It would be fair to say that things are not great here at the moment. There are so many external factors putting pressures on us that home is not doing very well.
The pressure that I feel everyday to get it ‘right’ for my children is immense. At the moment I am not getting it right for them. They both seem to need so much from me and I find it hard to address both their needs. Little’s needs come across in a ‘I need up, I need a hug, DON’T PUT ME DOWN!, stay with me mummy, cuddle’ kind of way. In some ways it’s lovely, what’s not to love about a Little cuddle but when it’s as constant as it is, I feel constantly guilty that I’m not addressing Big’s needs. Big finds it very difficult to share what she needs. She shows me through hurting me, through screaming at me, through saying hurtful things to me and I can feel myself withdrawing because at the moment it’s easier to protect myself than reach out to an angry child.
But she needs me to keep reaching out. She needs me to keep cuddling her, to keep her close, to show her that I love her.
Last Monday when I picked her up from nursery, I burst into tears. When she came out, she didn’t make eye contact, she didn’t smile, she didn’t run to me, she didn’t acknowledge me at all. She never does these things and usually I scoop her up in a hug and chitter chatter all the way home about ‘not hard’ things. For 2 years I’ve done every nursery pick up and drop off, I’ve done every bedtime bar one, I’ve kissed her good morning every morning and I can count on one hand the times I’ve had responses from her but last Monday I just couldn’t manage. The pressure of keeping on going became too much and I couldn’t hug a ramrod straight child and pretend it didn’t hurt.*
The pressure of trying to help other people understand the girls is also weighing me down. People who openly dismiss what I’m saying, people who find excuses for their behaviours, people who don’t want to listen to how hard it is for the girls and how hard it is for us.
I understand that it is really hard to think about the girls being hurt and hard to think about why things that happened over 2 years ago might still be affecting the way they live their lives. I understand that if you don’t see the behaviours it’s hard to comprehend them but it doesn’t help us as a family because we need to feel supported and believed.
At the moment I feel that I am not being enough for my girls but at the same time I’m pouring everything I have into them. The external pressures of primary one transition, the holiday (we timed it badly, I know), the summer holidays, leavers assemblies,a playgroup trip are proving too much but again, I’m not sure how to limit them.
I’ve been trying so hard to see the positives recently and it helped but sometimes the pressure of the day to day is too much. I’m fairly certain that a lottery win might alleviate some of the pressures, we could have a cleaner, we could get a bigger car so that the girls wouldn’t have to be next to each other, we could extend the house so Little could have a safe space. But at the end of the day, these pressures are going to keep coming and I have to find a way to be able to manage them without it resulting in snotty sobbing at the nursery door.
*The nursery staff were amazing, they scooped me up, gave me a hug and took Big to do jobs. The next day I took some chocolates in to say thank you and they had a box of chocolates sitting for me. Made the Tuesday a lot easier.
The best bits
The girls and I had a lovely afternoon at the beach last week. We drew princesses in the sand and decorated them with shells and stones then walked from the ‘start’ of the river to the sea. Big loves water (as long as it’s not on her face) and she is so happy at the beach. It was not a warm day but she was soaking and smiling and it was good to see.
We’ve grown some flowers from seeds this year. My mum and dad were up this weekend and they both helped my mum to transfer them into bigger pots. I was tidying up somewhere else and I could hear Little talking to my mum the whole time. ‘You tap the bottom. These will be lovely flowers. Me and mummy will have lovely flowers. I’ll water them.’ She was so engaged with it and it was lovely.