Chasing Away the Mum Guilt

I have a confession to make. I have been doing CBT for awhile now. No, I haven’t started smoking some kind of new age cannabis oil to relieve my stress (not after a whole day spent in an Amsterdam coffee shop resulted in me mistakenly determining that I was being abducted by ISIS). Actually, I have been attending weekly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions. Because, lets face it, anti depressants are only masking things. They will never fix the negative thoughts that lead to me actually feeling depressed in the first place.

My session yesterday really got me thinking and I knew right away that it would help some of you also. I was explaining how, when I shout at the kids after a very long day, I feel awful. That I go to bed mulling it over and over and regretting why I hadn’t just taken a deep breath and got on with it. How, the next day I will apologise profusely to whichever boy got the yelling at. She stopped me there and then and asked ‘what do you do when you receive a compliment Grace?’. I was slightly taken aback. ‘Huh?’ I responded. ‘Well’ she said, ‘you’ve just told me you run a mum blog. A blog were you show that motherhood isn’t perfect. That it’s difficult, yet here you are beating yourself up. What do you do when a fellow mum let’s say, gives you a compliment?’. I thought of my besties and how they are always bolstering me. Of all the lovely messages I get from you all thanking me. ‘I feel like I don’t deserve compliments and usually list all the reasons why the compliment is wrong’ I honestly replied. ‘How do you think that makes the person who has given you it feel?’ she enquired earnestly. I dissolved into floods of tears. ‘It probably makes them feel shit’ I said, through sobs. ‘I don’t want to make anyone feel that way’ I added. She nodded.

The session continued with her giving me some homework. She asked me to write down every negative thought I have. It’s 10am as I type this and I have written half an A4 page. She also asked me to write down every compliment I receive. From 7pm yesterday, I have a full A4 page. One friend told me I have inspired her as a mother, one told me I’m great at twerking (which I’m not but, god loves a trier!) and one told me I am so good at giving others confidence. Normally I would have argued that these compliments weren’t warranted nor, deserved. Instead, I replied to everyone ‘thank you for the compliment’. Because their compliment made me feel good and I want them to feel good for having given me it.

It really is as simple as changing how you react in your own mind. Instead of thinking ‘I am a bad mum, I shouted so much today’, we should say ‘it was a long day and, we are human’. God knows we all got yelled at and we turned out ok. Well, my mum might disagree! Let’s all try and be more positive. Because, at the end of the day, if we survive each day with everyone still alive- that’s utterly fantastic! You are all doing great. You can reply ‘thank you for the compliment’:)

School Shenanigans , Sun and Not Much Fun….

This week began with eldest returning home from school on Monday with a note advising that his class would be putting on a talent show. The letter asked that any child with a discernible talent put themselves forward to perform. ‘ Do you have a talent you would like to showcase to all your class mates?’ I asked eldest eagerly, full of hopes of dreams. ‘No, I don’t have a talent mum, anyways it sounds sooooo stupid!’ he replied. ‘Everyone has a talent, think of something you are good at’ I implored. He pondered for awhile then confidently answered ‘I am really good at farting in people’s faces’. Give me strength! Safe to say he didn’t partake and observed instead.

Later that evening the P1 mum’s WhatsApp group was going into meltdown. ‘What do they have to wear tomorrow for the trip?’. ‘Um, what trip?’ I sheepishly sent. ‘The farm trip, I think they need wellies’. FML I had completely forgotten that he was going on that. I cannot keep up with the constant letters advising of colour runs (next Friday), sports day (the following Friday) and summer fair (the Saturday after). I’m beginning to think it’s better if the kids are tattooed with each date for the diary at the start of the year, thus ensuring no one can forget. It’s only a bit of ink. Between these dates and all the bloody birthday parties I have to remember. Aw the social life of a five year old! Maybe I’m just jealous?

Middle is his usual, laid back self. His latest thing this week is telling me when I shout at him to stop or  ‘you will never see me ever again’. Not sure if that’s a threat, sounds like quite the offer to me. Another new one is taking off his trousers and pants, jumping repeatedly on the trampoline and screaming ‘girls, girls’ at the ones next door like some kind of walking hormone. I keep having to speed out and redress him before the little girls are permanently traumatised. The sun is fun until these sort of things occur then it’s just plain stressful. He did get a full time pre school place which I was totally shocked about. I’m not complaining however. I just hope they know what they’ve let themselves in for. Hopefully he manages to keep his clothes on until the settling in period is over at least.

