Mummy Fails.

Mummy everyday = massive mummy fails……

  • When your husband gives you a five minute neck rub and your toddler gets so jealous she head butts YOU in the nose. #fail
  • When you realise that your nose is swollen two minutes later. #painfulfail
  • When you finally have some time ‘off’ to yourself but end up organising and running your toddler’s day with her daddy so much that you are too exhausted to do what you originally planned. #fail
  • When you spend 13 hours taking care of your toddler then run her bath and get her bedtime ready, then make dinner for three adults and can’t get to sleep till after midnight because your brain is still buzzing. #fail #wideawake #WHY
  • When you’re away from your toddler for five minutes to go to the toilet and you enter her room to pick up her, she gets so excited that when you bend over the cot to get her, she head butts your jaw so much so you bite down on your tongue. #f**k #massivefail #notagain
  • When your morning consists of pre-school T.V and you actually look forward to it. #fail #pathetic
  • When you wish Flop from “Bing” was your carer. #fail
  • When you wish Flop from “Bing” was your child’s carer. #mummyfail
  • When you go to your local play group and watch your toddler use their death grip on a toy they aren’t even playing with so no one else can touch it either. Especially not YOU #fail
  • When your child decides to have the biggest tantrum later at that play group and all the other mums turn round to see how you handle it. #fail #groundpleaseswallowmewhole
  • When your child decides that chairs are for standing on. #fail
  • When you go to give your toddler a kiss and they punch you in the face. #fail #whydoesthiskeephappening?
  • When your child grunts at you at EVERY request you make. #fail
  • When your toddler sees you through the window but doesn’t recognise or acknowledge you. #fail #nobodyimportant
  • When you find play dough in your child’s pooey nappy #fail #how
  • When your child thinks banging her back against her stair gate is a fun activity #fail #scareds**tless
  • When your toddler’s toys make you happier than her. #fail #saddo #Ihavenolifeanymore
  • When you dream of having a cocktail later but all you’ve got in your fridge is milk. #fail #needadrink
  • When you make your toddler a nutritious, recommended recipe and she spits out the first bite and you end up giving her ham for dinner just as you did for lunch. And breakfast. #fail #foodnightmares
  • When your 20 month old toddler regresses back to having her afternoon naps on YOU as you sit in a chair for two hours. #fail

Actually that last one isn’t a fail at all. In fact none of them are really. Just part and parcel of what us mummys and daddies go through every day. I hope this post made you parents giggle a bit on a stressful parenting day. Feel free to share…..

It’s all worth it in the end.

Apparently (!)

2015 – A year in Review.

Usually, at the end of each year, I do a month by month review but evidently as I have not posted as frequently this year than others, there isn’t as much in my life to review!

Makes more sense to sum up the more stand-out months that passed.

January was the first time my daughter slept through the night. This might not seem like a big deal but believe me – IT IS. She slept through which meant WE slept through. Bliss!

Needless to say it didn’t last.

March and one of the months I would rather forget. My birthday fell on the 2nd and my husband decided it would be a good time to treat me like a piece of s***. He ignored me for most of the day, sulked and generally ruined what should have been an enjoyable, relaxing time for me. Don’t think that it’s asking too much to feel good on a day where you get older is it? My husband and I hit rock bottom that month.

May was the month I chose to blog about my marriage. My broken marriage. My post https://freefromhim.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/when-history-repeats-itself/ caused a bit of a stir. It worried some friends, especially that of my husband’s. We had always come across as so right for each other. We may have been two very different people but no one ever doubted a connection. However, nobody can ever see the inner workings of a relationship nor can they truly know the person. I spend every day with my husband and when times are stressful, they’re really stressful and when things are tense, they’re incredibly tense. I can’t pretend that life is going smoothly when it’s falling apart. I’ve done that before and I suffered terribly for keeping it a secret. As a promise to myself, I vowed not to hide away from pain, be upfront about it and then at least it’ll be in the open. Some cannot understand my logic but that’s fine. I don’t look for agreement as it is solely my life and my choices I only ask for no negative comments. Nothing is gained from that.

