WARNIG: Raw emotion to follow. A mothers darkest place. If you are a flowers and unicorns parent….. don’t read. You will hate me.
In this moment I hate my children. Like really HATE them . Or at least I think I do. As a mum I know I don’t. I know that by the time I have finished my rant I will be feeling all crap for even daring to think anything less than rainbows and unicorns about my children. But right now………! So . Indulge me.
So I just took the 3 boys out to a rocky beach with a playground, a skate ramp and a flying fox. We packed a picnic and took the scooters and off we went. Within 5 mins of being there the arguing started. Toru started screaming at me because Tahi was having a turn on HIS scooter(as organised) When trying to calm him I was sworn at and told endlessly to shut up.(very typical behaviour Toru. I suspect he is on the spectrum and we are waiting for a diagnosis) I put him in time out. Then Tahi and Rua started fighting over a swing. Physically fighting. I offered up my swing and walked away. Soon Rua followed demanding that I discipline Tahi for hurting him in the fight. I ignored him and told him we were leaving. Eventually with all of them in the car we went to leave. As I went to pull out we saw a pod of Orca. maybe a dozen of them. Some people had gathered with cameras and were filming them as they ducked and dived through the ocean. It was stunning. As I tried to engage the boys in the magnificence of it all…it started up again. Yelling and screaming at each other they started throwing rocks at each other (big fucking rocks) . Of course as usual in all of these situations everyone stopped and stared at the circus that has become my life. Tahi ran screaming into the car to get away from Rua, who had a mighty rock in his hand and was trying to bash Tahi’s head with it. Tahi was quick enough to lock the front door of the car but not the passenger side. In this moment I was scared of 2 things. Scared that Rua would either throw the rock and smash a windscreen( mine or someone else’s ) or smash Tahi’s head so hard he would give him a brain injury. So of course I am desperately yelling at Rua to drop the rock as he climbed into the back of the car and threw it as hard as he could at Tahi. And the Orca ducked and dived in the beautiful ocean. And yet all eyes were on the boys and I. There is fucking ORCA whales out there!!! What an amazing thing to see; and my boys choose to spaz out at each other. FOR FUCK SAKES!!!! Fortunately Tahi wore the rock on his back. Not his head. I got into the car and drove off.
The rage of years of this having bubbled to my surface. NO MORE. No more being told by dept store managers that the boys need to be quiet or we will have to leave as I try on a much-needed pair of jeans and leave my ADHD child with his smallest and most easily overstimulated brother in the chairs of the fitting rooms. No more having to break up a fight within 5 mins of being at a BBQ with people I have not seen for years. Whose children all seem to function in the realms of normal and basically are dignified small people. No more being told by the after school care that if they can’t find an effective way to manage each boy they will not be able to look after them ….thus effecting my ability to study and work. No more trying to stop Rua from kicking down Tahi’s bedroom door IN FRONT OF THE LANDLORDS after being goaded endlessly by him for hours before.No more fighting over friends when we attempt to host playdates. NO more blood. No more bruises;On them OR ME!! No more being told I’m hated because I didn’t protect Rua from Tahi. No more being told by Tahi that he wants to live somewhere else because the families problems are all his fault. No more having to leave shops because all of the mirrors and bright lights send Toru in a frenzy of excitement, dancing and overstimulated noise making. NO MORE STRANGERS STARING AT THE CIRCUS OF OUR LIFE.
And in the that car, as we drove away from those Orca, years and years of this EXPLODED. I yelled and screamed so hard I was spitting with rage in the car. I called them every name under the sun and took away every possible privilege I could think of, short of life itself. I ranted and raved and spat and boiled like a madwoman. I screamed till my throat hurt and it sent me into a fit of coughing. I showed them the darkest anger I have. I let them see their worst mother. And I will say…. in that moment….I wanted to HURT them. I wanted them to FEEL my rage. My despair and frustration. My loneliness and shame. My isolation.Because this IS isolating.
I am so fed up with hearing the well-meaning words of ” I don’t know how you do it?!” *translation= fuck..your kids are mental. I’d kill them or run away*.
” Wow..I feel sorry for you”* Translation= I feel sorry for you. Please let my pity for you be of comfort *.
” They are SO full on” * No shit Sherlock*…
and ” You’re an AMAZING Mum” * Translation= I don’t know what to say to you so here is a band-aid. It has nice things on it*.
And for the love of god…DO NOT TELL ME it’s just “boys being boys” Cos it’s not. ADHD is NOT NORMAL. It’s boys being assholes. Period!!
It’s all just a reminder of how different we are. . It feeds my anxiety about the boys. My shame. Because I do feel shame. I often feel pride in them too…and in these moments I feel shame. Perhaps if you feel the need to say something…think hard before you speak. What are you ACTUALLY saying?. When you see a couple of kids making a lot of noise..but HAPPY noise…instead of telling them to be quiet…try and distract them or ask the MUM if she needs anything else. Tell her its great to hear such happy children. If you see a mum trying to get in and physically break up fight and is struggling…HELP HER. In what ever way seems obvious. Most likely separate the fighters. I always appreciate a warm smile from a stranger. A smile that tells me they SEE us. That perhaps they have been there. A small reassuring nod..’You’re doing good Mum. Stand your ground.’ Engage the children. SEE them . Laugh with them . Help them .Show them. It really does take a village to raise a child. And solo parenting is very lonely at times.
As predicted having ranted I feel better. My blood is no longer at boiling point and I feel ready to go and talk calmly to my Tahi and Rua who have been sent to their rooms for the night. I am choosing not to apologise for the way I raged in the car. I so often apologise to them for my emotional reactions in fear I am a shit parent. That if I don’t show them remorse they wont ever understand it. But I am so sick of comparing my parenting to the expected PC parenting for ‘normal’ children. My boys are not. They are firecrackers. They are passionate, strong-willed,dedicated , articulate, focussed and soo many other wonderful things…that if I can just get them through their childhood with some basic understanding of what is right and wrong….they will be bright lights indeed. I know they will.So I gotta go and feed THAT fire now.
Now go give your Mother a hug. She bloody deserves it!!!