When good mummies go bad

Many of you very kindly leave me comments along the lines of ‘I don’t know how you do it’ and I’m fairly good at the retort ‘drugs, lots of drugs’.

I’ve been deliberating for a few days about writing a post about my current state of mind which is not the best. I know many of you will offer kind words and advice and others won’t say anything which I then interpret as a judgement confirming my worst fears. Paranoid much?

We are under intense financial stress and strain here at the moment and if there is a more dominant trigger to undoing my mental wellbeing than being fat, having four kids and living with my mother it is financial stress and strain.

That’s all I’m going to say on it because a) it makes me uncomfortable, b) it’s embarrassing, c) it makes you uncomfortable, d) some of you might want to offer advice, reassurance, ideas and while some of those will be perfect some will not and those will just tip me over the edge even more and well, let’s just say I don’t need to be any further on the edge.

SO – bearing in mind that state-of-mind then factor in having the four boys at home on holidays. Then factor in having a newly retired mother living upstairs who, bless her to the core of her soul, has the henny penny reflex of panic and disaster to any new situation whatsoever. And dudes, her whole life is a new situation at the moment. Then, with all that in mind and knowing that I’m already feeling particularly fragile her tendency to offer comments and raise concerns about the boys like ‘you’re really going to have to watch Felix’s weight’ and ‘Oscar uses almost a half a roll of toilet paper and it’s just so wasteful and …’ or ‘we really need to talk to Grover more’. To cut her some slack she also throws in the positives like this gem about Grover the other day ‘I think he’s the brightest of the bright over there, he just said x and that’s showing abstract thought at a very young age’.

Yeah, that’d be right, the kid who dances in his own shit and tonight cut one up with a pair of scissors is Einstein.

Anyway, so I’m guessing you’re all getting the picture that at this point in time I am severely on edge. Very teary, not sleeping well, snapping at everyone, a higher level of paranoia than normal, a constant state of restlessness coupled bizarrely with an almost catatonic air.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still laughter and happiness but my general state of mind is grim. My mantras are working overtime and last night I even took the wrapper off a meditation CD for dealing with anxiety which I bought over a year ago.

One of the worst parts of all this is that it is holidays and sure, we live metres from the beach, the biggest free entertainment zone in the world, but I h.a.t.e. having to constantly tell the boys we can’t do this that or the other because we don’t have the money.

So today we went to a park near our place and had a lovely time. On the way home I had to stop at the supermarket to get some milk and some salad stuff for dinner. Of course there was the chorus of ‘can we get a treat’. I pointed out the budgetary constraints so yes, there could be a treat but there was only one treat and it had to be for everyone. They took a vote and chocolate won 3-1. Jasper lost. Jasper does not lose. So the ‘I want chips’ started and basically continued unabated through the shops. Grover was grabbing some watermelon (fine) and a six-pack of ‘Up’nGo’s (those things are like 8 bucks people) and the putting back of that triggered his round to the whinging song. Then I noticed Felix was muttering under his breath – and when pressed it was about the sort of chocolate we had. It was white, he wanted milk.

I know you all know what’s coming.

I just said, ‘That’s it. No one is getting any treats’. Cue the choir of angels.

We’re out at the car, I’m virtually throwing the milk literage into the vehicle. Jasper runs away from me when I got to fling him into the car, tears streaming down his now red and snotty face as he screams at me, ‘I want chips’.

I get in the car and well, hell hath no fury. Everything that I’d been trying to shield them from came forth all the ‘we have no money,’  ‘you just don’t get it’ (why on earth would they!@%^$!^%$!@), ‘all I get from you ungrateful self-centred boys is ‘I want I want I want’, ‘no one ever thinks what Mummy would want or even to ask me what I would want’, ‘you should be so grateful for there being food on the table and a family that loves you, that there is always someone there for you but instead all I get is ‘I want chips’, ‘I want a new toy’, ‘I want want want whinge whinge whinge’, there was a few choicely placed swear words and it was all done on full volume in that primal gutteral screaming only women seem capable of.

We got home, I undid car seats, came inside, put away the milk, hacked up the watermelon for them all, dished out some crackers and dip and went and locked myself in my room to try and regroup.

You all know that every human emotion lasts 20 minutes don’t you?   So I’m sitting up there around 15 minutes later feeling a little less like my head is going to explode and that my heart may well survive another day when Jasper comes up and forces open the door (there was a towel hanging over the top of it so when it’s shut it needs a good push to get it open) he comes up and very softly says,

‘Mum,’ as he climbs onto the bed. He leans over and puts his head on my tummy, drapes his arms over me in a hug and says,

‘when we go to the shops tomorrow can we get some chips?’