Sadly in July I would receive a stream of negative comments from people I didn’t know, all condemning me for berating my husband so publicly. It upset me and I know I should not have let it. It led me to defend myself which I also know I didn’t need to do. I just hate being backed into a corner or accused of behaving in a way I haven’t. Why when we speak up about suffering or hurt we are sentenced to a term of judgement and verbal punishment? I experienced the same sorts of abuse when I posted about my father. It’s so hypocritical – you speak up and speak frankly – you are a nasty wife who is exposing your “fragile” husband or you keep shut and hide away – you have led yourself into that situation and you should have walked away earlier…..

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

September saw my daughter reach her 1st birthday. My little premature bird of a baby whose tiny fingers once wrapped around one of mine, made it to her biggest milestone. She not only made it but smashed through every expectation and want we could have had for her. I gush about her a lot. I know. But seriously – she amazes me! She’s so sparky and curious and has her own way about things already. Children are so beautiful. She is so beautiful and after everything, every stress, every heartache, she reminds me what true happiness is.

November marked the month where my husband returned to work. He had been unemployed on and off for around seven months. An especially long and frightening time as I had also given up my job to look after our daughter. It was an incredibly difficult decision as I was aware my husband’s project work was coming to an end and there was always going to be a risk of unemployment. Foolishly and probably wanting to in some way, I believed my husband when he assured me he’d find work within the following month.

He didn’t and thus followed a very stressful time.

I look on it differently now and have done since September. I began to cherish the time he had with our daughter. What father gets to spend seven months with their baby in it’s first year? It rarely happens. My husband had an opportunity to nurture his daughter in those crucial months and witness her grow so beautifully. One thing I always wanted for her was a close relationship with both her parents. Not clinging to one as she’s passed to another. My daughter does not prefer mother or father. She wants both and I am so proud of that.

Here we are at December. The year is over and once again it has gone by in a heartbeat.

I have many hopes for next year: that we move out into our own home, that my marriage strengthens, that my daughter continues to grow, thrive and amaze me, but most of all that I try to strengthen myself, think more positively and enjoy every day as a mummy.

Happy New Year everyone xx

 

 

 

The decision to stay at home.

Leaving your job, that you love, is not an easy decision to make. As a new mum, people will make assumptions and judgements on whatever choice you make. Stay at home or return to work? A choice that many working mums are faced with. When I got pregnant, there was no such thought in my mind. I wanted to return to work. My job was a constant for me, an achievement and most of all something that gave me a great deal of confidence and pleasure. Leaving was not an option.

However, nothing could prepare me for the feelings I had when my daughter came into this world. I had not expected to feel so overwhelmed with love and be distraught at the thought of leaving her with somebody else. In fact the very notion of it haunted me for the first few months of her life.

We researched many options for child care, shocked at the cost and left in despair at how we, two full time working people, could not afford to put our little girl into a day nursery for the week. The only other choice was for me to return part-time and for my daughter to be placed in a much less costly environment at a childminders’.

Sadly, even the few we visited left me feeling a little sick. Not because they were bad in any way but simply because I had to deal with my separation anxiety and not hers. She seemed to adapt well to one particular childminder, surprising us all (as babies often do) and both my husband and I felt happier instantly.

It seemed to be all sorted at work too as I was to return for two days a week while my little one was at her childminders’. Unfortunately we were dealt a little shock as we didn’t realise childminders charge something called a “retainer fee” to keep a child’s place free until they are due to start. In our case, her place needed to be retained for 6 months which would cost us an un-refundable bomb. We just couldn’t stand to lose that money thus putting us in a very difficult position.

I now had to consider leaving my job.

I read an article at the start of the year about more working mums in Britain, having to leave their jobs as they could not afford expensive childcare. London seems to be the most costly of places and sadly that is where I am. Other European countries seem to have this base covered a little better or a lot better should I say.

In Sweden, the state subsidizes the child care cost so the parents do not have to pay more than the equivalent of £113 a month.

£113.

The fee for our local, well known nursery per month is £1600. Yes that’s right – £1600!!!!! Fourteen times more than Sweden. It’s ridiculous.

