Im a terrible mom, I dont know if I can do this anymore

(35 Posts)
triosmom Sat 25-Jul-15 01:46:11

Hey all.
I cant say dont judge me, I cant say dont think Im just throwing myself a pity party, I just know I love my children but I feel how I feel and need somewhere to put these feelings down before I go crazy.

When I was a preteen my oldest brother died, and I was left to be a caretaker emotionally for my mother while she coped with the death of one son and the other getting in trouble with the law. We moved and I became very isolated and didnt make any friends, kept to myself.

When I was 20, after the isolation and loneliness as well as being a caretaker for my mother in my teens, I met a man whom I thought was my knight in shining armor, my blessing after the selflessness of caring for others for so many years. I see now (btw he wasnt a blessing, he turned out to have severe Narcissist Personality Disorder + was an emotional abuser) that my isolation was an easy mark for him, and I was just easy prey.

Fast forward 6 years, after being emotionally abused, breaking up/getting back together/cycle of abuse + dysfunction 3 times, courts for custody, cops for his rages, being pregnant and alone/forgotten by him during 2 of my pregnancies until I gave birth and was easy prey again to be spun into his web of games. Loving him 100% and having him manipulate that fact into using me as emotional toilet paper.

If anyone has been through an emotional abusive relationship (esp narcissist- they are a special type of psychopath) you will understand what I mean when I say that by the end of it I felt like a pumpkin that had been scraped clean, empty and hurt.

Realizing that for the past 6 years I had never been loved by the man I kept returning to in hopes that my children could have a father in their life and a family with a mom and dad, that I had handed myself to someone who would destroy me happily was damaging. But I have accepted this, and I no longer feel anything for him, I see that (even now, after cheating on me) when he tries to play the same pull and push game, I can see right through him and pretend he is just a stranger who never knew who I was (which is truth)

I accept that I thought I was creating a family with a man I loved, but the reality is that I am a single mother of three boys (6, 2 1/2 + 10 months) and will never have closure for the last 6 years.

He takes them everyother weekend, my mom has been helping greatly with my oldest as he needs more outings and stimulation (schools out right now) then the babies. He is visiting with her for a few days.

I am personally feel like I am an old car that is breaking down bit by bit. I feel like a terrible terrible mother. I hardly have the energy after cleaning/cooking/changing/potty training/laundry and everyone wanting my attention to take them out for walks/socialization. The baby crying and teething, the toddler needing me to enstill boundaries and entertain him constantly, my oldest acting out because mom is exhausted and is giving too many warnings instead of putting his butt in timeout because she doesnt want to deal with his tantrum.

Everyday I feel my mind breaking down a bit more, the stress of the kids causing my mind to disassociate (if you are cooking dinner and the baby is crying but you cant pick him up because you need to put something in the stove and the toddler is crying because he wants your attention but you need to get dinner done now, trust me, your mind will disassociate slightly as a survival mechanism) and my body to shake. I get confused alot mid action, and I feel I am constantly imploding. Sometimes I have to go upstairs and cry and ask creator why everyday is so hard.

Just taking my 10 month old upstairs to change clothes, changing his diapers and potty training/changing my toddlers pull up/ and daily life is becoming physically exhausting. After being emotionally abused and now physically exhausted and overwhelmed is putting me into a depression that has me begging for a quiet death every night. That my kids would have 6 figures (life insurance) and a life without me being stressed and sad, begging them to calm down, snapping on them and being too tired to give them a fun childhood is a good thought to me.

Everyday I wakeup and do my best, but I feel like I am swimming a race with three beautiful boys on my back and I am struggling to breathe, let alone swim. I dont feel like my best is nearly good enough. I just want to disappear and be nothing. I dont know how to make friends or start over in a social sense. I am too tired to keep relationships with others going and nurtured. But I know my children need friends and community.

I feel like a failure. That I made a life changing mistake at 19 allowing myself to love that man and now my poor babies have to pay for my delusions. Throughout the day I think to myself "I cant do this, this is too hard, I dont want to do this anymore, im dying" but I keep going.

