How do you do it when you just don't have anymore to give?(15 Posts)
That's it really, how do you be that good parent when you just haven't got anything left to give?
I'm really struggling this week, and snapped at DS alot too much, on Monday eve but also tonight
I feel terrible about it. I had an extremely damaging childhood, and never had the love and protection of a non-abusive mother.
I swore my DS would never ever feel anything from me but unconditional love and care. Even though that care and love means boundaries and consequences.
Not the harridan bitch I've turned into.
I have a million reasons, legitimate reasons for snapping this week, but really, it's just a load of crap excuses to my little boy.
Monday night, I was being pushed to my almost brink, physically and emotionally. I told my DS to go away, and I will spend a long time trying to mop up the hurt I caused him.
I am severely disabled, single, working mother of a 5yr old, abusive husband gone but not forgotten, DS still gets very scared at shouty voices (Which is why me shouting and snapping is not ok), half my family dead of the genetic crap that I have, no support except the paid carers I completely rely on.
Throw into that mix a DS who just stopped sleeping this last 2 weeks, co sleeping except with out the sleeping but, and as I had to prep for a serious legal meeting, solicitors meeting, and was doing this in the evenings after I'd been working and DS sleeping... I was having to work through the nights on it, then carer ill so I had to do things I kinda can't, my rewards, a partially dislocated hip and a flare up of the arthritis in lots of joints... And I've got a bug and lost my voice on top of everything.
Anyway, I've just got too much to cope with and I'll be ok (hopefully!) after I've shaken the cold, and stressful meetings will be over soon I hope, ... but, I can't stop functioning like this, I can't take anything out on DS, and I did
Ive said sorry to him, but it means nothing unless he can trust I won't be like that again...
I just need to know how to not do this again tomorrow, or the next time it's all too much?
Don't be too hard on yourself. None of us are perfect.
I can be too shouty at times too and always feel really guilty.
I don't even have a fraction of your problems, so really no excuse.
I try hard, and can be patient with the dc for a long time, and then an accumulation of annoyances / bad behaviour will push me over the edge and make me snap.
I read somewhere about imagining you're being filmed! I guess that might help.
But mainly just for you. It sounds as though you're an doing an amazing job for your little boy.
I felt overwhelmed and broken, acting like a red angry wounded animal hissing and baring teeth at anyone near... Expected on a wounded animal, not quite such a match with good parenting. Ffs.
I just feel angry and upset with myself, which isn't terribly helpful at making sure it doesn't happen again.
I think I need some space actually. He's so so on top of me at the moment, which is quite suffocating. And although I try not to show it, it hurts me physically when he's all over me.
I think that's wearing me down more than I realised.
Ok feel slightly less doom laden this morning, but still need to work out ways to not show my anger when it gets too much, as is sure to happen this afternoon as I'll be doing more than I can comfortably do.
Wow, you have a lot going on, give yourself a break! So what you shouted at your child, they'll get over it. Who hasn't snapped and shouted at their child, that's not normal. It's more likely to affect them if you are always so nice and gentle and Molly coddle them...the real world isn't like that.
You sound like you are doing an amazing job and you are a great mother, cut yourself some slack.
It was more than a quick snap and a sorry and instant change of pace. I was sorry but couldn't turn it off
I think the other thing is that I feel out of sync with him. Which is a new feeling.
Hope it's not a sign of things to come, can't just be cos he's older can it?
I saw his behaviour as negative today, when it wasn't really, I just started to interpret him all wrong.
I felt like he wasn't reacting at all, like he was being rude/ uncaring/ spoilt.
But it's just dawned on me... He goes into himself when he's unhappy, put on the spot, or scared. He goes ever more shut down and remote.
I know this.
Ive been telling his father/ nurseries/ teachers/nannies this for years. I've been protecting him from this, drawing him out of himself, showing he could be safe with me.
What the actual fu*k am I
I'm already dreading 3oclock.
Please forgive yourself for snapping. Being a good parent doesn't mean never getting cross with you dc. Everyone gets angry sometimes and there are healthy ways to express anger. You don't need to hide it from your son.
He's 5. You can tell him that you are tired and he is hurting you. You can ask him not to climb on you. This will not scar him.
You are having a very tough time and your instinct is to ask for help, analyse, and protect. You are a good parent in a difficult position with multiple challenges at the moment.
