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I am beyond struggling

(163 Posts)
ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 12:09:01

dc is 12 and a fucking pain in the arse

he takes the piss, winds me up, blames me for their bad behaviour, says he can't wait to move out, encourages his younger brother to be naughty, does not do as he is told, told me to shut up, said he wouldn't do his homework etc etc etc

I have had lots of advice, I felt I couldn't do if it involved outside people - and I know it is me that is not up to the job.

I have tried ignoring but I can't keep my temper all the time.

I was ill in hospital twice last week through chest pains brought on my stress

I can barely look at him

I want out and I have had enough

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 12:11:34

giving in as just made them not take us seriously

dh thinks I am too strict at times and that has got me nowhere

dc says he will behave if I don't shout and only misbehaves because I shout.

fucking behave then!!

Charley50 Tue 18-Feb-14 13:08:26

Choose your battles carefully then you don't need to give in. I am making a massive effort not to shout at the moment and it is working to an extent. As long as behaviour isn't dangerous let it lie for a bit? I am also trying not to criticise at present. It's easy to get into the habit of criticising children but it is very damaging. Good luck and I hope your DH is supportive of you.

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 13:25:40

It's important that you and DH present a united front. Sit down with him and come up with a strategy for parenting DS, including how and when you will discipline him. Then stick to that. I know it is terribly hard, especially when you're stressed, to not lose your temper and shout. (I've screamed at dd when going through rough patches mental health wise.) However I do experience that if I stay calm there is a much better chance of getting her cooperation. Maybe you and DH can read a parenting book together for some ideas? I like Kevin Leman's books.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 13:34:20

boys sent to their rooms after lunch

dd had hers later then she made a birthday card and later ds1 asked if he could so they were together then ds2 asked so all three fairly happily making cards while I'm left tearful, in pain, feeling like shit and knowing I have failed again. just shouted at them and said I was sick of them treating me like shit all the fucking time.

he has lost his lap top until march 4th and what is the point. days get added on for bad behaviour but when you keep adding on days it clearly isn't working is it.

ds1 treats me like shit then after I have lost I big time they later then behave and get on together whereas I am feeling like shit

sick of telling them the same stuff over and over again.

I just do not want to live like this anymore

seriously considering going on high dose ads as then I won't care about their behaviour when I am drugged to the eyeballs.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 13:35:30

they only start to behave when they have pushed me to breaking point.

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 13:58:03

That happens here too. DD and I will have a huge fight, half an hour later she is acting as if nothing happened while I'm still shaking.

If taking his laptop away is not making any impression on ds1 then you need to find something else that will. You also need to pick your battles. Decide what is non-negotiable and what other things you can just let slide. It's not worth fighting with them over every little thing.

Does ds1 get some one-on-one attention from you and DH? Try to improve your relationship with him when things are going ok, that will help to defuse the situation when things go wrong. Can you involve him e.g. in cooking supper with you?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 14:11:53

LastingLight - what do you do or say to your DD when she is then fine and you are left shaking?

DS1 and I used to be so close then I had DC3 and he seemed to massive and in the last 18 months he has been a real PITA. I love him so much but I can't even look at him at the moment as I feel if I carry on normally he has got away with treating me like crap. I am so tired, physically and emotionally, and it has been like this for months.

He says we go nowhere and do nothing but we can't afford what we used too as we had to find school fees due to DS1 being bullied and DH's new job pays a lot less than his previous one. Nothing I do it good enough and he is just so bloody sarcastic.

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 15:14:06

Sometimes I get upset at her over it and then I get told that she "has put it behind her"! When I can pull it off (not often enough) I will talk to her once I have also calmed down, have a discussion about why everybody got so upset, and apologise for shouting at her. More and more frequently she will apologise back.

I'm just throwing out ideas for you here, maybe something in there might help... Does ds1 get enough exercise? Does he do any sports? Is he involved in any other activities like Scouts? Does his school have a counsellor that you can maybe go to for mediation, or you and DH together for some parenting advice? Does ds1 have any privileges and responsibilities because he is the eldest? (I assume he is?)

