Keeping my head above water…
It feels like it’s been a little while since I wrote a ‘proper’ blog post.
Life happened, and I feel like I am only just keeping my head above water at times.
Looking after the kids, my husband working long hours, starting a new cake making business, running the family home, blogging, helping kids with homework, remembering everything the kids need on a daily basis, being class rep for one of my sons classes, writing a quarterly NCT newsletter, being a good friend, being a mum, being a daughter, being a wife, thinking of what everyone wants for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, doing the (ever more expensive) food shop every week, cleaning, washing, being a taxi service for the kids to get them to clubs, the list could go on and on and I know a load of you out there will be able to relate to what I am saying.
Life at the moment feels like a constant juggling act and I feel perilously close to dropping not just one, but all the balls.
Yep, I can foresee an pic Ball drop coming up folks…
I find myself googling Rightmove late at night. I lie there whilst everyone else in the house is asleep, scrolling through pages of houses in the arse-end of nowhere in Scotland and I think to myself, I’m off. Take me somewhere quiet, take me back to basics.
Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER grateful for my life, for what possessions we have, for the opportunities we have, for the relative peace we live in, for having a loving family and wonderful friends, but life is just relentless at the moment and my brain is about to kaput.
The middle one has always been a challenging little pickle. He had a speech delay meaning he didn’t even say Mummy until he was 4 years old (ah, yes, the speech delay that he had because, apparently, I obviously hadn’t spoken to him enough as he grew up…yep, that is honestly what I was told by one very helpful soul who shall remain nameless). This speech delay has set him back in the reading, writing and talking department and, whilst he isn’t majorly behind and school aren’t at all worried, the daily dramas I have trying to get him to read to me are EPIC. Like, WW3 epic. As well as all the other daily chaos we have going on, after school clubs, swimming lessons, cooking dinner, sorting two other kids, bath time, baking, you get the idea, I have a daily battle on my hands – if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Battle of the Bastards really has nothing on my daily reading/homework battle with the middle one.
It’s so draining.
I have tried all different kinds of incentives, bribery, threats, pleading, crying, bargaining with him and, as yet, my methods have little to no effect on him.
Hubby normally gets in from work just as my daily battle has come to a ceasefire – this is often pretty shit timing.
“How was your day?” he might ask.
“Pretty shit”, I often reply.
Just what he wants to hear after a long day in the office eh?
It’s hard not to get resentful too.
I’ll be frankly honest with you all, I can sometimes find myself even getting jealous of my husband being able to sit in his car for an hour by himself and drive to/from work. How sad is that?! I would honestly sometimes rather be stuck in traffic than have to have a battle over a sodding reading book.
The madness of it all is, he will happily read to his little brother every night. He will sit next to Ben on the beanbag and beautifully read a bedtime story whilst we all listen but as soon as I ask him to get his school reading book and do 10 minutes reading, KABOOM! He goes off on one. From the reaction I get, it’s like I’ve asked him to write the bloody book, not read it.
I remember it being the same with my eldest at this age to be fair. He would also have a meltdown over doing homework and reading and I would sit with my head in my hands questioning my many life choices.
Hormones, tiredness, a stubborn personality and emotional development changes are all factors contributing to his ‘select’ behaviour but I can’t, and won’t, keep making excuses for him. I am a firm believer that the kids can’t be mollycoddled and the fact of the matter is, life is tough. You don’t get anywhere without hard work so he has to suck it up and get on with it. I’ll be there to help, support, listen and encourage, but I won’t be treated like a verbal punch bag every day because he doesn’t want to do something.
This daily battle with just one of the three kids means that at least 30 minutes of my evening, every day, is taken up doing battle. If I forget to write in his reading record, I get a ticking off because his teacher thinks he hasn’t read and then more mum guilt sets in. Oh the mum guilt…it’s a complete mother fooker that one is.
I then have to compose myself, dedicate the same amount of time to the eldest one who also has homework and reading to do and I’m also sorting the little one and cooking dinners and washing uniforms and packing sports kits and making packed lunches and replying to emails and finishing off baking orders, and, and, and…I’m exhausted.
The eldest one went into school without saying goodbye to me this morning because he forgot to put his books back in his school bag after a trip yesterday. This was apparently my fault. His bag, his books, but my fault. Go figure that one out. When I informed him that, ‘now he’s in year 5 he can check his own school bag’, I was met with a Medusa-like death stare from him and a huff. After the manic morning I had packing 6 different bags (that’s just for two of the boys!), I politely but firmly informed him that it wasn’t in fact my fault and that the responsibility laid with him. He stomped off through the school gates and walked down to his classroom. I left him there, safely at school, and walked out the gates feeling so sad that he hadn’t said goodbye like he usually does, that we didn’t have a hug, that he didn’t wave to me with his lovely little smile as I walked out of eyesight like he usually does. That hurts more than words sometimes doesn’t it, silence.
Ah, there’s that bloody bitch Mum Guilt again. Please would you kindly fuck off love, you’re not welcome here anymore.
The summer holidays feel like a lifetime ago already. October half term, when we can have a little break, is still 3 weeks away. I am literally ticking off the days. A week without so much chaos. A week with a little less homework. A week with, hopefully, a little less mum guilt.
It’s a cliche, but there truly don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. It’s a constant battle against the clock and numerous times in a day I find myself rushing things or flying out the door as the countdown theme tune plays out in my head whilst I do it.
I feel guilty when I get in bed at the end of the day and wish I hadn’t snapped at one of the kids during a moment of stress, I feel guilty that I didn’t spend enough time with one of them because another one took up more of my time, I feel guilty that I sat on my laptop in the evening catching up on emails and messages rather than chatting to my husband.
I feel like I need to create 6 more versions of myself then I might just get everything done (though I am pretty sure the prospect of having 6 more me’s in the house is a truly terrifying one for my husband, haha!).
So, for now, I feel like I am keeping my head above water, but only just.