I think you need to cut yourself some slack. What are you trying to teach your DS here? That when we get things wrong, that's the end of it, it's a disaster, we'll never be able to recover from it?
Or are you trying to teach him that when things go wrong, we admit our mistakes, forgive ourselves and each other and start again?
I suspect it's the second. So let go of the past. Try to find some support, even if it's only the odd playdate for DS - it does sound like you need a bit of respite. Press the reset button and try to get on with the rest of your day - do something nice but low impact with DS, get the blankets out, get some chocolate, stick a DVD on.
You're doing brilliantly. But we only have our own parents' examples to learn from - it's inevitable you will get it wrong if you've had a damaged childhood. It's not about being perfect, it's about how you recover.
Please don't be so hard on yourself. You sound like you're doing the best job you possibly can, in very difficult circumstances. Do you have enough space that he could perhaps go and work on a puzzle or look at a picture book, or even watch the TV for a little bit, while you take a few minutes to decompress when it all feels too much? He's old enough now that you could leave him in one room while you go into another - perhaps for a hot bath, or just a short period of sitting quietly by yourself.
Also - he is old enough to understand if you say "Mummy is very sorry for shouting but sometimes my bones ache, and sometimes I don't have a very good day, and that means things get difficult for me. And just like when you're not feeling good, sometimes that makes me act in ways I shouldn't".
There's a book my children like called "My Big Shouting Day" which goes through a day where a little girl just finds everything difficult and has multiple temper tantrums. It ends with her saying sorry and then the following day everything is great. I think it's a good one for showing that everyone has bad days sometimes, but tomorrow can always be a fresh start.
The thing that spooked me is that I can't seem to change it.
That's what I want to teach him, that you do wrong, followed by a sorry, and then ideas how to stop it happening again, and incident closed. Not that you do the same rubbish thing again and again even though you know how rubbish it is and how it hurts your loved ones...
I do need to give myself physical space and I need to be able to say 'don't touch me' sometimes before it all gets too much. Hadn't realised how much that was affecting me until this thread.
Am hyper aware of needing to be a good parent, cos of my family background, the whole sorry H is an abusive tw*t thing, and also because I'm the only family DS has now, and that must be very scary, considering I'm ill, disabled and rely on carers.
So I'm all about showing stability, unconditional love and respect. And when I can't do that myself...
I don't like to make excuses for doing bad stuff, my mother had a million drip drab drops of poor me excuses and justifications. I think that DS shouldn't have a worse mummy because I'm ill and overwhelmed.
I need a plan so I can manage it better. Yesterday's meanness was when we were out of the house, so couldn't get any breathing space or take self out of situation.
Out of the house just me and DS is mostly a lovely treat where he gets to sit with me on my mobility scooter. But when it's like yesterday, not a treat! It was the physical thing again, just wanting to not be touched, pain but also just 'touched out'.
Need a 'how to stop being a harridan whilst out' plan!
Just to say you're doing a great job
The best thing is knowing where the problems are and working on them. It takes time though.
I don't think you have excuses, I think they are valid reasons.
Can you plan a fun day out with DS? When things got on top of me after leaving ex abusive P, and work was stressful, I used to just take off somewhere with DS and escape, anywhere.
Have you ever read the book 'how to talk so kids will listen, and how to listen so kids will talk' - it helped me correct a lot and learn just how crap my childhood was.
You sound a bit burnt out to me. When he is at school is it possible for you to do something for yourself that you enjoy and ins relaxing?
If you need physical space just tell him and if he won't listen give yourself that space by sitting alone in another room for 5 minutes. Set the boundaries for what kind of play is ok with you (I.e. No jumping on me, etc).
Staying calm is the hardest part as we all do snap sometimes. I feel very bad when I snap too and always make sure to apologize and give a big hug after. I try to let little things go and keep telling myself they are just 3 and 5. If they make a big mess or break something I just let it go but if it's tantrums or hitting/pushing I deal with it.
It sounds like you're doing an amazing job.
I'm a big believer that mums need time outs too. So if DD is pushing and pushing me I say "mummy needs a time out" and walk away. If she goes to follow I will put her upstairs where she can't get past the stair gate. Then I shut myself in a room with a timer on 4/5 mins and eat chocolate biscuits. It just helps me to get back in the zone and, usually, calms DD down too because it forces her to entertain herself.
Sorry if this is no help
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.