Apparently I have not posted for five days. It’s an easy habit to fall out of with five kids. Gaby had this chest infection and it has thrown the sleep training. Of course I had her in the bed when she was wheezing! So now she is going down ok at 8 but then waking around 11-1 for a feed and then wants to get up at half five.
The real issue is that when I put her back in her cot after the feed we are back to sometimes relentless crying. So we have DH being woken and not able to get back to sleep, the boys thankfully seem mostly to sleep through. I actually took pity on DH and drove a little today as it is blatantly obvious that he is far less able to cope with lack of sleep than me. Maybe it’s habit, he thinks it’s genetic! You smirk but apparently man flu does exist so why not say that thet are Ill equipped to do the night feeds while we are at it!
Either way we are back to me getting up and either staying on her room patting her or leaving her to cry. Remarkably DH managed to get her back to sleep in the evening shift by patting. In fact I think it worked better from him as she knows there is no chance of a feed. I did try to upsell that one to little avail as he always plays the driver card.
We have had a rocky time to be frank. After a week of really extreme sleep deprivation I was ratty and he was subsequently short with me and between us we were in no mans land for a while. There is the continuous bickering over my estranged brother as well. DH seems desperate for information but his blatant dislike makes me loathe to share. It only rubs salt in the wound for me to talk about someone I am all but forbidden to see. Well I can see him but the kids cannot.
DS1 asked is DH’s dad was dead as of course he is verboten too. When I write it down it seems ridiculous that I have gone along with these bannings just to keep the peace.
And as as Christmas looms I find myself getting sadder and angrier that this so called family time had been marred by his grudges. His sister is not black listed as she is not offensive – the other two have been along with my older brother who was positively vile to us at one stage.
I end up seeming the bad guy as I now refuse to play happy families with his sister and mom preferring to drop the kids and scarper. That is what I fully intend to do this year and it gives me a weird satisfaction as it is the only card I have left.
Funny the thoughts that plague me in the wee hours. I must resolve to have a wonderful Christmas with my kids and divorce myself from this resentment. Spot the pun.
So yesterday it was all too much and today we have swerved back into our usual space as it were. Maybe parking a little close to the lines and hit the bumper on the wall but here none the less.
Intwresting isn’t it the duality of emotional life. There are these feelings buried quite deep at times, at other times quite close to the surface, of anger and unresolved issues, of fear and unforgiving pqrts. Then there is the day to day run of it peppered by real joy and intimacy at times. I think in reality every marriage probably has these- especially with history over the years of conflicts without happy endings where power struggles play out with a winner as opposed to a compromise.
So this evening we had a family jam session with Randall banging pots with a spoon, Peter on the violin and rapping and DH and I playing guitar. It was very good especially seeing my seven year old so confident. I couldn’t help but wonder why his school can’t bring that out in him. I’m so glad he feels comfortable enough to show us his talent.
I did get out last night but amusingly took a while to get home and despite all three being asleep there was the little quip. And Then of course she woke up at 5 30 ready for the day. I was not. She did not settle back and DH and dS2 did not get up until half seven. I did get a nap in the day and then conked out putting the boys to bed which meant I missed out on my tv and exercise time whilst DH had a long session. I reckon he wanted some space anyway and I was just so very tired. But he turned on the lamp when he came to bed which woke me up and then we made up properly.
Now of course baby is up just past one. She is not eating brilliantly still getting her appetite back I suppose after her illness but I will take her to the GP if it doesn’t pick up by next week. She is off all her favourites and so I am having to breast feed her often because I can’t stand the thought of her being hungry.
She did after her five troubled nights actually sleep through last night. Mother in law came to help and left boys playing on their own whilst she folded clothes. DH of course expressed dismay that I can’t manage that. Not too gentle reminder that I am sleep deprived plus it’s nice to play with them not just leave them in front of the telly. Ok so bit of hurt pride going on too but I’ve always struggled with putting house work before child care. She does lots of great activities with them but she always answers the phone, toddies up etc whilst they are with her and I think they should have full attention and that stuff can wait. The little quips about us living in chaos are very irritating and she will whip around sorting things out which, yes, is very helpful I cannot deny once a week or whatever. But day to day I’m not going to kiss my time with them in order to Finnish chores that I can for around them. We have a little system now. I do the clothes on a Sunday. He washes up when I am putting them to bed. Hoovera when they are out. I wipe aa we go along. It’s ok. Our main issues is clutter because we have too much stuff but we are working on it.
Its still the same thing I am talking about isn’t it? The raja alongside the living. The duality of existence. Trying to run on two tracks. I can’t help but wonder will I get winded?
So tonight DH goes into the bathroom and DS1 is desperate. I am up and down knocking on the door trying to preserve DH ridiculously fragile ego whilst ensuring my son doesn’t have an accident that will engender feelings of shame he will need therapy for when he’s an adult.