I'm repeating myself here, but you and DH must really work as a team. He MUST make it clear to your ds that his behaviour towards you is unacceptable.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 15:40:17

I just talked to him. Apologised for shouting and swearing saying I shouldn't have done it but doesn't excuse what he has done to me all day fortnight. He said he behaved as he did as he is annoyed he has nothing to do and annoyed I made them get up and ready to leave at 8.30am. I told him that was down to him as he lost his school bag. He then said he was annoyed he had to do the dishwasher as dd doesn't do it (not true, she has done it more than the boys for the last two weeks) and I asked him if I should do everything?

It just escalates as I find it hard to let most things go and then when I don't tell off a naughty/mean child I get told I prefer the other one and he/she is allowed to do X when they aren't.

DH rarely tells the kids their behaviour to me is unacceptable as he thinks that makes me even more less likely to be listened too.

We do nothing out of school for various reasons and not an option at the moment unfortunately. I know he is bored. I have told him if all he can do is occupy himself with his lap top (confiscated until March) then I may as well get rid of everything in his room and move him to the small room. He had nothing to say to that.

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 15:54:46

Sorry I don't agree with DH. By keeping quiet he is giving them his implicit permission to treat you badly.

Draw up a rota of who does what chores when, then they can't complain that one does more than the others.

I think you are going to have to make a plan for ds to get involved in some activities somehow so that he has an outlet for his energy and doesn't take all his frustrations out on you. Does he have friends over to visit, or go to friends' houses?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 17:05:11

I will draw up a rota. We used to have one but if they had to do the dishwasher/hoover etc more than once a day they were not happy. Then I tried payment per job but they chose to go without then help. Then we tried pocket money if they did jobs without fuss. Didn't last very long. Currently calling for volunteers for X job and for a week kept a list of who did what as they kept saying they had done the most. At the end I showed them who did the most and they (DD, 2 weeks running) was given a small pocket money bonus.

Tomorrow we will go out once I have worked out what we can do that is cheap/free but will tire them out and suit all three ages.

Only one local friend (siblings) and they are banned atm as one injured my child while here.

They were meant to be going to PIL for a day so I could paint but had to cancel that when I spent all my money getting their shoes and cancelled fun days out due to behaviour.

Thanks for your support cakewine.

Kittymalinky Tue 18-Feb-14 17:26:16

Is it worth starting from scratch again.

Tell him he has all his privileges back. Sit down as a family, discuss some non negotiable rules (be polite, do your chores etc) make them simple and not too many (you also have to try hard to stick to them esp the being polite bit even if you do want to rip their heads off)

Then draw up a system of consequences which may be different for each child depending on their age, explain to them why the consequences are different (ds1 may have his laptop removed for hours/a day, dd might have a different consequence)

I'd give then a warning before a sanction. When they break a rule calmly say 'that's your warning' if they do it again then say 'you've now lost xyz'. When they argue just keep saying 'I'm not arguing with you, you did this, I have you a warning, you carried on and therefore xyz is happening' after that a simple 'I'm not arguing about it' and keep repeating till they get bored!

Disclaimer: I'm not a mum to a preteen but I teach 25 of them and this works for us (it's a very challenging school with lots of behaviour problems). We also use lots of praise and rewards that you might want to add in. Might be worth a go.

longtallsally2 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:37:14

Yy to starting again, but I wouldn't give the laptop back yet. You will feel powerless if you can't stick to one thing.

All days out cancelled because of behaviour?? Perhaps you could revoke this or amend it: you seem to have some large/drastic punishments but not smaller ones. Sit him down and explain that he is growing up but he is still 12 and so there are still consequences for behaviour - bored or not. There are still jobs to be done too, and it would be brilliant if they could all help - there may be rewards, or just a happy mum. Remind him that a happy mum means a happy house - it's in their interests to cheer you up.

How about relenting and going swimming instead of big days out - it's tiring but not a major treat, if you feel they haven't earned that. And then perhaps walk into town for a drink, but go to a free museum first. You only have to stay 15 minutes, don't try to do the whole thing.