I have been thinking of leaving the boys with my mom/their dad and leaving her my savings and car and just disappearing, committing suicide or anything to remove my pathetic self from the influence of my innocent children. Would they be better in foster care? Would they be better without me? I see no pros to them being raised by me, all I see is what I dont do, what they could have, what they need that I am not providing, and I do not know what to do.

Im sorry this is waay too long, but like the title says, I dont know if I can do this anymore. I dont know if I can raise three children on my own after digging the four of us out of the hell we were living in with my figernails.

I am spent. I am empty. How do I keep going when my personal reserve of hope/strength/determination and love are barely keeping me afloat, nevermind filling up my three boys in their most influential development stage.

I thank anyone who took the time to read this. I havent had a lot of support from other mothers, never had mommy friends (i have always been too busy trying to figure out/fix a broken relationship and change myself to make things better)

I personally am so confused on how to have a connection with anyone anymore. I just say thank you for your time. Take care.

bestguess23 Sat 25-Jul-15 01:52:28

You sound like a brilliant mother doing everything in her power to look after her boys. Please don't run away or do something awful to yourself. You have been doing a huge job on your own with little support. Do you have anyone at all you can confide in in RL? I would recommend discussing this with your doctor and accessing some counselling to help you talk through the awful things that have happened to you. Would your mom be able to provide any more support to give you some time to yourself? They won't be little forever and you can get through this. Please ask for the help you need and know you are doing a great job flowers

cookiefiend Sat 25-Jul-15 02:10:38

I am useless with advice but didn't want to read and run. Please keep reading, I am sure someone wise will be along shortly. You sound like you are doing really well with your children, but need some support yourself. Was you health visitor any good? If so they should be able to signpost you to support. If not, try your GP. You do not need to do this alone.

triosmom Sat 25-Jul-15 02:11:31

@bestguess23, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I think speaking to a dr/counsellor may be my next step as I feel I need to get a handle on myself emotionally. It is so hard to find the energy and time to focus on myself (when going to the bathroom for 5 min alone is a treat) but it seems like I dont have much choice. Thank you againstar

triosmom Sat 25-Jul-15 02:19:09

No worries @cookiefiend, I thank you for your response very much. It is such a suprise to hear you beautiful mothers saying that I am doing a great job, when all I can focus on is my downfalls. Perhaps I need to address the fact that my self esteem has also taken a beating, and I shouldnt be so hard on myself. It seems like my internal emotional compass needs reprogramming.. thank you again and take care

bestguess23 Sat 25-Jul-15 02:26:07

That's just it, you need time to feel better about you and maybe counselling will give you that space. You sound like a woman with her kids' best interests at heart doing her best by them. You'll get there, there's no shame in needing a bit of help, who doesn't?!

chumbler Sat 25-Jul-15 02:29:07

definitely dont be so hard on yourself, you love your children, youre t doing your best but you need a little help to make sure you're OK. see your gp, maybe call Samaritans if you wanted to talk things through, just talking about it can help. please seek support, you can feel better, things will get better x x

Ibu1986 Sat 25-Jul-15 02:40:51

Reading your post made me well up. You are doing an amazing job getting through each day (I seriously struggle with one). You clearly love your children which is the most important thing, but you need to look after yourself too. Please seek professional help and counselling as soon as you can. Sending my love x

icklekid Sat 25-Jul-15 04:13:26

Well done for escaping the abuse. I think you are a fantastic mum but realise you need help and support to get through this tough stage. Please do get to gp it will help. Also make life easy -batch cook so you can just defrost in microwave (get your mum to help with childcare so you can do this?) Take each day as it comes and focus on one thing that makes you smile when you reflect on the day x

basilflower Sat 25-Jul-15 11:36:08

I think the very fact that you've posted and been honest about your feelings makes you a brilliant mum. You clearly care deeply for your children. Respect for getting this far, and for getting out of the relationship. It does feel like you need some help, have you tried your local children's centre at all? They may be able to suggest ways they or other local organisations can help? Sending you a virtual hug. Xxx

DangerGrouse Sat 25-Jul-15 15:04:42

Where in the country are you?
There's a lot of mummy Facebook groups you can join where they talk about what they are up to and you can join in. Loads of toddler groups everywhere. Homestart etc...

triosmom Sat 25-Jul-15 15:07:27

Thank you @bestguess23, @chumbler, @lbu1986, @icklekid + @basilflower for your encouraging words. Thank you for giving me the perspective that I am doing my best, and I truly am, and that I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but I do need help/assistance.