Earlier I went to work and called the nursery three times to check Gaby was ok following her chest infection. He didn’t call them but he was at home.
And I have spent TWO DAYS contemplating divorce as he has barely spoken to me and doesn’t have the emotional depth to reveal the reason being a throwaway comment I made on Tuesday morning.
I am so bored of men and their lack of awareness. If mum is there she can do everything. I am off out tonight and he said he would manage on his own but I have called MIL because I know I have no chance of getting any time if I don’t. What’s more it is a military operation managing to get out at all. Then there is the guilt that DH heaps upon me when he disappears to his little hobby every Monday. He has now started To insist upon more time as he thinks I’m getting too much. Working for himself I know he gets lunch in front of the latest shoot em up on Amazon Prime.
Of course I love him but what I don’t love is being taken for granted. I cannot recall the last time I had a bit of romance. The terrible comment I made was following a night of adult fun we were in the kitchen the next morning and I lent in for a kiss only to be told he was too busy! So I said ‘if you don’t kiss me I will feel like a prostitute’. I think I saw a film once where a lady of the night said something about ‘not kissing the johns’. It was a joke – half so. It really sent him off on one though.
I hate atmosphere I grew up in a house full of it. Love and war. I don’t want that for my kids. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that even if you are not fighting the silent treatment is a weapon. Then you are into emotional abuse territory gas lighting and the such.
I think perhaps I expect too much but then I see other men being attentive and encouraging and I get pissed off. But of course I have girlfriends that tell me their men never lift a finger at home and mine is great at that and handy too.
I know I can’t have it all but my priority is always the children and mine emotional well being. It’s hard work being the sensitive one, the one who feels it and having a son who does too . DH parents are like him- a bit removed and ‘everything is fine’ when it clearly isn’t. This really is a case of opposites attract. I have the strength to feel my emotions and he does not and I guess I have to accept that. Or do I?
So here I am on a training day for work. I am so lucky I am not actually at work as I don’t seem to have a memory today. An entire conversation vanished from my mind this morning.
Ita day four of I’ll baby last night she just kept screaming but she had her mess and feed and change and just wanted to be in the bed with me but I was just too tired. I found myself patting her frantically begging her to sleep in a slightly hysterical way. Then at one point I think I practically growled at her. I picked her up and put her down countless times. I hid under the duvet and down the hall. I felt like a shot mother. I stood in front of the door where DH was slumbering earplugs in Ana beamed my anger at him.
Thia morning for the third morning in a row he slept through his alarm because of the earplugs and having his phone on silent duh! I had to get kids dressed medicated and fed within half an hour and I have learnt to apply make up whilst eating toast. He makes their lunches and then sits down to eat whilst I am changing, feeding, packing up breast pump etc.
Ao yesterday I snapped at him and he didn’t speak for the day. Today I tried to be civil but inside I am fuming.
My secret plan is to reset his alarm to loud and early and put in his room out of reach last thing. Watch this space!
That expression used to mean lots of things to me about living on the edge and risk taking. Now all it translates to is surviving as DH calls our silt struggle.
I am feeling guilty right now. I have just read Constance Hall’s post about being grateful that her children are with her and not lost or ill And of course she is 100 per cent right. And I have lost my boys in a mall, in a garden , a big playground and truth be told my heart stopped. No feeling is worse than running around frantically screaming for your child. And when you find them what seems like hours later but was minutes you are insanely happy but also mad and scared and relieved. Ok so I’ve convinced myself to be grateful.
But despite that I am very tired. Gaby has bronchiolitis and last night she was awake from 2 till half 5. And again DH failed to wake up in the morning and we had a row. He was wearing ear plugs ffs! So she has this crackling chest and she has a wheeze and she’s not at all hungry just drinking some water and breast milk and tiny bit of yoghurt. There has been nasal flaring and sucking and all sorts of fearful signs. She has got covered in snot and of course I can’t bath her till she is well. And I watched hours of every last night. And I have work tomorrow but just the morning so I’m thinking I may just manage.
had that freaky appointment where the nurse calls the doctor to check the chest but it’s ok she is ok for now we have to keep a close eye. It was three hours in out of hours doctor yesterday waiting for her temp to come down.
I was supposed to get my veins down too but I cancelled although can’t say I am at all sad as really could not face it at all. I can’t bear the thought of wearing those totally unsexy stockings for a month. It’s hard enough feeling attractive as it is with my slumped shoulders and drawn face, lank hair and dull eyes. Then I am assaulted by the CBeebies and Milkshake. Those girls do not have kids and they always look so peer and bouncy and DH practically drools whilst spooning cereal into his gaping mouth. Jealous? Moi?