Sympathy. Parenting preteens is as exhausting as toddlers in some ways - and I only have 2 of them, not 3.

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 17:40:44

How old are your dd and other ds?

I like Kitty's idea of starting fresh.

The fact that they could all sit peacefully together making cards is a good sign. Are there other activities like that which they can all get involved in?

I take my hat off to you for coping with 3 dc's, I have only one and some days I can't even handle her! I do find that if I give her some undivided attention then she is better behaved the rest of the day. E.g. this afternoon I was busy studying and she wanted to show me how she did a maths problem. I was really concentrating and didn't want to be interrupted so blew her off, then realised that's not right and interrupted what I was doing to spend 5 min with her - cooperative child the rest of the afternoon and evening.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 17:44:47

Does he not have any friends who can come around?

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 17:50:51

Also wanted to say that you must try and catch them doing something good and give positive feedback. E.g. if ds1 spent time with his siblings without causing trouble you can tell him that you noticed and appreciated that. If they get ready for school on time and without being nagged, thank them and point out that this is so much more pleasant for all of you.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 18:05:33

DH home. He has spoken to the boys.

I have told dh I have had enough and one of these days I might just go. He told me to go then. We have spoken and it isn't what we want. I told him I feel like I am letting him down as he probably thought he was getting a great mum for his kids (used to be a nanny and was really good but of course I didn't have PND then.) He just said he can't understand why it is the same every holiday as he would love to be at home. I just feel like I have been stabbed in the heart as he really does blame me and thinks it would be great to be at home full time. Proof he would be better than me as a SAHD.

No way I could get a job that pays enough to pay all our bills.

I have got things ready for a trip out tmw to Leeds Castle. Have tickets so free, will make a picnic and hope things are better.

I can't afford days out every day, don't see why I should take them when they misbehave and then we get the vicious circle situation. DS has lost his kit which will be £100 to replace if it doesn't turn up and there is only money for bills, no extras. Even when they do go out if they do behave while out (not a given) they play up once home again.

Nothing works. I think, no I know, it is all my fault and I think they would all, DH included, be better off without me. I even thought about getting meds so I could be drugged up enough not to care about their horrible behaviour to me.

We tried talking. DD moaned DS2 won't leave her alone and keeps going in her room. She moans if he breathes within the same county as her. DS1 moans DS2 goes in his room without asking but some toys are in there as no room in DS2's room (note - bring duplo downstairs, better than the moaning) and DS2 just gets upset saying DD and DS1 don't like him.

We live in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing but a field to walk too to do anything. Stupid planning on our part.

Swimming is an option for Thursday/Friday though tbh I have only taken then twice on my own as I am scared of water.

No one to come round. Another failure on my part. I had PND after each birth so didn't really go out and once people knew I wasn't well they stopped talking to me at playgroups so no chance to make friends and I just stopped going out. Lost all confidence at being sociable and the house felt full enough with 3 kids. Also my middle one did not cope well with lots of people so it never happened.

Kids are ds - 12, dd - 10 and ds - 8.

I am devastated at dh annoyance at me. Feel crap I have shouted and sworn and that ds1 says I am always like it and just feel like crying. I am just not doing anything right and ds2 probably has problems and while I will do everything I can to help him I juts don't' know if I am cut out for that as well when I am not cut out for motherhood full stop.

I feel I have poured my heart out and I just know I will regret it. I just have no one else sad.

LastingLight Tue 18-Feb-14 18:26:13

(((HUGS))) Motherhood is not all it's cracked up to be, is it? It can be demanding, and hard, and sometimes you think you made the biggest mistake of your life. However... you sound depressed to me, not just stressed. I'm well at the moment but have been quite depressed during parts of poor dd's life and boy did she suffer. She also reacts to me being unwell by really pushing my buttons. Finally finding the right combination of meds plus talk therapy made a huge difference for me. Maybe you should go and see your gp? The point of meds is not to drug you up so you don't care. The point is to help you function better so that life can be better for you and your family.

