anxiety, depression, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Changes

I think one of the most frustrating parts of parenting is when you finally manage to get everyone into a routine and then it changes.

Because just before each change there’s a few weeks of bliss. When you feel like you’ve finally nailed this parenting 3 kids thing. When we get out the house every day. When tantrums are fewer. When we get time to do activities/art/messy play. When the house is clean. I start to think I just might be a Pinterest Mum after all.

Then something changes and we’re back to total chaos.

Back to not getting a chance to shower. The house being messy. Nap times going to hell. Lots of shouting, frustration, crying. Not getting out of the house. Tantrums galore. The change in routine makes my anxiety skyrocket. I stress and stress and stress.

Then depression starts to kick in.

It tells me that life has always been like this and it always will be. Same shit, different day.

I can’t face waking up in the morning. I can’t see an end to the endless shouting, tantrums and crying. Of being trapped in the house because I’m too afraid to take my screaming, tantruming, crying kids out in public.

Since anxiety makes it difficult for me to settle into a routine, it is too easy to just get stuck here.

But I write lists, and I make spreadsheets. I time-block around naps and mealtimes. I start over.

I wont let myself get stuck here.

#day14 #30daychallenge

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General Parenting, Life Events, Uncategorized

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to this guy.

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The man who loves my kids as much as I do.

The man who will always play even when he’s really not in the mood.

The man Caide runs full-pelt down the hallway for as soon as he hears the door open. And who he cries for in the morning when you’re not there.

The man who was excited (not terrified) to find out it was twins. “Double baby cuddles!”

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The man who keeps their Mummy sane(ish).

People ask me things like, “does he help?”, “is he good with them?”. A simple “yes” doesn’t do justice to how much you do for our children.

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You don’t “help”, you parent. We’re a team. I couldn’t have chosen a better father for my kids.

Thank you for being you.

I couldn’t do this without you.

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#day13 #30daychallenge

Education, General Parenting

Going Montessori

Those of you who know me know I will be homeschooling my children. So I’ve done a lot of research on education and different educational pedagogies.

My favourite is Montessori.

But it’s more than just an educational pedagogy. It’s a whole way of life. A whole different way of looking at child development, and subsequently a whole different way of treating the child.

Maria Montessori believed that children should be led, not taught. Directed, not instructed. That the child is a whole human being and should be treated as such.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

And, well, here are my 9-month-olds drinking from an open cup.

And my 2 year old is currently helping Daddy to cook. Competently. With real knives (his knives are safety knives).

It’s amazing what babies and children can do when given the opportunity.

We’re not 100% Montessori by any stretch of the imagination (for a start, those are not chairs that they can get in and out of by themselves) but I just love the underlying philosophy and implement as much of it as I can.

I used to think it sounded stressful, but honestly it’s way less stressful than saying “no” all the time and dealing with the resulting tantrum.

Plus, he can prepare his own snack.

Win-win.

#day12 #30daychallenge

Behaviour, General Parenting

Food for Thought

Caide said something that made me think today.

“You being good Mummy. I be good too.”

I’d been thinking how he was actually being quite well behaved today. I thought that maybe we were beginning to reach the end of this naughty phase.

But this made me wonder if there’s something I’m doing that’s setting him off. Something he considers naughty.

I tried to question him about what he meant but he just said “I don’t know” no matter how I phrased it.

I’m definitely going to start paying attention to when he turns I to a wee toerag and look at what my actions have been leading up to it. Maybe I’ll find a correlation.

Maybe it’s not letting him have ice cream for breakfast. Maybe it’s something deeper, some connection he’s been trying to make that I’m brushing off. Maybe he just randomly said it and he genuinely has no idea what he meant.

I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

#day11 #30daychallenge

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Change of Plans

No, no, no, no, nope.

Routine keeps my anxiety at bay. I don’t stress about things that need to be done if I know I can get it done later. I have naptimes and TV time blocked into the day, and even get the sporadic “all three kids are happily playing” times.

I NEED these predictable times to shower, do housework, bake banana bread (honestly the stuff’s magic), and sometimes just STOP and switch my brain off for a few minutes.

I need a lot of notice to do something that’s not part of my routine.

However, kids don’t give me that warning.

Caide didn’t warn me he was about to have a behavioural regression, making it practically impossible to get out the house.

Linden didn’t let me know he was about to start losing the plot if I left the room. Or even moved to a different spot in the same room. And therefore make it very difficult to get anything done outside of naptimes.

Theo didn’t tell me he was about to go from being the baby who will fall asleep anywhere to the baby who doesn’t even blink never mind shut his eyes. And therefore make it difficult to get anything done during naptimes.

I definitely wasn’t warned that all these things are all going to happen at the same time.

So here I am again, trying to figure out a new routine that allows the babies to nap and Caide to get enough attention that he doesn’t wind up with an ASBO at 2 years old.

Settling into a new routine when anxiety wants everything to run smoothly every day is pretty challenging.

Wish me luck x

#day10of30 #30daychallenge

Behaviour, General Parenting, Uncategorized

Non-Stop Intensity

I cannot parent this child. I’m just not mentally strong enough.

He has had me in tears every day this week. He is just so relentless. He. Does. Not. Stop.

My anxiety is through the roof.

I never know what he’s going to do next. Hell, half the time I’m not even sure what he’s doing right at that moment. Has he run out of the room to go to the potty? Climb the babygate into the kitchen? Wake the babies from their nap?

Is he approaching his baby brother to show/give him a toy or to kick him?

Is he moving his chair to sit on it elsewhere or to reach something he shouldn’t?

I feel like I am constantly living on edge, trying to anticipate his every move in order to limit the damage.

It’s exhausting.

I’m worn out.

I just don’t know how he’s going to react to any given situation. He is not consistent. Something that comforts him one day wont the next. A strategy that makes him listen will only work once. A strategy to get him to co-operate with getting dressed will only work once.

I just can’t figure him out.

I know toddlers are just like this but there just seems to be something more intense about Caide. He is very much all-or-nothing. About everything. All the time.

I am exhausted.

Apparently he is not.

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p.s it took me ages to find a photo for this post because they’re all blurry. He doesn’t stop long enough to take a photo. They are always blurry.

#day9of30 #30daychallenge

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Touched Out

Caide is so unbe-freaking-lievably high needs. He always has been. From the moment he was born he has wanted held. 2y 7m later and he is still always right next to me. He has graduated from “always under my feet” to “always right up my arsehole”.

And the constant demands.

“Mummy read it.”

“Mummy help me.”

“What you doing Mummy?”

“What’s this called Mummy?”

“Mummy…

Mummy…

Mummy…”

The instant I’m not paying attention to him he does something he knows he shouldn’t do. I have to be paying attention to him every. second. of. the. day.

Its so draining.

Linden is also going through a clingy phase. I have one or the other or both on me at all times and it’s making me want to crawl out of my own skin.

I am so touched out.

So here is me, hiding under a blanket.

#day8of30 #30daychallenge