Baby has finally taken a few unaided steps. Praise the lord!! He has also been throwing some almighty tantrums which seems a bit early to me. Maybe he is just giving me a glimpse into how severe the two year old ones will be. I dyed my hair dark at the weekend as was so sick of dealing with the roots. Being blonde, broke and having kids is not a good combination. He took one look at me and burst into tears petrified. He didn’t realise it was me. Not only this but he refused to come near me for a whole day. Maybe I’m onto something there….. **stocks up on varying shades of all hair dyes**.

This week I’ve Mainly Been….. Surviving Getting the House Painted and Middle’s Third Birthday Party

A few weeks ago I decided that all of downstairs needed to be painted. Matt paint and three boys doth not a good combination make. They have annihilated all my walls, a point highlighted even more with the sun making an appearance lately! It’s all well and good having a plan of any kind with kids, it’s the execution that’s the problem.

The painter would be working from 9am to 5pm for three days straight so, we would have to make ourselves scarce. Off we went to stay with nanna with what felt like ten bags of clothes and miscellenous crap, including teddies. The dog would also have to stay so her bed, insulin and food also had to come with us. It  never ceases to amaze me how much stuff I can fit into that Skoda Fabia of mine, including us!

Boy’s arrive at nanna’s and go absolutely mental at the sheer novelty of getting to stay there. Jumping off every bed, the sofa and demanding sweets from the sweet drawer. Meanwhile I run around like a mad woman trying to organise their clothing, by kid, in the chest of drawers. Dog is only permitted in nanna’s garage so every hour or so I have to put her lead on her and bring her to pee outside. She is also fully blind now and, not knowing her surroundings there, walks into everything going.

The boy’s newest thing is farting in my face which is positively disgusting. No amount of naughty step or toy’s being taken away is solving this. Mainly because they are in cahoots together with it. The only saving grace being at nanna’s provided was, the fact they  now directed said farts in papa’s face. Savages but at least my face is spared for once. Nighttime was so stressful. Eldest and middle would be sharing a room and myself and baby another one. The moment I went to bed, all three were in with me. Fighting continually over whose side I was on and who got cuddles. Meh, the days they want cuddles will soon be long gone. Even eldest is starting to waiver on the cuddle front. I decide to enjoy it whilst only getting a few hours sleep.

Having survived two nights at nanna’s it was onto middle’s third birthday. What to get him? ‘I think he’d like a swing for the garden’ hubby suggested. ‘That’s not reckless enough for middle, I think he’d prefer a trampoline. Plus, they will all get use out of it over the summer’ I countered. I left this part to hubby whilst I bought Lego and all the other surprises. The evening before his party, we decided to construct said trampoline. Now, my neighbours who are elderly have just double fenced their fence for some privacy. What do we do? Erect a 10ft trampoline in the garden so the kids can practically bounce over their fence. 10ft hubby??? Our tiny bit of garden no longer exists but, best money ever spent as boy’s have been on it continually. I’m sure the neighbours will disagree entirely. Party was a success. We invited some of middle’s friends and also some of eldest’s as I figure he won’t get a party as his birthday in August and school off (perfect excuse to save money).

That brings me to this week and middle’s antics again. He has been potty trained for how long now? Ages. Yet every time I go to get him from the pre school room, he has had an accident. Not an accident per se, just not pulling his trousers all the way down. I’m exasperated! Is it the change of room in nursery or laziness? Who knows. ‘You must make sure your trousers are down’ I implored upon picking him up today and realising he was in his spare clothes. He looks at me and laughs hysterically. ‘Just a wee accident, I pwromiseee not do it again’ he says. I heard that last week son. Arggghhhh!!! That one certainly keeps me on my toes.

Baby is standing up on his own, pulling himself along things yet still not fully walking. I’m beginning to get worried now. I know he can do it yet every time I stand him up, he stands there for ages then flings himself to me laughing. Seems he has inherited the reckless gene (fml). The health visitor is referring him if he hasn’t walked by 18 months. Any one else had this issue? Both the others walked quickly. My MIL always said ‘they focus on walking or talking’. It’s so true as eldest took longer walking but was great at talking, middle opposite (walking before he was even one) and baby is good with his talking right now. Kids, always a worry!