I hope you have a very nice outing tomorrow. I love castles. (I'm South African, we don't have those.) When someone misbehaves, try taking a deep breath and counting to five before you react.

You don't have to take them out every day, we certainly don't go out every day during the holidays. Some days the treat is renting a dvd and making some popcorn. Or baking pancakes or cupcakes.

Think very carefully before you take away outings as punishment, as you all need to get out of the house, have a change of scenery and blow off some steam.

Ask DH for ideas of things you can do with the dc's.

I know it feels as if they will be better off without you (and I have had that conversation with my DH too) but it really isn't true.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 18:34:19

The thought of being depressed again terrifies me.

I find it so hard to be nice to ds and even talk to him when he has been horrible to me all day.

definitely going out tomorrow.

Thank you flowers.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 22:03:01

Feeling shit that I shouted "....every fucking week" at my son. Swearing is really bad, isn't it? sad

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 22:14:29

Your dc must have friends at school? Your eldest is old enough to arrange seeing his friends whether at home or at their house. I wonder if you are taking on too much responsibility for "entertaining" them. Similar with your 10 year old really, she must have favourite friends at school - she is capable of handing over a note asking for friend's parent to contact you on TEL no: to arrange for them to get together.

I think you need to accept that you are finding this particularly hard because of past depression (have been there) but your eldest is acting very young for his age in some ways - obviously that's just in my opinon from what you've posted.

When I take mine out we usually bring 1 friend along so there are 4 altogether and most often it's for the eldest one then the younger 2 pair up more naturally.

RandomMess Tue 18-Feb-14 22:16:01

Children do need to lear that all people have limits to their tolerance - even their Mums wink swearing occasionally isn't going to kill him or leave him scarred.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 18-Feb-14 22:22:40

Friends and my kids haven't really worked out. They often say they have none then other times they have. I used to be so sociable and confident. Then I had kids and got ill. I'm Almost scared of people or at least making friends. It never worked out once they knew I was ill, because of me not making mum friends my kids haven't learnt either. Such a bad deal they got me as their mum sad

longtallsally2 Tue 18-Feb-14 22:55:00

Oh sweetheart, you do sound down. For the record, it isn't a bad deal that they have you as their mum. It is unlucky that you live in the middle of nowhere, and that your dh doesn't support you and that you didn't make friends when the children were small (I had a very similar situation, having moved to a new area to have the kids and then not making new friends - know exactly how that feels, and the extra pressure it then puts on you and your kids).

Please remember that the February half term is the worst. It's the month where most people feel fed up, our vitamin D levels are low, the SAD effect is at its most powerful and the kids are at their grumpiest too.

It must hurt you a lot that your dh isn't stepping in. It probably would only take a few words from him, to the kids, to make you feel a lot better. From his point of view, he clearly thinks that he would have to take on a lot to sort things out - so he stays clear. Pnd is very very hard for some people to understand, and they remain bemused by what is just so hard to do.

Is there any chance that your dh could drop a day a week at work, if you went back to work, and pick up some of the slack? Or book his annual holiday at Easter, and he can entertain the kids then, giving you chance to have a good break go off and do a course, or something constructive? You sound as if you really, really need some you time. Somewhere to snuggle up with a good book, or dig a ditch or be massaged in a spa or whatever recharges your batteries.

For the record, swearing isn't always bad. Sometimes it's a signal to anyone who will listen, that they have crossed a boundary/pushed us too far. Your ds1 is old enough to understand that. I swore a lot when I had pnd. I have discussed it with the kids, and they understand why I did it. They know that if they are really unhappy and swear too, I will ask them about it. If they are just messing around or bored, then I will deal with it differently than if they are really upset/being bullied/hurt etc.

Hope that tomorrow is a better day for you all. Can you agree on a no-squabbling pact with the kids before you leave? Or at least ask them to. You can be honest and tell them that you have been feeling down, but that you would like tomorrow to be a new day, and for you all to have a good time together. Set them a challenge: how about a silly word, which you are all allowed to say if someone is being grumpy? Or that you will buy ice creams all round if you can all make it to lunchtime without moaning?

Best of luck.

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