a great moderator. Try it.

Also - remember that you are the most (let's face it) important person in your kids' lives. They want you to be happy, they want you to laugh with them, be relaxed, have fun, enjoy them.

Tip 1 - we are in the car going to school, my kids have annoyed me from the min they woke up, have told them to get in car without fighting, they fail.
Instead of telling them off all the way to school, we play the memory game. Each one has one minute (they look at the car clock) to name as many things in a topic as they can think of - sports, vegetables, clothing, countries, things you would find in a fridge. Mine are 4 and 6. They love this game. We also play "I went shopping" and the spotting game, (choose something each to spot on the journey).

Talk to them (the 6 year old anyway). Tell him/her that you have got lots on. That you will do x, y and z, and then you will watch Tarzan with him/her, read a story, play football before bathtime. But follow through.

This weekend DH and I were so hungover. Zero tolerance. So I got 2 baskets of clean dry washing that needed sorting - DS 1 (6) was in charge of pairing socks, DS2 (4) was in charge of putting the ironing in the basket. Took an hour and a half. They loved it.

Simple, attention intensive stuff. They just want your attention.

Don't get me wrong. When I am late, in a hurry, cross, tired (which is alot!), I am a cow to my kids. But they do get the flip side. I ensure that they do.

Good luck. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Bloss

xx

AngryFeet Tue 07-Jun-11 20:01:51

"i have a great neighbour who is always offering to have the little one while ds1 is at school, but what would i do? i would feel guilty letting her have him unless i really needed teh time to get something important done. i would have nothing to do."

So you are keeping on top of your cleaning and tidying? Is doing this while they are around stressing you out? If it is do it then instead. If not then use the time to relax. It is ok to do that you know grin You don't need to be a martyr (trust me I struggle not to do this myself!).

Get yourself sorted and go to the parenting class - it will help.

Stop beating yourself up. This is a hard job. You will not fuck them up, they will be fine.

Conflugenglugen Tue 07-Jun-11 20:15:58

BooyHoo - have you thought about the possibility that you are doing this because of your childhood rather than in spite of it? There is a little person in you who was treated that way, and until you work with her, the past is almost certainly going to be affecting the present.

I'd suggest therapy, but first some support. It can be overwhelming, and asking for help is no bad thing at all. And once you have the support in place, then the therapy. I speak from experience - both as a mother and as a therapist-in-training.

BooyHoo Tue 07-Jun-11 20:23:41

thank you. i think reading through the responses has made me realise just how much i have going on/have dealt with and how long it's been going on for. i think i am tired. tired of just always being mum, tired of knowing it will always be this way. i think it's just worse thsi week because ds1 has been off scholl sick and i dont know why but i seem to be surrounded by really happy couples doing coupley things. it just brought home to me how restricted i am. i feel liek i am weighed down by my children. that sounds incredibly selfish and i dont mean it to but i am just struggling with how suffocating it is. i am their mum and i chose this life but it doesn't stop it being incredibly lonely and sometiems just plain bloody shit.

i am going to go and have a bath and an early night. just feel too emotional tonight. thank you for all responses. i will come back tomorrow and read proprly and make a plan of action. sorry, this started off as a behaviour thing but has un;eashed a whole load of other issues and emotions. just too much for me to deal with tonight although i know i need to face it. sorry. i will come back. hopefully feel more able for it tomorrow.

lilolilmanchester Tue 07-Jun-11 22:44:13

hope you had a good rest BooyHoo. Keep talking - to us and to people in RL. Most parents feel like this at some point but you seem to be feeling like that too much of the time. Good that you are thinking about re-reading when you've had a sleep and are going to build an action plan. Just don't ask too much of yourself in that plan - small steps. You are NOT being selfish - the fact that you are posting on here and beating yourself up proves that you're not. Being a parent is suffocating, it's our job to be there 24x7 and that's hard enough when there are two of you.... I'm not going to be around much for the rest of the week but others will be, keep posting. Lots of people have given some really good tips on here, and I'm sure there will be more. But please, don't ask too much of yourself all at once. Small steps!

Momo36 Wed 08-Jun-11 08:41:55

I think speaking to someone about what you going through would help you. The reason it that you mention your own childhood in your post. There may be some deep - rooted issues you are not even aware of that may be influencing your parenting. This does not meant that you would be put on medication, just discussing stuff with someone who is distant and can provide a different perspective may be beneficial... Hang in there.

exoticfruits Wed 08-Jun-11 09:06:29

A parenting class helps. It shows you really simple things such as how to use language so that you don't get into confrontaion. I found that the most useful thing was talking to other parents and realising that other people found things difficult.
Have you thought of Home Start? see here

BooyHoo Wed 08-Jun-11 10:27:59

hello. i didn't sleep well last night despite trying to just let everything go. but i did get some thinking done.

I AM depressed. i guess i was in denial hoping it would go away if i said it had. but i know it isn't normal to be feeling like this. i still haven't convinved myself to go to the GP. not sure really what i am afraid of (accepting it?). i have done some reading online about dealing with it myself and realised that my whole lifestyle is a huge contributor. i don't eat well at all, nor do i get enough sleep and i dont excercise. i dont give myself any devoted time and i put too much pressure on myself to be 'perfect'. so i am going to work on this. nothing drastic, just getting to bed at a good hour and getting a good sleep, eating better and having some excercise daily. i am going to speak to my neighbour. she called over yesterday with a leaflet about the new gym in our local sports centre and again she offered to have ds if i wanted to go. i am going to take her up on the offer. also going to make myself go to the M&T groups. there are 2 weekly.

ds1 went back to school today so obviously things are so much easier with just ds2. going to head out now for a walk and then try and get him down for a sleep so i can get some stuff done. i am moving house so need to get on with packing up.

thank you all for being here. i didn't intend to post and run last night but i was overcome with emotion and the realisation that i really wasn't coping. i just had to step away from it.

