I love my children. I love them so much. But raising them is the hardest challenge I have ever taken on in my entire life, and it’s one with no end in sight, no breaks. I can’t put it down at the end of the day, I can’t walk away if it gets too tough, I can’t take a couple of weeks off to let myself recover. I can’t take time off sick, which I could really use, and I’m on call 24 hours a day.
I love my children. But being a mum is so hard.
My eldest daughter is the love of my life. She is sweet and smart and funny. She is loving and kind and gentle. She makes me intensely proud of her day in day out, and I pine for her when we are apart.
Last night, after I had dealt firmly with a particularly difficult tantrum, I told her that I need to teach her how to function in society. That I get angry with her not because she’s a bad girl, but because I need to teach her not to use bad behaviour. I asked if she would rather grow up to have a home and a partner and children like I do, with a house full of happiness and fun, or if she wants to grow up to be alone and unhappy. I told her that if she wants happiness and people around her I need to teach her not to behave like that.
Cuddled up in my lap, with tears streaked on her face, she told me she wants happiness when she grows up. She told me she wants to be happy like she is when she’s with her nanny, not with me.
I broke my heart on the inside, but on the outside gave her a kiss and told her I’m happy when she’s with me. Then I lay her down in bed and stroked her hair and stayed with her until she fell asleep.
She wants to be happy like when she is with her grandmother, not with me.
She is happier when she is not with me.
I cried. I cried and I cried and I cried.
I phoned my mum, she told me it was nonsense. I cried to Jonathan, who told me it was nonsense.
The thing is I know it is nonsense. I know she said it to hurt me, she’s pushing my buttons to make a point. I know that when I was in hospital and didn’t see her because I was so ill that she fell apart because she missed me so much. I know that when she is poorly it’s me she needs. I know when she’s sad it’s cuddles from me she craves. I know. I know that when she goes to nanny’s for sleepovers I get several Facetime calls because she misses me. That she often cries for me in the night. I know.
But even though I know the words are designed to hurt me, it doesn’t stop them from hurting me. And right now I am so very tired. And when I’m tired I’m vulnerable. When I’m vulnerable I’m more easily hurt.
My baby daughter is the love of my life too. She is my joy. When she looks at me and laughs I have burst into tears of happiness. The way she gazes at me adoringly fills me with warmth. I’m watching her personality develop and she is becoming the most happy, adventurous, bold little girl.
She is breaking me.
She is in a phase where at around midnight she wakes up. Not just wake up and be settled again, but wake up and be ANGRY.
Last night it was about half past eleven. She woke up and she cried. She howled. She raged.
I tried breastfeeding her, she bit me. I tried rocking her, she thrashed around.
How Jonathan slept through it I do not know because it was loud. I’d have stayed put and just persevered but I feared she would wake up but big two, and three awake children was more than I could face.
So I took her downstairs and walked around with her, she cried but didn’t scream. I went for a wee and put her down, she screamed.
Eventually I went back upstairs and just rocked her in bed and cried whilst she cried. Eventually Jonathan woke up and offered a sympathetic hand on my back. Even more eventually she fell asleep. Blissful, blissful sleep.
I love my children so very much. I adore them. But this is so hard.
My big girl knows how to hurt me and does it. My baby girl is on a one girl mission to melt my brain.
I love my children but this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. And there are no breaks. And no escapes.
I don’t begrudge it. I would never be without them. But I am tired.
And this is hard.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!