Exhausted and struggling!(10 Posts)
I'm struggling with family life. I have two pre-school children aged 5 and 2 and am 18 months into coping with a very severe form of cancer, I spend a lot of time in hospital and not feeling 100%. My future is also uncertain which obviously casts an shadow over family life. However, that is how it is at the moment and it can't keep being an excuse for every time I feel I can't cope. We (my partner and I) have good family support but everyone is feeling the strain and I find it humiliating to have an audience to my not coping. My DP works shifts, so often settling the boys is down to me. They just run circles around me. It makes me feel sad when I get really angry and shout at them, but to be honest they often just giggle and keep running circles around me. Nothing seems to be a threat to them (confiscating bike, not allowed to watch favourite cartoon) and I try hard to focus on what they do right-but lets be realistic, naughty is also just plain naughty! I don't believe that everyone has perfect family lives, although I realise ours is going through a particularly difficult time. Any support is appreciated. Any shared stories of struggles which have turned out OK! I just want family life (especially as my future is unclear) to be a positive thing and find it especially crushing as let's face it it just often isn't.
Beeve I'm so sorry you're having a hard time at the moment. DCs at 5 and 2 are exhausting enough even in the best of circumstances.
Have you spoken to your DP about how you're feeling? I'm sure there's no need to feel humiliation. No doubt you're expecting far more from yourself that anyone else would dream of expecting.
I'm so sorry, I don't have anything helpful to say.
Thanks for your reply. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself as there's always that feeling of having to make the most of all the family time you have. I do forget the normal things though for example they are 5 and 2!!! What do I expect-oh for them to behave! Imagine! Because of our circumstances I feel especially bad when we have bad days and there's often no one to talk to as there is that expectation of building happy memories etc. not of a fraught pissed off mummy! My DP is supportive as is my family, but as we are all in this together it can feel all encompassing.
You say you have all this support but what exactly are they doing to support you? If you are alone at bedtime with two rambunctious boys where is the support?
Ask for more help. Physical help. Ask for people to come by and be there for you/with you. DONT feel humiliated, you are ill and need help and that's when people should step forward and help you. Have you spoken to a Macmillan nurse? They are good at providing extra help.
You need to keep your strength up and not deal with extra stresses such as this on your own.
Sending you loads of hugs xxxxx
ah this is a sad story. Yes try to get as much help as you can and not coping and showing you're not is better than trying to struggle on. HOpefully there is some help you can get and the macmillan nurse should be able to help. You can try and talk to your 5 year old and talk about working in a team and explaining you get tired too and see if he/she can help calm down the 2 year old on the nights noone can help. Any close friends also who can pitch in?. I have 3 kids and I shout at them constantly so ill or not, this is a fact of life they have to understand when something is not acceptable but sounds like its not getting through.
Thank-you all for your advice. I got my mum over whilst my DP was finishing nights and he struggled last night with them as I ducked out. We had decided to use family less for help as my family were doing the brunt and I could see my mum was beginning to struggle. My boys were also beginning to associate what should be fun grandparent time with me being in hospital and we were trying to reverse that association. However! Deciding all this when I'm just out of hospital with pneumonia has not been our smartest move. I just keep wanting to cope independently and be back to my old self but every time I underestimate my recovery and it takes so much longer than I think. I think I'm still in illness denial! I have had contact with a Maggie's centre but very early on and I think I will use them again. There's only so much I can off load onto loved ones without them worrying and being over anxious which in turn doesn't help me. We'll see!!!
OP, my heart goes out to you. I have a 5yo and a 2yo and I have felt like I am not coping at times. I've often been that shouty, knackered mum. And I am not dealing with the huge challenges you face! So please don't be hard on yourself.
I think others have posted good advice which I'm not sure I can add to, other than to say that I've noticed in recent weeks that life has become easier with my two. They have reached a new stage where they play together much more and need less constant intervention. I hope that as your kids grow you'll also notice those incremental changes in the coming months which may ease your load a little.
My dd is only 9 months so I don't have any practical parenting advice to share. But I wanted to say please don't be too hard on yourself. You've been through so much and it sounds to me like you're coping well.
Have you spoken to anyone about managing the uncertainty around your health such as a macmillan nurse or a counsellor?
Op. I had cancer when my 3 boys were all little so I know how you feel.
My boys were too young to be helpful or understanding so just carried on like normal boisterous hard work kids
It was a scary time and I completely sympatjise with the feeling of making the most of time but that puts such a strain on you.
I remember trying to fit so much in I nearly broke myself.
Can you get any support via the hospital social worker or organise your family to help when it's most needed?
I don't know what you have but I have brca1. I'm very lucky that I'm healthy and have had my boobs and ovarys out so my worry factor is minimal but it's been a hard twenty years at times, worrying if it will crop back up.
One of the best things I did was speak to a psychologist at the hospital. It was an oncology specialist and it helps you to get your thoughts in order.
I'm happy to share thoughts with you if you feel it would be helpful.
Hi Ledkr, I can totally relate to the fact that children just carry on being children! Put into perspective, I would rather a couple of boisterous boys as if they became withdrawn because of what is happening I would feel even more guilty. It's horrible to hear of anyone, esp' mums of young ones to have Cancer and it is really good to hear that fingers crossed you are well now and been able to see your children grow. I have leukaemia and was told from day 1 that my prognosis was poor and that I needed a bone marrow transplant which I have had. It is exhausting and defeating at times. My oldest can be quite anxious and will often ask if I am better now, going for sleepovers in hospital etc and can be demanding needing constant 1:1 time and reassurance - that is impossible to give. I shouldn't resent this-I am his mum after all and do tend to become unwell very quickly and be whisked off to hospital with no notice. I would say we have a strong bond which can make help from others a challenge-he wants mummy to do it all. It's hard to answer his questions though. Yes there is a lot of pressure to make the most of family time, and I am totally feeling the strain of that. It's just not normal and they don't stop bouncing around the place just because I'm having a bad day. I've asked family to have the boys for one sleepover a week. I am quite possessive of them so it is hard but if it is planned and fun for them then I think it will be a break for us all! Thank-you for your help.
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