Life with my 3 kids has been hard lately. Porridge is getting violent when he angry and Shreddies refuses to share and is so clingy it’s hard to deal with. And I’m feeling like a failure as a mum.
I recently started driving lessons and rather than feeling proud or triumphant or anything I feel… Inadequate. Like I’ve been a rubbish mum to my kids, especially Porridge. I feel like I’ve let him down most of all.
Looking back I’ve spent day after day basically staring at my phone and interacting with my kids as little as possible. Without meaning to I’ve treated them like burdens and hindrances rather than the most important things in my world.
Porridge used to go to a nursery that was a 30 minute walk from our house and half way home is a park. Almost every day he would ask, often beg, to go. Almost every day I would say “No.” For weeks, months I denied him 10 minutes in the park because I couldn’t be bothered to sit on a bench. Read that back and tell me I was making the best choice for him.
Sometimes I think I say “No.” To benefit myself when a “Yes” would benefit my kids so much more.
I hate that I have become a parent who struggle to put their phone down and be with their kids. I hate that meal time conversation is so stilted that no one wants to sit a second after their plate is clear. I hate that Porridge starts school in 3 days and I feel like I’ve cheated him out of a childhood (he’s 5) because I’ve been too focused on me.
I want to change, I want to be a better mum. I just wish I knew how to make it all better and make up for all my failings so far.
Mr DB took last week off from work and for some reason whenever he is off we always get less done of our usual stuff than normal. Things like housework, exercising and blogging fall by the wayside as we do things as a family instead.
It was nice though, and productive. We painting the kitchen and hallway, did some gardening, visited relatives and bought the last of the things Porridge needs to start school (!).
Alas Mr. DB has returned to work and my life has returned to its normality of screaming children and trying to squeeze housework into nap time. Normal blog service will hopefully resume this week.
For years I have wanted to grow my own fruits and vegetables but it never seemed the right time. I did try on a few occasions to grow things in pots but it never really worked out.
When we bought our current house with it’s private back garden that gets loads of sunlight I started looking into what we could grow and where in the garden to put it. Somewhere along this journey I came across Rocket Gardens. They’re a company that provide seedlings curated into little pre-planned gardens. I loved the idea but was still torn on what to get and where to put it. I’ll admit, part of this was the thought of digging over part of the garden or building a raised bed, neither of which I felt I had the energy to do.
Then, I think it was just after Christmas, their catalogue arrived in the post and suddenly it contained something that solved not only the problem of what to get but also where to put it. They were bringing out little all-in-one children’s garden planters (unfortunately theses are currently absent from their website). So we used some of the boy’s Christmas money and ordered one.
The boy’s have loved it so far. Everything came inside the planter so we just had to set it up. It included the coir block (just add water to make the soil), plant food and all the seedlings needed. So now we have gem lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot, tomatoes, strawberries and green beans all growing happily.
Or, they were, we’ve eaten most of the lettuce, spinach and rocket and the birds have been enjoying our strawberries which we’ve replanted in a separate area and covered with a net. There was also an incident where Shreddies thought he would harvest the, still green, tomatoes for us so we’re waiting on them growing back.
There is nothing quite like garden fresh produce and the kids love looking after their little plot themselves (and I quite like the smug feeling of telling people about it all). Next year we’re planning to grow a little more, probably more salad leaves, tomatoes, strawberries and maybe try a few autumnal crops as well.
Do you grow anything?
I look to you and your tear filled eyes,
And struggle not to let mine copy,
I bend, I kneel,
My arms open, your arms open,
Your arms close, my arms close,
A precious moment, a loving embrace,
A mother’s hug.
I look to you and your shut tight eyes,
And let mine do the same,
I breath, I wait,
My heart opens, your heart opens,
Your hurt heals, my hurt heals,
A precious moment,
A loving embrace,
A mother’s hug.
And, in fact, it usually does.
Since Porridge finished nursery for the summer Shreddies has missed his usual Mummy Time during Biscuit’s morning nap. As a result he’s become extremely clingy. Biscuit in turn is going through that 6 month separation anxiety thing where even crossing the room without her elicits screams.
Add in Porridge being a typical high spirited, somewhat self-centred 5 year old and by last Friday I had had enough of this little army I had created myself. In fact I was probably done by Thursday but pushed through anyway because that’s what mum’s do.
So on Saturday morning, completely spent and struggling to cope with any human interaction let alone tiny hands touching me, you would think I’d just send Mr. DB out with the kids and get down me time.
Nooo, stupid brain decided that doing so would mark me as a terrible parent. That my failure to cope was a mark of how bad a mother I am. Essentially my Post Natal Depression (PND) kicked in and made me feel terrible. And there is nothing like really needing a break from a situation and also feeling guilty about needing the break.
PND sucks on so many levels and in so many ways but the worst is when it hits you at your lowest making you believe that you are only that low because you’re a bad parent. Like there aren’t any other factors. Even if you are rocking motherhood in every other way it can make one slip-up feel like it’s time to pack your kids off because anyone would be better at looking after them than you. And that is not true. Not ever. Sometimes, I wish I remembered that.
I love studying. I love learning new things. So for today’s Working it Wednesday I’m going to share with you what I’m currently studying.
My big thing right now is nutrition, specifically children’s nutrition but I’ll take anything related to the subject however vauge. I’m not currently doing any new studying on this topic but I have gone through quite a few Coursera courses recently that I still have notes to write up for.
Yes you read that correctly, I’m technically done with the online course for which I get no credit and I still want to write up notes to consolidate my learning. I’m a wee studying freak.
Anyway, I have notes to finish for my Child Nutrition and Cooking course courtesy of Stanford University. Also Stanford’s Health Across the Gender Spectrum. Then from the University of Copenhagen I have The New Nordic Diet. Seriously, if you want to learn something new and have a couple of hours a week to watch videos you should check out https://www.coursera.org and all their lovely free courses.
I also use Future Learn when I have a bit more time as their courses have more reading and focusing involved. My most recent course from there was Childhood in the Digital Age. However, like the Coursera courses I still have notes to write from there.
These are little short-term courses that take a couple of weeks and don’t amount to much. However I am also working on a course from OfCourse on British Sign Language which has more practical applications. Like Coursera it’s videos so I usually do one every few days and re-watch it for a few days before I move on. It’s probably going to take a couple of months to get through.
Even longer term than that I’ve been improving my math skills with Khan Academy. Math has always been my weakest subject so I choose to start right back at the beginning with preschool math. So far I’ve made it to 3rd grade with no issues but that probably won’t last much longer. Again it’s mainly videos so I do them at night while lying beside Shreddies trying to get him to sleep. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn him into a mathematical genius.
So there you go, if you ever see me out and about and wonder why I’m staring at my phone there just may be a chance I’m watching a video or reading some course work.
What about you? Are you studying anything? Or wanting to learn something new? Let me know in the comments.
Just a quick tip to share today as I have a pressure headache that’s causing severe inner-ear problems.
I recently discovered that my kids won’t touch Ritz crackers whirl I love those salty little bites of goodness. Not that I would give them to the kids because of the salt but that wouldn’t stop them asking.
Anyway I’ve taken to standing at the snack cupboard (also the baking cupboard) and eating them out of the packet from there. So when a child comes in and asks me what I’m doing I say “Eating mummy crackers,” and off the go again safe in the knowledge that mummy isn’t having anything interesting. One day they will be observant enough to also notice the open jar of chocolate spread on the she that I’d been dipping said crackers into. Today however, was not that day and I got to enjoy my salty, chocolatey snack in peace.
Do you have any tips to pass on? What’s your secret snack and how do you hide it from others?