I have been given an opportunity to put my children in childcare at little/no cost due to a subsidy program. My youngest is still small, and I wanted to be there for him like I was for my older two, but im starting to think there is a reason this opportunity has arrived.

For them to have a routine and friends/peers outside of this house and me is I think more postive at this point then my want to be there for my little one physically, but stressing out while doing it. I need to let go a bit I think and accept the help I need.

Im just so used to holding everything together and taking care of everyone. Perhaps I need to think about myself and how my positivity would effect my children better even if we have a shorter time together each day.

Thank you again.

bestguess23 Sat 25-Jul-15 15:10:22

Childcare may be just what you need. Some time to yourself will be great after the unrelenting times you have had so far. Do give it a go, if it doesn't work for your family you can always stop. You're doing great flowers

Atenco Sat 25-Jul-15 16:32:37

That is brilliant news about the childcare, take it, OP. My dd was three months old when she started attending nurseries, and she is a healthy, happy thirty-year-old now.

Don't set the bar so high for yourself. You will make mistakes with your children and do things wrong and somethings you just won't be able to do for them, but that is OK, there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

It would help if you took vitamin B supplements. You would have a bit more energy and calm.

And remember this is absolutely the most difficult time for you. Soon your second child will be totally potty trained and the main work will be with the baby who, in another year or two will also be out of nappies.

triosmom Sat 25-Jul-15 18:13:53

Yes @bestguess23, you're right, it is worth a try and if it doesnt work, at worst things will return to how they are now. A happy healthy mom for when you see her in the morning/evening is ultimately better then a stressed out mom you see everyday/ all day.

@atenco, thank you for your encouragement. Im so glad your daughter did well in childcare, I am seeing the positive in this situation for all my children, even my 10 month old.

I will definitely look into the B vitamins and once again, take it easy on myself and not compare my mothering to what I think it should be. If my children are sheltered, fed, clean, safe, loved and learning, I shouldnt beat myself up if im not managing the extras all the time.

Thank you again EVERYBODY for your words. When you only have yourself most of the time to reflect on your situation and do not have a third party/reality check perspective, you can really dig yourself into a ditch.

Thank you for the hugs, they mean a lot!

cabbageleaf Sat 25-Jul-15 19:00:37

I think you don't sound like an awful mum at all, I think you sound like a very strong, courageous woman who has had a lot thrown at her! I read your OP from start to finish and it contained so many deep and meaningful thoughts, I was very touched by it and wished I could do something to help you apart from suggest you get professional help. I am not a health professional but you sound depressed, you should talk to your GP about your feelings and above all, your suicidal thoughts! You really shouldn't ignore them and just struggle on, thinking of suicide is a sign that you really cannot take the strain anymore, which is understandable in your situation. Wishing you all the best and stay strong!

Shakey1500 Sat 25-Jul-15 19:19:30

Ye Gads you sound absolutely amazing. I mean, come on who wouldn't be completely spent emotionally and physically after what you've been through? Add to that you're bringing up 3 kids almost single handedly.

I have zilch experience (mum of one) but I recommend firstly giving yourself a ginormous pat on the back. Then I would plan that every time you have on your own, however that comes about, you do something JUST FOR YOU. Sod the housework on those days/during those hours, unwind, take a breather, reflect on how far you've come. Mark your free time on a wall calendar so that on the full on parenting days you can look at it and countdown. All the best and just to reiterate-YOU'RE AMAZING!

TantricShift Sat 25-Jul-15 21:31:29

There are lots of groups that can support mothers who find themselves in this kind of situation. Get in touch with your health visitor, do some research online. Homestart comes to mind. There are other groups that you can access but I don't know what area you live in. For instance I suffered PND and was suicidal, I was put in touch with a Family Group that saved my life. There are resources and they make a huge difference in helping you cope. If you need help with research in your area you can always pm me but I'm sure your Health visitor will have some good suggestions. Chin up girl, you have come this far.

