Here again. Feeling like a stressed **** mum(20 Posts)
Just want to vent again really. I feel so close to just walking out of the door and could do with some space just to share this with people who may understand. I am so stressed and miserable. I would also love to hear from those parents of 17/18 year olds who have come out the other side.
This is for background, not sympathy, but I am single parent to twins and have had a diagnosis of cancer this year. As a result I have lost the sight in one eye (which has also disfigured that eyelid) and being scanned regularly for metastases (for which there is currently no treatment anyway). I work as full-time as I can and generally do OK keeping the house/family running but am often very skint. I have 17, nearly 18 year old b/g twins.
Currently they spend most of their time either at college or behind closed bedroom doors or socialising. The only time I see their faces is at dinner time (when they bicker at each other and barely reply to me when I try to make conversation), or when I am giving them lifts (we are in rural area with no buses). Most of their replies are grunts or huge sighs or just aggrieved at me even speaking to them. It feels like my daughter finds everything I say an invitation to fight. Their rooms are tips and both could do with getting p/t jobs but are being fairly half-hearted. My son is sailing through his BTEC but needs constant reminding to do the most basic of chores. My daughter appears to be stuffing up her A levels due to inability to concentrate and laziness and socialising. I have done as much as possible to support and encourage them, including getting p/t job leads locally, buying revision guides, making nice meals, paying for the odd special treat, giving lifts to facilitate social life, making their friends welcome.....However, on the other hand, I am aware that I nag (washing, mugs out of room, chores, follow-up on phone calls to jobs, coursework, ** UCAS forms) and I think some of that might also come under the heading of micro-managing. Most of what I say to them seems to be reminding them or nagging them (which I hate in myself). Sometimes they are a delight and I see the nice kids underneath, but at the moment these glimpses are rare.
I am just tired and stressed and at my limit with nagging to wash up, nagging to do basic chores (tried leaving notes/texts but they were ignored) and getting either sulked at, complained to, argued with or shouted at or just generally treated like a kicking post. Thank you's and pleases are rare. I feel so stressed out and hopeless right now. I don't know what I did wrong or how to have a good relationship with these two (seemingly) ungrateful, lazy arse, unkind kids. What happened to the two I loved spending time with, who were kind, had great manners and actually spoke to me over dinner? And what happened to the understanding, non-nagging, warm mum I used to be?
OK....end of this massive self-pity party. Thanks for reading this. Posting my long gut-spills here is keeping me sane at the moment.
I am the last person to give parenting advice since I fuck it up so often myself but I will say this - you sound bloody amazing. Your DCs sound very typical if MN is anything to go by and given everything you have had to cope with this year I think you're a saint for still sounding like you like them even some of the time. Someone more sensible
and less jaded than me will be along with more practical advice later I expect but have these in the meantime - you sound lovely.
It sounds like you doing everything you can to be a good mum to your kids and point them in the right direction. But at the end of the day you can only do so much before you have to take a step back especially as your kids are getting older now. Often the more we try to 'hen peck' our children the more they resent or rebel. My mum use to do it to me growing up and I hated it as a teen but once she started to give more space I actually missed my mums strict ways funnily enough and in a way I kind of matured from it. Still make effort to guide your kids in the right direction when it comes to chores and education but there's no need to keep nagging them as such they need to learn for themselves that if they want their rooms to be a pig stye then that's their prerogative and if they don't want to work hard at their education then they'll be the ones to have the bad grades as much as we only want the best for our children we have to let them learn things for hem selves and sometimes tough love can be the way forward with teenagers! Hope this helps xx
You sound like an amazing mum!! I am so sorry you are having such a hard time both with your kids and with the cancer. Make sure you find time to be kind to yourself - teenagers can be very selfish so try not to take it too personally. Instead make sure you give yourself enough time to rest, eat well and do the things you enjoy. Yes their rooms will probably get much worse and they will most likely fall behind with coursework, but this isn't the end of the world. They will learn from their mistakes if they want to succeed. Right now you need to take care of you xxx Best wishes and I hope you have a speedy recovery xx.
Thank you so much for the sweet replies. It means so much...really. I can't tell you. Kindness and hope keep me going and away from the total meltdown. I don't talk to anyone about my cancer or just how much my kids upset me because I don't want to spread the whole misery around or be seen as a sad sack...But being able to come here and speak to mums who know how it is really helps. Thank you all xxxx
I understand Bee, though I don't have health concerns, and I'm lucky enough to have a supportive DH.
Otherwise, life with my DD18 sounds like yours, right down to rural living, lifts, no chores, anger, rudeness, bedroom a tip, trying half-heartedly to get p/t job, etc.
DS16 is a bit grumpy, doesn't say a lot, hides away in his room, but otherwise fine.
I now give DD minimum money for college, leave her room alone, and tell her if she wants washing done, she has to bring it downstairs and find the washing machine! She has a day free during the week, and has started cleaning the house that day - couple of hours - £5/hr. I tell her what I want doing. Never had a cleaner before, it was wonderful coming home the other day! I'm working on the principle that if she's cleaning the house, she might just want to keep it that way!
It's so hard not to nag, and hard to pick battles, but the advice on MN is invaluable and has taught me a lot.
...and, if I can get the most unmotivated, entitled, lazy teen to clean my house (even for £s) anyone can!
When I was 17 I sauntered home one day and went upstairs to my room. I noticed my Mum was in bed. Something filtered through my self centred self obsessed and permanently worried brain. "Mum why are you in bed?" I asked (not sympathetic, just surprised). "I've had some teeth out" she mumbled. "Oh" i said and wandered along to my room. Then something went ping and I went back and asked her if she'd like a cup of tea.
She burst into tears because I'd actually thought of her for a nanosecond.