I could have easily gone back to work part-time/full-time if childcare in this country cost an average of £113 a month! Instead, I have had to leave work to be at home with my daughter. Undoubtedly, there are positives to this decision. I get to do what sadly, a lot of mums cannot – look after my daughter daily and spend these precious moments with her. I am thankful that I can do that. I only wish I had more of a choice.

On the job front I will be registering as self-employed in the near future and starting a career that fits around my new job of being a mummy 🙂

After all, it is one of the hardest jobs out there and certainly one of the most rewarding.

The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.

Drawing a line……for now.

I’ve taken a bit of time out from my last post. Time being the operative word as there never seems to be much of it. My husband and I received many responses from friends and well-wishers, all concerned about the state of our marriage and future.

There is not much I can do to reassure them.

I’ve weighed up the pros and cons to my marriage, to my husband. There are several on each side.

PROS: 

  • Wants to change
  • Great father
  • Supportive of my dreams/goals
  • Not nasty by nature
  • Genuinely cares
  • Sensitive
  • ‘Gets’ me

CONS: (when he is at his worst)

  • Moody
  • Distant
  • Bad listener
  • Says hurtful things
  • Acts before thinking
  • Negative

When I look at each list I see great things and pretty awful things. I’m torn. On one hand I desperately miss my best friend and on the other, I long to be on my own, away from the endless stress.

The two of us have talked. We do see a future together but understand that it will be a very long road to travel before we feel truly happy. As arduous and trying as that may be, I have to draw a line in the sand if I have any hope that my marriage could work.

I grew up in a broken home. My mother and father’s idea of marriage was abusive and destructive. It led them to be terrible role models for me and my sister. I did not look up to either of them. I do not want this for my daughter. I want both of us to be fantastic role models for her, showing her what it takes to be a good parent, wife, husband and friend. We will make mistakes – no one is faultless but that too is a lesson she should learn. Except here, mistakes will be made in a loving environment not in a harmful, loveless one. I just cannot do that to her.

So this is it.

A line is drawn.

Let’s see where we go from here.

2013 A review: July – September.

JULY

Summer had truly hit us in London by July. Scorching temperatures reigned over the city and finally the harsh winter had been beaten.

At the start of the month, I began recalling a series of events, linked to the exact date one year ago, that looked back on the journey towards the end of the abuse once and for all. It was a painful task. Remembering is one thing but looking back in detail, searching through old text messages and diary entries was hard. It transported me back to a terrible, stressful and bitter summer. The summer after my wedding. The summer my father, the abuser, died.

It was the month that my husband and I were told that our landlord wanted to sell the property we were renting. It came as a surprise as there had not been much of a warning. It was the last thing we needed. We were very settled where we were living. It was in an ideal location for both of us to get to work, there were plenty of shops and amenities around too. It was not ideal to move. I couldn’t bear the thought of moving into some dingy, poky apartment in a rush because we hadn’t enough time to search for somewhere decent. We made a decision. It would be a difficult one, a tiring and patience testing one but ultimately we were thankful she was willing to have us. My mother was our port of call. She agreed the sensible choice would be to live with her until my father’s inheritance was finalised and we could look for a new place.

July would be a very revealing month for me. Although I already knew my sister had begun a “secret” relationship with the abuser, I was not aware of how close they had become. After everything my sister had once accused him of, after all that she had witnessed him do to our mother (not to mention the misery of a life I led with him), I had not expected her to welcome him with open arms into her family unit. A unit she has been fiercely protective of for so many years. A family that she has banned me and any mother from seeing. Apparently, we are bad news, the cause of her depression and misery, the evil ones. Not our father. Not the man who abused me for fifteen years but the two people who spent most of their lives trying to escape his frightening hold. In her eyes, we were the enemy. I found out at the start of July that my father had planned a holiday with my sister, her husband and children. He could not go in the end due to his worsening health. I was flabbergasted. Horrified. The man that my sister could not bear to be in the same room as was now holidaying with her?? It blew my mind.

At work, I finished with a bang, holding our annual school talent show. It was a great success and the kids did me proud.

AUGUST

I continued to recall back to the events of last year on WordPress. I received several comments, mostly from friends who had no idea I was struggling so badly that summer. Even though the majority of them knew about my relationship with the abuser, most never questioned it. They never delved any further. It must have come as a shock to them to read the full truth.

