When “One of Those Days” Becomes Your Normal and You Have Cried All the Tears

high cortisol levels

one of those daysAll parents have had one of those days

In fact, most of us have lost count of them by the time our first child reaches toddlerhood. The thing is though, when they become the norm, and the good days become the exception to the rule, we’ve got serious problems on our hands.

They say the sum of our parenting parts will determine the future stability of our children. In other words, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over one of those days. Everyone has them, and they are to be expected. We are encouraged to write them off by self-medicating with junk TV/booze/meditation/the gym/a yoga session. This would of course work wonderfully, providing one of those days aren’t too frequent.

What the AF are you supposed to do when they make up at least half of every single day? When all your best efforts are thrown in your face and it would seem that nothing is helping your kids. When they are in pain, and look to you for solutions, but you have tried everything already? When you literally get over one obstacle, which you were convinced was the root of so much, only to have another mountain of an issue to have to try and solve the next day?

one of those daysJust. Stay. Positive (right?!)

They say that we should tune out to the negative and embrace the positive. I have subscribed to this mindset in the past, and firmly believe that when we only have ourselves to worry about this should go without saying. Unless we’re homeless, hungry and totally skint, there is always a silver lining to be found if we look hard enough. When we add kids to the mix though, life becomes complicated, and it’s not so simple anymore.

I’ll tell you a secret, and not because I’m bragging, because I need to remember it. I absolutely ACED the early motherhood years – the ones that so many other people I know found excruciating. Even through all the sleeplessness and reflux and allergies and eczema. Even through the zero contact with my family, and only working part time so not having a huge amount of spare cash. Even through three pregnancies, which my body did not find easy.

Five years in it was another story 

We had three kids, an autism diagnosis, and a seriously unhappy girlie at school. The extra needs made our lives mind blowingly challenging. They still do.

Essentially I am parenting a child whose language I don’t naturally speak. I am learning every day how to be the mama she needs me to be. Whilst at the same time still being sensitive to the other two, who also have varying needs.

The jury is out for us on whether those needs will come in the shape of the spectrum, but it’s irrelevant anyway. All children are different, and all children on the spectrum are different.

Why I’m starting to loathe the so-called positive quotes on social media

When your offspring are pushing you to your very limit on a daily basis, it can be tough to dig deep enough to find the tools you need to cope. When your kids have extras, plastering on a cheesy smile and “faking it until you make it” just does not cut the mustard. Neither does looking in the mirror and telling yourself that it’s only “one of those days” or “I am enough”!

It kills me to admit this, but sometimes I am not enough for my three. Some days the self-sabotage that goes on inside these four walls gets the better of all of us.

one of those daysI am constantly looking for ways to improve my parenting abilities, and so is my husband. Yes we bicker, but we are a team. I’ve read so many parenting books and they all say the same thing: consistency is the key to success. When you look around and feel that none of your efforts, no matter how consistent, have sunk in, what then?

You end up feeling like a complete failure 

At the beginning of last year we were in a terrible way. Christmas 2016 was largely horrendous, we had one girl being home educated and the other one in school and hating it. Our then toddler was up half the night every night, and frankly the whole family was in a dire mess.

By mid March I started seeing a glimmer of hope. It felt like we were making progress – we’d decided to remove Clara from school, Freddy was sleeping a little better and Polly was impressing us with her maturity.

Finally, after putting out non-stop mummy fires for as long as I could remember, it felt like we were on the up!

The euphoria was to be short lived though 

Within weeks Polly had bashed her face on the slide at the park and knocked her two front teeth out. What followed was six months of dentist appointments, annoyance and agitation. Polly’s stims started coming in the form of rubbing her teeth on anything she walked past, and she still does this almost a year later. This means that she has weakened her teeth, which in turn means they are super sensitive. They hurt her when she’s brushing them, and the temporary fillings come out more often than they should. More dental appointments. More annoyance.

By the end of last year, after a grinding amount of effort on my behalf, it felt like we were on the up again. Now, not even one month into the new year we’re back to that awful place. Polly has low level agitation going on over several things that we have on the horizon. Her triggers have become very complex, and in fact right now her brother and sister are setting her off more than anything else.

Putting out mummy fires has once again become the order of the day. Even with yoga, and clean eating and super present parenting. Even with minimal time spent on social media, and not nearly enough effort going into this blog or my book. I look around most days, and wonder how on earth we got here. None of us deserve the stress and upset this life is causing us.

The scary thoughts that whirl through my mind

Some days I look at my children and I want to run away from them. As far away as possible and never come back. What kind of monster of a mother must I be to have these toxic thoughts? It’s gone so far past having one of those days, but no matter what I do, I just don’t seem to be making enough of a difference. Don’t even get me started on my fears for the future and what will become of these kids in this big bad world. It literally terrifies me.

I spent almost three months of last year stone cold sober, and still these thoughts. I’m beginning to think that the chronic stress has got the better of my mind.

one of those daysI don’t know what the solution is. Giving more just does not seem feasible, because I honestly don’t know how much more I have to give.

Get more respite most would argue, but how? With no family my side and minimal help on the other side. My kids abhor being left with strangers, and look how school has worked out for us in the past.

The irrational side of my brain is screaming GET THE HELL OUTTA DODGE! Take the family around the world and have an adventure.

But the logical side is saying, ha ha ha, that’s not going to solve your problems is it?

Once a traveller, always a traveller, I guess. 

If any of you out there have an idea you’d like to throw my way, by all means please do. As always big love for the mama’s and papa’s out there feeling this way… 

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