So - yes it's normal, but no it's not good, but yes it does pass and they will become more human eventually.
One thing I do remember from that moment was how I felt about life at that age. I was permanently scared and insecure, and I genuinely did not see (or smell) the mess I caused.
With hindsight from myself and my own kids? Let them fail, let them get it wrong, and when they do be sympathetic but make sure they understand who got them into their mess. Oh, and save the best stories to embarrass them with in the future.
I have a 16 year old daughter, she is stunning, slim, engaging, witty, funny, blah blah.
She is also rude, selfish, I mean really really selfish, downright fucking lazy as fuck, ungrateful, entitled, horrid to her SN sister, miserable, is drinking alcohol (see my thread from yesterday about coming home drunk at tea time), resents doing chores so much I would rather her be holed up in her shit tip of a hovel she calls a bedroom.
The MN community swears that they become human about 18 or 19, so rock on.
There's a couple of good books that the MN community recommend actually, I will post back later as the titles escape my befuddled brain ATM.
Anyway, big hugs to you, you have so much going on, you are a credit to your kids. In time they will be horrified at the way they treated you especially in the midst of your health issues. But first their brain has to rewire to enable them to see it.
Good luck, and did I mention my dd is a lazy little fucker
How about deciding to `stop`. Stop doing the washing unless by/in the machine, stop clearing up after tea, stop asking about homework? Stop going in their rooms?
I too have a DS who is 17, and who was doing quite well until about 3 months ago, when it all went to pot.
I think you are doing a marvellous job keeping it all together.
This may be idealistic, but I would sit them down over supper ( as you say that is the one time they DO convene...) and give it to them straight... That from now on, there will be a team effort in running the house. If they don't get their stuff done, it won't happen. Make a list of chores - get them each to cook (at least) one night a week and make them do their own washing and ironing.
It will be a two way street... they do their jobs, and you'll do yours, which will include taxi-ing them around the place.
It may take a week or two to kick in (and have something to make supper for yourself as a Plan B), but it may just work.
Just as an aside - I find DS particularly horrid when he's very tired... Do yours get enough sleep?
I am inspired by the idea of my DD becoming the paid cleaner 3Cats! She would actually go for that I think as she is very skint. She has just asked to borrow my nail varnish and I said she could come and get it if she got her duvet cover on (1 week and still waiting). She has previously said that she has some special 'disability' that means she doesn't understand how to do it (seriously, I kid you not). Well, that duvet cover has just gone on in under 2 minutes. She told me this evening that she is feeling very scared and stressed about her work and that she is just not feeling she can get the grades....So Purple, you were right. There is more to the argument-picking than meets the eye. Candleabras I get glimpses of the nice person that I am promised she will turn into at 18. Right now it is hard to imagine sometimes. Sally - I saw a Chinese doctor a few months ago. Rather than diagnosing herbs and treatments he told me to just stop, really that was it - just stop. He said "cut 70%", though I find it hard in a tiny cottage to have to keep passing two smelly vile bedrooms...ishouldcocoa I'm going to get an official rota of chores and days so that rather than having to nag when I am desperate for help, they know what and when to do it. They do do chores when I ask, but usually apathetically and at 10pm after I have nagged all day, exactly like the Kevin the Teenager car cleaning sketch.
I feel much better after venting last night. Thank you all. You can all come round to mine - I have a nice fire lit and if you don't mind smelly teenagers and 5 cats, then I will open a bottle of wine and we can not talk about teenagers :-) xx
Sound like a plan xxx. I'm so glad you are feeling more positive tonight. Best wishes x
I'm on my way, my two are both holed up in their shit holes so won't notice I'm gone. Bringing a bottle too
That sounds awful but completely typical. I am out the other side. Not with the rooms being complete tips and me having to do loads round the house, but they are thoughtful and lovely at times and its back to being great to have them around. My dcs are 20 and 22 now and theres a world of difference. Hang in there (flowers)
Glad you are feeling a bit better tonight bee. You've got a lot to cope with but you sound as if you are doing a splendid job.
I've no words of wisdom but just know you are not alone. I just can't believe how self obsessed some teens are and so totally unaware of the hurt they cause. Dd16 has near enough broken my heart this past year but I haven't got the energy to fight over things any more
Bee. Give up nagging. Make the jobs they do pertinent to THEM. So, when there are no clean clothes, it's their problem. When there is no supper on the table that evening, and it's their turn to cook, it's their problem.
Refuse to provide a taxi service if they can't keep their end of the bargain. Tough love, I'm afraid.
Stand back. Shut yourself in the bathroom with a book and a smelly candle. Go and meditate. Disengage a bit more, and look after YOU!!
I'm not sure tough love would work in my case. If I didn't cook she would just open a tin of soup, she'd arrange other lifts or walk home ( I wouldn't be comfortable with that) and she would wear dirty clothes. I'd crack before her I think. I don't know anyone who's dcs take a turn at cooking. I'd love that .
Hedgehog - DDs exactly the same. No dinner cooked? I'll have toast instead. No clean clothes? I'll just find something off the floor. No lift home? I'll walk, 3 miles in the pitch dark, with no pavement for most of it, then I'll make you feel guilty.
She's turned 'cutting off her nose to spite her face' into an art-form.
Ha yes you are right there 3cats.
I am really not looking forward to Christmas as well. Dd will be on holiday from 6th form and is expected to be revising for exams in January. Cue first, conversation (argument) as I know for a fact she won't do any as she will be out partying the whole time. Which in turn gets me all churned up at the thought of the drinking and other shenanigans she will be getting up to.
I have fantasies of lovely family time. Watching Christmas movies, shopping together , cooking, visiting family etc. But its all just a dream. In reality it will be a totally different story
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