I was well into my summer holidays at this point. The weather was unbelievable in London during August, we were very lucky to have so much sunshine. I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. I spent most of the holiday packing up our flat and surprising myself at how much rubbish we had accumulated over the past two years of living there. It was an endless and tiring job as my husband was at work for most of August. Even on moving day, when David’s parents had come to help, were we still putting items into bags and shipping them off to my mums’.

The end of the month would be very significant. On the 21st I celebrated the anniversary of my father’s death. I did not lay any flowers or sit down and pray. I did not shed a tear or think back to the “good times”. There were no good times. He was not worth my tears and I could not lay any flowers for I do not know what happened to his ashes. My sister only told me recently after a year of me badgering her, that after the funeral she had “picked them up”. So basically she gave me no more information than I had already assumed. I intend on letting her keep playing her childish game on her own.

As I prepared to go back to work, I was invited to a school reunion. Seeing my old primary school classmates after twenty years was incredibly uplifting. It was a wonderful experience and sent me back to a time of happiness. These people made me happy. It was lovely to be in their company again.

SEPTEMBER

Back to work!

I also began making some changes in my life. Some positive changes. I attended a course at City Lit on Assertiveness. It proved to be quite challenging. I enjoyed analysing myself and looking into types of behaviour. The course opened my mind as we explored passiveness, aggression, manipulation and assertiveness. It was very interesting to hold that magnifying glass up to myself and look more carefully at the person I had become. I am now trying to embody more assertiveness. My mother is the only person finding that difficult. For so long she was used to a passive daughter. A daughter who could not say “no” and agreed to almost everything in search for an “easy” life. Well no more. I have never had an easy life! It is time to get what I want and make a stand.

The Collins English Dictionary says – 

assertive 

Definitions

adjective – 

confident and direct in claiming one’s rights or putting forward one’s views

The struggles of being back home.

As much I love being back home with my mum, there is no doubt that I have changed over the years and more importantly matured. Since living solely with David, my husband, for the last three years, I have my own ways and habits. Of course, changes have to be made when you live in someone else’s environment but currently, I have to say I am struggling. It’s amazing having her back from India but my mother seems to have taken several steps back from when she initially left.

Arguments have begun and annoyances are raw. It is almost as though we hadn’t lived together for two months before her holiday. David and I cleaned the entire house, top to bottom, over the weekend before she arrived. Yet when she returned she immediately found fault in almost every room. I wish we hadn’t bothered! I know and understand that she has the right to want things her way, it is her house but a little bit of appreciation would have gone a long way especially when she knows the amount of stress I have been under recently.

It is hard to be open with her without fear of her becoming upset or worse: defensive. I cannot stand having to justify every word that leaves my mouth if I ever need to show criticism. Yet when it comes to criticising me, it comes so natural to her. If I do ever answer back then I am being provocative or dramatic and anger her further.

I’m not sure why my family expect me to be so passive?

Perhaps it is easier for them to have a robotic daughter/sister with no emotions or brain.

Don’t get me wrong. I love her very much and I know that this is a bit of a rant. I just need to vent. After all, I cannot tell her how I feel right now, I just don’t want the tension.

Welcome back Ma.

This week will finally mark the return of my mother from India. It has been a long five weeks without her. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed some quality time with my husband or a chance for independence – I have. However, the feeling of being in her house for so long without her makes me anticipate what it’ll be like when she really has gone for good. Yes, how morbid but I can’t help feeling that way.

Most thirty one year olds would dread the prospect of returning home to their mother. Not me.

Growing up, we never had a connection. Even into my early twenties did the barrier remain. There were ample opportunities to move to my mums’ during the abuse yet my father’s emotional hold was too strong and my unnatural loyalty to him was keeping me back. She has always criticised that choice, the choice to stay with my abuser. In my mind, I just clung to hope. A lost hope that he would change into the father he used to be. That is why I stayed so long.

Have I enjoyed these last few months with her? Yes. More than I thought I would. I wish we had spent more time together when we both were younger. It is upsetting to imagine the years we wasted.

I can’t wait to have her back.

See you soon Mummy xx

Image

Friday 4th February 2005.

