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I hate being a Mum

(7 Posts)
ftm42 Tue 30-Sep-08 16:20:08

I have been a full-time 'at home' Mum for over 10 years, having given up a lucrative job in IT, with full agreement from hubby [sorry haven't looked up acronyms list yet]. Why is it then that I now have three 'lively' sons, two of whom have problems making friends because of 'weird' behaviour [been labelled as ADHD/autistic/aspbergers over the years], the eldest is reluctant to do homework, the middle one 'forgets' his homework regularly and they seem to have no social skills, and despite years of telling them to hold their knife and fork properly and actually use them, still prefer fingers. They also argue with me over the most trivial things, like whether to use the lid or the top of the bottle to swill mouthwash, whether to wear the winter coat or the cagoule, etc etc.

I also have a very critical hubby who accused me this morning of always allowing the boys to go to school in dirty sweatshirts [I can't help it if youngest spills toothpaste on his only clean one after breakfast] and of not disciplining them enough [I fight with them all the way to school to get them to walk sensibly] or consistently [always telling them off, day after day, for the same things]. The 2 older ones find school a struggle and that's my fault too, despite me being the only one who does homework / bedtime routine, including reading bedtime stories / cook meals that they won't eat [too healthy]. He's never there at breakfast nor at dinner, as he is currently working from 8 'til at least 8pm and has been since June, weekends included! When he is here he's asleep in front of the telly [even when he's not working so hard] and his contribution is usually to shout 'go to bed' when he gets fed up. He won't even eat what I cook, preferring to go out for a take-away rather than to heat up a pie and some frozen peas.

Is this sounding like a rant? Well, that's cos it is. I'm so fed up of being demotivated, criticised and blamed for everything and I feel like I'm a complete failure. On top of that, I read an article in the Sundays that described 2 mother's solution to ADHD, which was [wait for it..] to give up work!! So I'm at home for them before/after school and they are still hyper...hmmm.

Friends tell me the solution is to go back to work, but then I'd be criticised for not doing housework / being too tired, so I can't win.

Any tips on how to survive this?

LOVEMYMUM Tue 30-Sep-08 16:37:45

I don't know what to say.

DD is 7 months and i'm finding it hard, so i can sort of understand how you're feeling, with DH working long hours.

My DH works shorter hours and can't understand why the house isn't immaculate, cos "his mother did it"!! angry. NB - his mother is/was a domestic goddess!

MrsMattie Tue 30-Sep-08 16:41:58

It does sound like you need some time and some sort of pursuit outside of family life. It might give your DH a kick up the backside to realise that you have some sort of interest and/or commitment outside of the home, too.

You know, it sounds like you do a lot for your boys - but you aren't a miracle worker. Even if you put in your all 24 hours a day for the rest of their lives, you can't make everything perfect and problem free for everyone all of the time.

If you did go back to work or take up some voluntary work or went back to studying, the housework would have to be shared and the fact that mum gets tired sometimes would have to be taken into account. Not a bad thing.

Kammy Tue 30-Sep-08 16:46:35

Book a holiday..for yourself, no-one else, explain to everyone why and get a break. You sound like you need to stop and just think a bit.

I know that's not really possible in real life, but you sound pretty fed up, and there is probably no quick fix. Going back to work perhaps part time might help your self esteem and give you a platform to ask for extra help from everyone at home. I have a list of things that I expect everyone to do, basic stuff like put dirty things in dishwasher, tidy rooms, put clothes in laundry as routine.

Regarding the arguing - can you just stop? My niece who I look after a lot is like this and I got to the point where I told her I simply would not argue any longer about everyday stuff. If she wouldn't wear a coat, instead of arguing I simply told her not to complain if she was cold. Other things were just not up for negotiation and she and ds are told 'that's how it is'. You don't say how old your ds's are. Is this an approach you could try? Same with table manners - have reasonable manners or leave the table and don't eat. Rude behaviour = loss of TV or computer time or whatever.

What sounds much more difficult is what is happening between you and your dh. It sounds totally disrespectful. Have you told him how you feel? Could you have counselling?

Probably not much help, but I didn't want your post to go unanswered.

ftm42 Wed 01-Oct-08 14:02:14

Sorry to have been such a mope! Been so down recently, but having read all your posts, maybe I'm just taking this 'job' of being a Mum too seriously? So what if I have 3 'spirited' sons [ages 11, 9 and 5, by the way!]? I have always admired their independence, though they can be unruly. My eldest has turned a corner, having just gone up to secondary and seems to be maturing fast [junior school didn't do him any favours] and he loves his new school. Middle son is a bit lost but likes not having his big bro around to 'live up to'. Youngest son loves school and is the brightest of the 3, so no real problems there. I could also take articles in the media about 'being a good Mum' with loads of pinches of salt! I also need to stop comparing myself to everyone else!

I have to recognise the fact that hubby is working so hard, to keep the 5 of us, but I just find his whole 'work/family' balance is so tipped towards work, that I resent work making him so tired that he can't contribute to home life. He has also just lost his Mum and we went to her funeral last Friday. I miss her too - we were all very fond of her. I am being a bit selfish getting all depressed.

On the holiday front, we booked a family holiday in Egypt with XL airlines [!] and are waiting for flights to be replaced. I am also going into London on Sat for a conference, have just enrolled on an OU course, for creative writing, and have just been elected parent governor of the secondary school. Hopefully with all that going on, I'l feel better in myself?!

Thanks for all your comments - you may think that they aren't that constructive when you type them up, but believe me, just knowing that you guys are there really really helps!

fizzpops Wed 01-Oct-08 14:11:37

Just reading through what you had written it sounds like your boys have got so used to you telling them off that they can tune you out. Getting more input from your DH would be one way to tackle this but when exactly this would happen I couldn't tell you. He sounds like he is putting a lot of pressure on you to solve the problem with little experience of how tiring and stressful it is.

Are they well behaved when they are visiting other people? because if so then I think it is just that they are boys and are not worried about dirty clothes and have heard all the telling off so often they feel it is part of their routine in a way, perhaps they even enjoy it as 'banter'.

They sound like a real handful and I think you are doing a better job than you think as you are coping for a lot of the time on your own.

katiek123 Sun 05-Oct-08 19:58:19

ftm42 - well done for signing up for the OU course - i was nearly on it at the same time as you, but wimped out and have just started a less time-consuming one which is just ten weeks long as a sort of trial run. do say how the OU one is after you've been on it for a bit as i'd love to know - may do it next time round. good luck with everything!! i feel for you. sounds like it's high time you pursued something for yourself in all of this.

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