Parental Burnout @WMB

“I can’t do it anymore!”
I said it. It was not easy but I needed to let emotions go and tell the truth. I didn’t know it but I had hit parental burnout. It did not come out of nowhere but I had kept the situation at a distance for some time. I did not want to show my weaknesses. I did not want people to see this side of me.

For months and months I kept repeating to myself that I could manage, that some other women had more than one kid, some had more issues, illness, parents to deal with and they could make it work at the end of the day. Therefore, I could too.

The breaking point
Then, one day, I found myself locked in the bathroom, crying. Tears were heavy and on the other side of the door was my kid but I could not come out; I could not find the strength to make a step towards him; I could not get past my anger and pain—like I had many times in the past—and give him a hug.

I was not myself anymore. In addition, after every crisis, I hated myself. I was afraid of my violence, of the words, of what my own body and mind were able to do towards the most precious person of my life. I even asked myself at some stage if I really loved my son and if it would not be better to let him go live with other people. Home wasn’t safe. Family life felt like hell.

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Being your mum

Credit photo @mariekleber37

We are getting to know each other. Day after day after day. It’s a rollercoaster and then a field trip with butterflies and rainbows.

It was not easy. I said it. Out loud. With guilt and without. We met in chaos and yet we’re still, alive and close, more happy than sad. Our miracle.

I knew, when leaving, that it’s the right choice. But I did not know it would take us to hell before we could see the first lights accross the night. It’s been a ride, one of a kind. With fear of loss and loss of innocence.

You drove me mad so many times, at a time I wasn’t able to cope with it. I got crazy and I thought I was, like he told me once. Tears went on and on. I needed tears to heal my wounds.

They all said it’s all about love but I know it’s not true. Love can’t do it all. It’s also about being able to face our greatest fears and to let go of our deepest desires. It’s about being able to say that we are not making it right, that something needs to be done.

And I did it. I let it all go, my mess, the awful days, your empty face, your pain, mine, the dark hours, me being stuck in the bathroom wishing to die, you lost behind the door and me being unable to reach out to you. I spat it out like it was lava. I broke free of years of humiliation and threats.

Sometimes we remember these moments and we laugh. Maybe it’s for the best. We are so different now. It does not change the past and I’d love if it could!

But only today matters and what we’re going to do with it. In a way it makes me stronger, our relationship, the way it is, I know what I’d fight for if I need to. It feels like I’m not afraid being your mum anymore…

Writing Prompt #8

Some days carry you from
One state to another
Without you having time
To get what’s going on inside

You’re building chaos
Till the cup of your day
Overflow with a strong mix
Of anger and irritation

If only you could remember
That it only takes
One breath
To change focus
And sooth your stormy brain

This is my piece of poetry as part of Writing Prompt proposed by Mona.

Mess around (or the tale of a crazy weekend)

It was the kind of weekend you wish you can take a plane ticket and fly straight to the other side of the world. ON YOUR OWN.

Do you know this kind of weekend?

It starts with a sick child and ends with a sick child.

In between, the child gets high fever and then wakes up at four in the morning, feeling full of energy again, after asking you twenty times “can I have some water? I want to pee”. He gets out of bed and is ready to party. When the only thing you are dreaming of is get one more hour sleep.

Deprived of sleep, you do feel like a zombie. And your long time best friend “patience” has decided to take some holidays. You are on your own to face the storm – a whining, crying, tearing and shouting little guy. Outside it’s raining, bad luck!

Your mum can’t take it anymore. And your dad seems to enjoy making you feel like the worst mum ever. Stop shouting, YOU are the cause of this kid sad little life. Thanks Dad!

In between, it’s Mother’s Day! You won’t be able to hang around in your pyjamas all day. Unfortunate.

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As you are getting ready, you look at the clock, it’s already noon and nothing’s ready. You wonder how mums do with more than one kid. You start thinking that your dad is maybe right – you’re a failure!

Everybody’s there and everybody love your hummus. It looks like you did get something right, after all. You are getting better at cooking. Your ex is a smuck.

You decided long before this family meeting that this time you will not get involved in highly controversial discussion. You’d rather listen than talk. Till it’s too much for you and you open your mouth. Some people still think that money is more important than Human Beings. You can’t get it. You have to let the words flow out. Silence is a killer. Bad idea. Again. A ride to the kitchen might help – washing is relaxing.

In the meantime, your little one decides that he won’t have a nap. Perfect. He is looking around at all the naughty things he can do, so instead of enjoying your guests, you’ll stay with him and play. Remember, he IS the center of the world. You end up shouting and telling him that YOU exist too (even if everybody thinks that you are a mum before being a woman. Stop being childish and take care of him – you come last.)

Outside, it’s sunny again; time to get some fresh air. You need it, more than anything else. Your last cup of coffee did not help that much but at least your headache is gone. You can’t have it all.

You are this kind of woman who thinks that TV is bullshit. You remember that before having kids, you were the first one saying “no TV at home”. It was before. Now you know that you’ll enjoy 30 minutes rest, as your little one is watching for the 50th time his favorite Disney movie. You are also getting ready for daddy’s call at 6pm. What will he come up with this time?

As you skype your ex for the “son-dad chat” of the week, you wonder why the men of your life enjoy so much messing up with you and treating you like shit. What’s wrong with you? It seems to you that you start treating yourself better than the past years. Are you still missing something?

Monday morning, it’s pouring rain, time to get the boots out again. Your child is still sick, still crying for nothing, still behaving like a dictator. You need two coffees to wake up. Your mum thinks “what’s wrong with that child?”. Your dad thinks “I can’t stand this anymore”.

You feel like crap but don’t forget that chaos is part of life (too)!

Taking Sides

Some days, we must take sides.

We have to fight for

Peace

Justice

Respect

Freedom

Love

We have to fight against

Violence

Terror

Abuse

Hatred

Injustice

 

And then some days

We face small, tiny life challenges

People disagreeing

People being rude

People chatting behind other’s back

Rumors

Personal issues

Should we take someone’s side?

Or stay neutral?

Should we say “yes” to one and “no” to the other?

Should we add to the gossip?

Or should we remain silent?

 

It’s THEIR issues.

As long as these issues don’t affect our humanity or the humanity of the people involved…

 

What should we do?

Is there anything to do?

Won’t it be easier to realize that all this mess is not worth it?

Won’t it be easier to try our best to see the strengths of that person, behind all her/his weaknesses?

 

Why are we so good at making our lives miserable, as if there was not enough pain and suffering in this world?

I wonder.

What shall we do, when we face people not liking each other?

What shall we do, when we don’t own the problem?

Where shall we stand, when we don’t wish to be involved, when nobody is right or wrong?

Where shall we stand, when it’s all about the incompatibility of two characters?

I wonder.

 

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