Since my father died, I have an abundance of old notes made about his incessant nitpicking and abuse. On February the 4th 2005, my father picked an argument with me over the smallest thing. The note highlights how trapped I was in his company, the fear that encroached me and the endless demands he made.

It reads,

He has guests coming in the evening. His routine of obsessive cleaning is taking place. I’ve locked myself in my bedroom. I’m too scared to come out and be forced to be a part of his army drills. I can hear him coughing loudly downstairs. What’s wrong? Something’s wrong.

(Written later)

I went downstairs, he called me there. He was waiting. There was a mark on the floor. My make up. He found it while he was hoovering. He saw it a while ago but it’s not his job to clean it. It’s mine. He needs to prove a point. I made the mess. That one little mark on the floor. A quick wipe is all it needs but I have to do it. Me. He told me to mop it up today before his friends come. I’m fed up. I want to retreat back to safer ground – my bedroom. I went upstairs mumbling something under my breath. He heard.

“What??” he shouted.

“Nothing” I replied.

He bounded up the stairs behind me. I quickened my pace.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

I shut my bedroom door. I was safe again, “Nothing!” I shouted back.

“If you are nasty then I will be nasty. If you are good then I will be good”.

I’m 23 in under a month. What kind of a father days that? He has never treated me like a daughter, never. He never lets me feel anything, I’m not allowed emotion. I have to be a robot at all times. I cannot cry, that’s wrong. I cannot get angry, that’s wrong too. I can’t even act like a child sometimes. I’m not allowed ‘bad moments’. I have to be perfect. I have no free will. He keeps using money as a threat. If he ever gives me anything he has accounts for how much, when and where. I can’t breathe! Let me breathe.

This was how my father behaved nine years ago. Yet right up until his death he never changed. He had the same attitude towards me till the very end. He held all the power. Not any more.

You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Before I was born.

From what I hear, this was a decent time for the rest of my family. Although my parents did not have the best relationship, their hatred was not as magnified as it later became. My sister has fond memories of this time; the eight years before I was born.

The family took holidays together and spent time socialising, it seemed happier. That’s not to say there were not problems. My father was incredibly abusive to my mother behind closed doors and bang in front of open ones too. My sister was definitely a witness to the fights and abuse. Overall however, it was nothing like it would become.

My mother’s desperation for a second child was the catalyst in ripping the family apart. My father did not want me, he made that very clear to her but she longed for another baby. This obvious desperation only exaggerated his despise for her, he hated weakness in people. What’s a natural feeling for a woman was a weakness to him. He would never understand that feeling, a want to love, a longing to pour love into someone.

To give love, you need to feel love.

Eight years is a big gap between siblings. My mother was pregnant before having me but sadly lost her previous babies. He wasn’t there to support her through that. Instead he berated her and used it as another way to criticise her. He was moody and implied to her that he was not responsible for the loss of her child. He was that much of a narcissist that it had to be all about him! His love for her had faded and there was no respect. Within days of returning from the hospital my father was giving my mother demands. The want for a second child only amplified.

As my mother edged towards her 40th birthday her second daughter was born three weeks early.

He seemed happy – at least for a while.

Your face sickens me.

Whilst flicking through my wedding album on the weekend, I came across a photo of my father with my husband. An innocent photo, a pleasant one even but nonetheless, it was one that caused an immediate reaction from me. My mother was taken aback by my display. Without control or realisation, I burst into tears, feeling sick from the image I was staring at. I instantaneously covered his face with my hand and tried to focus on something else. 

“It’s just a photo!” flew from my mother’s lips. She could not believe he was still able to provoke this emotion in me. But it was more than that to me. It was a reminder of the feelings I had on my wedding day. When I should have been thrilled and excited, I was cagey and fraught. The notion and fact that he was at my wedding completely ruined my day. He had caused so much trouble in the months leading up to it that he never should have been invited but there was many other opinions flying around and plenty of judgement targeted at me, the unkind and selfish daughter.

Looking at him just brought it all back and now, there he is, embedded in my album, etched into the page and I cannot remove him. 

Dramatic? Ridiculous?

I never expected to react that way especially to a simple photo.