No but seriously it is very hard to compare to youth and vitality when on the other side of 40 with three kids and numerous physical niggles. But I am aware this sounds like complaining. It really is not. I would not change anything about me and the kids. I just wish for health and well being and very PolyAnna of me I do wish everyone would get along and I also hope for a bit of romance.
Anyway I’ve typed myself grateful so now better see what DH is up to!
I do so hate being right. After a night of being up every hour and having only woken DH once in order to get help administering ibuprofen what am I greeted with this morning? The ‘I’m so tired why did you wake me in the night’ lament. Duh I was awake seven times in fact I took baby downstairs for her breakfast at 4. I then watched Bad Moms and had a cup of coffee. But is there any thanks, support, appreciation? Nope. Instead I am told that Mother Teresa and the Dalia lama wouldn’t complain so why me? Seriously? I say thank you for dinner. Again back to the theme men get acknowledgement for any house/baby care whilst women are expected to shoulder it silently. Well that’s bollocks. Yes I am happy to look after my darlings but if I have had approximately 3 hours sleep do not expect me to be chipper and well adjusted! And did he keep the boys downstairs? Did he my arse.
Ao she seemed better this morning and I sent DH off with the trio – Gaby to nana, Peter to a play date and Randall to hunt for newts with daddy. I got some sleep I was so grateful. But then they come back a couple or three hours later and Gaby has a wheeze and a temp and it’s off to nana with the boys this time and I’m three hours in out of hours GP trying to get her temp down.
Its a bacterial infection, may be another bad night but I’m prepared I think. Cancelling the veins tomorrow though. Why? Because when they are sick no matter how we want to right the sexist division of labour babies want their moms and that’s ok by me.
So it’s five AM plus change. She went to bed around eight then I got the boys to bed then just as I was getting comfy she woke up around 11 then 1 then 3 then 4. You get the picture.
DH says if I leave him alone to sleep he will be day shift. He always says that but it never really works out like that. DS2 will wake up and wake me up and then I will have to physically get out of bed and badger DH to get up at which point he will moan about being tired and accuse me of whining. In fact any time I am less than skipping through the daisies I am an imperfect mother and any time he gets anything right he is God’s gift. Why oh why do men need their egos massaged and women just have to swallow their pride? Why is it so amazing when a mean does housework but a woman who works is just expected to do it.
I can’t complain though because compared to my friends my DH is domesticated. He does wash up and cook and clean very well. I do the kids. He will play and feed then but I do everything else: night shift, sickies, dress, change, entertain, wash, educate, comfort etc . Thing is I don’t mind because I adore my kids. I love them so much that being with them is a pleasure. But when I have slept for two hours surely, surely I can be ratty and demanding?
On Monday I am supposed to be getting my varicose veins objected. Not sure this will happen unless Gaby is better but if it does then today after catching up on sleep I need to get a bag packed and have a bath. I also need to put away a mountain of clothes, iron stacks of infirm and help Peter and Noah so some homework.
She is falling asleep tbc
You know the signs: but dopey, ratty and cries easily, off her food, maybe a pinprick rash and you’re hoping against hope that it’s teething but then when they clamp their little mouth on your nipple it’s hot! Ah she is unwell and I am not sure how this fits in with the wholes sleep training regime.
Do I relinquish and have her back in the bed or are we both too far on after all it’s been two weeks! Would I now not be attuned to her movements and would it be unsafe? Would she be confused ? I know when I put her back in her cot having just picked her up that she will probably cry and I can’t have a sick baby crying. I want to text my sleep guru but she has just had another baby and I know she will be up to her eyes.
The last 3 days I have been too tired to write a word! It’s been hectic at work and home and I keep meaning to say something but then by the time I have been near the screen I’m ready to drop. I can’t see how anyone ever writes a decent novel with kids. I mean you can pump out X amount of words but will they be good words or just filler? On top of everything we have lost our tres expensive thermometer and I’m tempted to order another but we are slinger I rang tg tax credit people today and they hd the wrong figure for DH income for the last two years.The guy said he would only wait a few mins whilst I searched for DH income tax return. I said I have 3 kids and have been trying to get through to you for a month and we are in hardship you will stay on the line. Seemed to work
I have probably got this wrong, it’s a lone time ago now. Back when I knew how to speak this language the above meant ‘as alone as a finger’ in Afrikaans. So you ever just feel very separate? I think being with children so enmeshed and physical and loved sometimes on a very pre verbal level can be overwhelming because then you turn to the adults in your life and get a peck on the cheek or a ‘pass the salt’ response and frankly it is disappointing. This affects me probably more than most as in the past I had mental health issues born in part from a difficult relationships with my parents. There was much love be but there was this distance that even now sometimes I feel. This is in no way unique I know because in my work it is paramount to understand the push pull of relationships.
