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How to create a conflict free house?(8 Posts)
Following yet another morning in tears (about which I posted but got no replies) and a pretty similar evening, I've realised I can't go on like this and something drastic has to change. I'm seriously at breaking point and I'm not coping.
I've thought really hard about the one thing that would improve the quality of our family and individual lives, and that's to reduce the level of conflict in the house.
Our household is me (chronically ill, with depression and bad anxiety), DS18 (really good lad, head screwed on and helps me deal with his sisters. He can be a little lazy around the house though. I have to nag him to help with housework), DD9 (fantastically arty, suffers with serious MH problems, personally suspect HF autism, although improving has violent meltdowns, professionals involved although struggling to get any actual help) and DD6 (nearly 7. Endures a lot of violence and bullying from her sister, sometimes gives as good as she gets, accident prone, head in the clouds, very clingy with me, can be quite defiant and difficult).
There's a lot of low level conflict in terms of I have to nag everybody to do anything to help out. My DD's literally just drop their litter where they are standing and don't even think about putting it in the bin. I get so sick of the sound of my own voice telling them over and over and over to put stuff in the bin. I feel like the house ski by most of the time. Then cajoling everybody to get ready in the morning when I've invariably slept in (chronic exhaustion with illness) and we're rushing to get ready but the kids are pissing about with something non-essential. I did at one time make a timetable thinking it would help the kids realise how little time we have in a typical day to get stuff done. It didn't help.
Then there's the high conflict stuff. My DD's bicker and fight what feels like all day, every day. They squabble over every inconsequential minutiae. Who got the most cereal, whose turn it is to sit in the front of the car, which chair to sit in, whose iPad needs charging more urgently, who I love more. You get the picture. This often erupts into physical violence but DD2 usually comes off the worse. At times I've seriously worried that DD1 will properly do her some irreversible damage at some point. DD2 is very tall and physically strong and I struggle to deal with her when she is violent like this.
And then there's me shouting. It gets to the point where I'm literally screaming at them because I can't take it from them anymore. I have no patience at all. Of course this just scares them and makes them cry. I hate myself and the mother I've become. My DC deserve better. I feel a crushing guilt all the time and vow to change but I don't ever know where to start.
They are currently not seeing their father so I am a lone parent dealing with this and don't get a break unless my DS babysits. It's got to the point where I don't enjoy their company and I am really not enjoying motherhood which I never would have believed a few short years ago. Our home is seldom a happy place which makes me feel desperately sad for my children who are getting a shitty childhood.
Can someone please help me with ideas to change this? I want to enjoy being a family again
Do the dd have separate bedrooms? I have to separate my kids into different rooms when they are are squabbley. (I’m a lone parent and it’s half term next week so am expecting lots of this)
Put your own oxygen mask on first. Can you see your psych again for a review?
Thank you for replying eyebrowsonfleek.
We live in a fairly small 3 bed house so DD's have to share. It's a whole other thread but XH lives in a massive 5 bed house all on his own which grates. I've considered moving to a bigger house but money is an issue although I believe it would help massively because we're all a little on top of each other here.
Thank you worriedobsessive. I sometimes think that I should focus on my health first.
My GP is pretty crap. Loads of doctors have left its that bad. I invariably see a locum or get dealt with over the phone. They don't seem to understand what's going on with me. I already have hypothyroidism. I'm awaiting some more blood tests to look at other potential conditions. My health is shocking though. I keep getting along infections which must mean my immunity is really low.
From my limited understanding of hashimotos, GP's aren't generally good at understanding it. I need to spend some time reading up on what I can do to improve it. Just a list of vitamins to take would be a start. It's just finding the time.
Can you change doctors? I went through two surgeries as none of them listened, then I found a great doctor who listened. Alas that was several years ago and I know its harder now to change. With your daughters you could try in the car keeping them both in the back, I think there might be some safty advantage a few nations don't allow kids in the front if there is room in the back? Could break a point of conflict. I did read something years ago about looking at each point of conflict and where you can stop possible reasons for conflict there rather than looking at the big picture looking at the small points that is.
I think squabbling is normal unfortunately. However, if they fight about the iPad, confiscate it. The samefact for anything else they fight about. Don't listen to their explanation, just remove them.
Make a chore timetable list. If they tick it then at the end of the week they get a treat such as film and popcorn night or a sleepover or even a.little pocket money.
As far as your children go, it's time for real, immediate consequences. Have a family meeting, telling what you need them to do around the house, and what will happen if they don't fulfill their responsibilities. No internet. No phone. No IPad. No money. No going to friends. Whatever you think is best, but lay down the rules and stick to it. Chasing them around constantly repeating yourself is ridiculous. They are plenty old enough to do their share. No more excuses. And these consequences should apply to their behaviour as well. Them turning your home into a war zone is unacceptable.
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