Thisismyfirsttime Sat 25-Jul-15 22:22:20

No child would be better off without a mum like you. Not one. You love them, so much so you are working yourself into the ground to meet their needs and by the sounds of it you are doing a bloody good job of it. You are just neglecting yourself in the process which terrible mothers do not do! You have practical advice above, but please do not ever think your children would be better off without you.

Quodlibet Sat 25-Jul-15 22:37:44

I'm echoing everyone else's thoughts by saying you sound like you are doing a brilliant job (who wouldn't be exhausted and dropping balls looking after 3 singled handed??) and yes please see your doctor and try to access some support.

It sounds a little from your post that this sense of unravelling that you are feeling now that you have dragged your boys out of harm's way is a bit like the way people collapse after doing a marathon or get ill after a massive urgent work project is finished - your body/mind won't let yourself fall to pieces when the pressure is on intensely, so it builds up and happens when you are safe. It sounds like you could do with the time that childcare will afford you, as well as whatever psychological or emotional support you can access from your GP. You need to be looked after a bit I think.

Sending a huge hug your way - it takes enormous strength to do what you've done and I admire you for it.

Newtobecomingamum Sat 25-Jul-15 23:09:57

Didn't want to read and run.. Although Sorry I don't have any helpful advice. But my gosh you sound like superwoman and you are doing an amazing job!! You have amazing strength and I think the advice from other posters above is great in relation to looking a childcare and speaking to GP about councilling.
I like the poster above admire you and wish I had your strength! You can and you will get through this flowers

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 25-Jul-15 23:22:07

Nobody ever sad being mother is easy, we all drop balls, we all have low moments of regret, could do better. Unfortunately our children are our worse critiques... all the live long day!!! Take the childcare, have a bath,.do your hair, meet a friend, get boring jobs done with the music turned up! What ever you need to feel human again. If moms happy, everyones happy.

thornrose Sat 25-Jul-15 23:28:24

You are not a terrible mum, you are bloody awesome. You are about at the end of your tether though, quite understandably.

To continue being a great mother to your dc you now need to accept that you need some help and support.

Hugs to you, proper heart warming hugs, not mamby pamby "un mumsnetty hugs" grin

griselda101 Sat 25-Jul-15 23:52:30

awww sounds like you're doing a truly amazing job, under highly stressful and difficult circumstances.

the childcare sounds like a great idea and if it gives you a bit of space to look after you again you should definitely go for it. really sounds like you need it, so don't feel any guilt about it.

as others have said speak to your GP and get some MH support, some talking therapy and a support worker. An adult to offload to and help you find solutions together will make all the difference. and it will feel like you are taking steps forwards which will really help in itself.

also your kids are very young, in a year or so things will be a lot easier when the younger ones are a bit older and have a bit more awareness. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you, I only have one and have found that so hard.

One step at a time and one day at a time. Things will get easier. Make sure you look after you as well as the kids. flowers

triosmom Tue 28-Jul-15 13:00:28

Wow. @cabbageleaf, @shakey1500, @tantricshift,@thisismyfirsttime, @quodlibet, @newtobecomingamum, @sallyhasleftthebuilding, @thornrose, @griselda101, thank you so much for your responses.

I was reading your responses and walking to the grocery, and I was literally tearing up, I had to stop.

I really didnt think when I came onto this community and wrote my original post, that I would be bombarded with so much support.

To hear from other people, especially mothers who are going through the same daily frustrations and learning curves, that I am doing a good job and that it is not my mothering that needs changing, but my self-care and self esteem that needs more attention is so, so encouraging.

I really wasnt aware to the extent that I had lost focus on myself and my needs, but Im really going to make it a point to cut myself some slack, take the help I am offered/need and mother myself a bit.

You are all so amazing and stronger than you think. Every mother has the ability to drag herself and her children the last mile to the finish line, like when we can lift cars off our babies.

With motherhood comes superpowers, literally. That is why the female of any species is usually the deadliest. The max of our strength and pure energy force becomes almost limitless if we need it to be in times of high intensity.

But we must also back off when we need tending and refuel the amazing vessels we are. I see that now.

Thank you, you are all amazing and wonderful women!!

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