TheRhubarb Wed 08-Jun-11 10:38:21

Ok look. My mum used to yell at us every day and often it would get physical. I personally could do nothing right, ever.

At times when I've been low (unemployed, stressed, too much on my plate, family giving me grief, etc) I lapse into a period when every day I have a go at the kids. They might be a little slow in getting out of the house in the mornings, or be looking over my shoulder when I'm reading the paper, or even just fall over and I would go beserk. I just couldn't handle the stresses of strains of everyday life. This was when I was at my lowest and the period when I left MN.

What has helped me the most is to set up a routine. Every morning the kids have to get their bookbags, shoes and coats ready before they turn on the TV and I've given them each an alarm clock that goes off at the same time mine does so I don't have to drag them out of bed in the mornings.

Set some rules like these:

Mornings - out of bed, clean teeth and get school things ready or no TV.
You, get meat out ready for the next day.

(Print out the Sainsbury's meal planners so that you know exactly what to cook for tea and are not stressed when it gets to 5pm and you've nothing in)

Have set days to do chores. So Mon could be vacuuming day, Tues clean the bathroom and put washing in, Wed polish and tidy clutter, Thurs washing in and clean kitchen, mop floors etc etc. Ask your dh to take over some duties too, perhaps he can do the kids bath nights?

After school - kids to tidy rooms and do homework before TV.
Tea is served at 5.30pm on the dot so no arguing from them about something they really need to watch on TV.
Weekends they get pocket money IF they have done all their weekly chores without moaning and whingeing.

Seriously I have been doing this for a while now and life has gotten much better. The kids know what is expected of them and they can see that a happy mum equals a happy atmosphere so they generally do follow the rules.

You tend to find that the more depressed you are the less organised you are which in turn makes you depressed. Start ordering your life now and you will feel a lot happier. It may seem a little sad, but it means a happy household then who gives a crap?

HTH

BooyHoo Wed 08-Jun-11 10:44:44

"You tend to find that the more depressed you are the less organised you are which in turn makes you depressed"

yes i agree with this. when my house is more in order and i know where things are and taht we will definitely egt out on time then i am happier and more relaxed.
i have no DH, it's just me but i am used to that. teh dcs are 2 and 5 so not much they can do chore wise but tehy know washing goes in the basket and dishes over to teh sink. if asked ds1 will help me hang the washing and hoover. he knows to wipe round teh toilet after a pee.

vmcd28 Wed 08-Jun-11 11:56:27

this is a long post - apologies.
Rhubarb0 has given wonderful advice. Being organised is a massive deal. My house is always a shit-heap now, so I try and fail to ignore it. But if you can stay in control of the things you can control, the other half is easier to ignore.

I have two tips that are a big help to me -
1) make 5 sandwiches at the weekend, and freeze them. Put together ds1's packed lunch in the evening, taking one sandwich out the freezer. Put the lot in the fridge, and thats lunch sorted for him for tomorrow. Takes 10 mins off the morning's stresses.
Also make sure you have, say, at least 5 boxes of raisins, 5 apples, 5 flapjacks - whatever you want to put in the lunchbox - so you always have enough for the full week.
2) Anytime between 4pm Friday and bedtime Sunday, wash ALL of the school clothes. Make sure you have 5 complete uniforms ready by Sunday bedtime for the whole week.
Ditto for the 2yo - make sure you have 5 complete outfits ready (and a couple of spares) by Sunday bedtime.

You will never have to worry about running around making sandwiches/lunches in the morning, or realising at bedtime that there are no clean school uniforms. I have just ordered next year's school uniform, and have ordered 5 trousers, 5 polo shirts, 5 shirts, 5 sweatshirts and loads of socks. (M&S online have 20% off just now, fyi!).

Writing lists is also good - it gets all the thoughts and worries OUT of your head and onto the paper, so you wont keep going over and over things that need done. Each day, write down TWO things that MUST be done, ONE thing that it would be good to get done if there's time, and at least ONE thing that's a treat. It doesnt need to be anything too major, but it means the things that are important to you for that day dont end up being forgotten about. My list today is -

[must do]
Take out the rubbish and recycling.
Hoover and wash floors.

[If there's time]
Cook and freeze some veg for ds2.
Change beds [there wont be time, but that's ok]

[treat]
cup of tea and a cake when ds2 is asleep.
wine and The Apprentice tonight.

Booy, I could have written your op a few weeka ago. Part of my problem is I also get annoyed at dh - it's sometimes like I have 3 sons, not 2 sons and a husband. The stresses of the "everyday" stuff really get to me sometimes. I too feel like I am always nagging and getting annoyed, just cos I feel as if I'm the only one trying to keep some semblance of control to the household. My boys are 6 months and 6 years.

I find it is worst if I decide to stay in and have a lazy day while ds1 is at school. By teatime I am tense, stressed, shouty etc. I have to go out each day, even if it's for 10 mins to Asda. Looking at all the shit in the house makes me feel worse and more of a failure, so getting away from it makes it go away for a bit, but then you look forward to coming home again - rather than taking your home space for granted.

Hope some of the tips are a help to you. x

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