Sometimes it hurts though no matter how much I know or think I know the base facts are we all want to feel wanted, needed and loved and when that doesn’t happen we are left open to other feelings of rejection and abandonment. Some people manage these through being good to themselves and others through being very very bad. In the past I was the latter. Now I want to feel ok but there are times like tonight where I passed out with the kids and then missed any time with DH and he was quite cold because he feels side lined I expect that I then feel very alone and Misunderstood. There just isn’t enough of me to go around.
Last night Gaby was awake pretty much an hour after I got to sleep at 12 and did not settle till 3.30 at which point my back was really bad and I could not sleep because I was panicked about coping with work. I had maybe four hours at a push. I had to wake DH to help me give her caliph as think it was teething.
So I got up late and then rushed around eating toast as I dressed and fed everyone and DH made Randall pasta for school lunch as teacher told us yesterday he is not eating enough which of course sets of massive alarm bells. One thing I really hate about this country is the over intrusive state when it comes to parents. From what I have read and seen at work the social services are massively over involved with the wrong people and absent and oblivious with the right. I have spoken to other mums about this and it is alarming how many parents would rather not go to the Dr with a sick child in case there is an unwelcome misinterpretation. For my part I go too much coming from a medical family and having a somewhat misplaced faith in medicine. Which makes me equally anxious.
So anyway we are on top of this fussy eater like flies on sh*t at the moment. But then he gets his toothbrush and covers himself in red toothpaste but there is no time to change him so off he goes to school in a disheveled state. I have a friend whose son told the teacher she was lazy as with three she never gets the youngest dressed on the school run. I could launch into another story here about … oh dear I have forgotten it may come to me! Oh yeah we had a very freaky letter from the school about not supplying a PE kit when in fact Randall told the teacher he did not have one when in fact he did. It was a standard letter and they apologised but it still had my DH and a family friend trawling the shops at 11 pm on a school night trying to rustle up a new kit for fear of being reported. Surely a disproportionate and i might add stressful and expensive result. We had an apology from class and PE teacher but I still can’t help but wonder, as dearest Carrie used to say, is that written down somewhere?
Ok paranoid rant over. We then carried on and I went to work and then a quick swim as I feel an extraordinary need to a) exercise and b) stay in shape. Then I took the baby swimming to a) wear her out and b) be a good not selfish mother.
And then without a nap I plough on through bath time and dinner and homework having asked DH not to go to the film he planned please as I am too tired to cope alone. So as I then take the boys up to bed he is sulking as he washes up again which I know he hates. And of course I fell asleep next to my 4 year old at 9 pm having failed to a) buy my seven year old a red statue of the infant de Prague – don’t ask. Ok do. Long story short my mom visited the estranged brother and sister in law and niece and her family in CZech and returned with a white version of this statue and my DS1 fave colour is red so he is not impressed. I promised to get one online if he went to bed. On amazon they retail between 3 and 170 quid. And b) read DS1 his space book after he did a brilliant review complete with sketch of Mars. Achieved neither.
So I conked out whilst DH presumably finished washing up and waited for me to join him for exercise/ tv/nookie maybe. I’m sure he did the first two anyway.
So I am feeling alone. Alone because he was cool and unwelcoming. Alone because my DB was in town and do not make the effort to meet. Alone because my mum only visits once a week in winter.But then I look at Gaby in my arms as I feed her the dreaded 11 pm feed and wonder how alone she feels as I return her to her cot as advised to cry herself to sleep as per guidelines of sleep training and I again can’t help but wonder if I am doing the right thing. And as any mother will tell you nothing gives us sleepless nights like worrying about the kids.
There is this great story of the above name or similar that I used to read to my now 7 year old. All about how mom is right here even if she is washing up or on the phone. I still need to stay with him till he is virtually asleep though. They all need me so much it is incredibly touching but also very alarming. I don’t remember being as attached to my mum as a kid, it was my dad I idolised. Hard for her and now I am a mum I see this as the hardest job.
I remember my dad and I taking a cosmopolitan quiz where one of the questions was what do you hope your daughter achieves? and he chose good mom not astronaut and me being furious. But now I get it, I really do. And I also respect and adore my mum and we get along famously. Now!
so if they are super attached now does that mean they will wane as adults. I do pray not. I am addicted to my kids. They are insanely cute and say the most brilliant things. I love them beyond words.
Tonight I have woken Gaby again at 11 pm for the feed that I hope sees her through the night. I should probably have had even half an hour in case I’m wrong but I had to watch SAS who dares wins. I can’t get enough of this show because I love to watch these men push themselves to physical limits I can only dream of. I have this squishy tummy that Peter really loves but I would love to shift. I just don’t have the time. I walked for an hour today. I will swim for eight mins tomorrow. I do a smattering of callisthenics and Kung fu/chi gung at times with DH as we bond over it. But I cannot give up sugar. I just realised what a rambling entry this is tonight and I reckon I’m just wiped. I was teaching today and I think I am outa words.