Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bad As In...

Today was bad. And I mean REALLY bad. Bad as in:

- I had about 3.5hrs sleep last night
- None of that happened before 4am
- And it wasn't continuous

The morning was bad. And when I say bad I mean bad as in:
- We left the house to go and see our friends' new baby but had to stop to get petrol first
- We drove ten minutes down the road and realised we had to turn back for the mei tai and water bottle
- It took us about fifteen minutes to do the ten minute journey out, so we had been in the car for over half an hour before we left the house for a second time
- We got EVERY SINGLE set of red lights
- Even Harriet exclaimed "Not another bloody red light" at one point
- We got within five minutes of the hospital only to be told that the doors were closed until 4pm (it was now 1pm)

It was bad after this. So, so bad that at one point:
- Harriet screamed at Ted
- I screamed at Harriet
- I jumped out of the car in the middle of traffic, unfastened a screaming Ted from his seat, and screamed across at Harriet YOU FUCKING CHILD

- Walked away from the car with Ted

In fact it got even worse than even that. It was bad as in:
- We met up at a shopping centre and Harriet and Ted went in a car ride (after moaning about being in the car, go figure)
- Harriet yelled at me that I was a bad parent and hit me
- I hit her back
- Ted was screaming on me and wouldn't get off me

You think that's as bad as it gets? Well yes, thank goodness, that WAS as bad as it got. But it was still bad. Bad as in:
- Harriet continued to scream and cry and be hysterical even long after we were trying to discuss things rationally and calmly (obviously very understandable but at the time very frustrating and stressful)
- Ted refused to be off me at all (as in not even touch the ground with his feet) for the rest of the day

But I have to say, in testament to our determination to try and be half decent parents (well ok, for *me* to try and redeem myself against being absolutely everything I work so hard against being), we managed to turn the afternoon around somewhat. We bought fruit and dip and went to Clovelly. Ted continued to scream and cry all afternoon but considering he had had the same amount of sleep as me, it was not any different to what I wanted to do. But we all managed to have a half decent time at the beach. We definitely all needed the open air and space. We definitely needed that big, reaffirming hug and consolation that we were all there for each other, even when we all knew that each one of us was fighting our own demons. We all continued to work together even after we had all fallen apart. And we all forgave each other.

Honestly, I think it may be days like this - days that are horrible and evil and see us falling so far down the rabbit hole that there is no sky and no hope of understanding this new and difficult world we find ourselves in - that you realise how strong your connection is to each other.

Tomorrow is a new day. And tomorrow may very well be a corker of a day. Or it may be completely average. Or even horrible again. But I know that I can apologise to my children, to my partner, that I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again the next day. That I can explain how hard it is to get through the days when I'm functioning on so little sleep (and have been for about two months now) that I just can't remember how I used to find fun little games to play about nothing. And that the people I love will love me back and know that I really AM trying. And that soon Ted will start to sleep (he will, won't he?) and soon I will start to sleep and soon we will all be playing silly games again.

Ps - Ted has said truck, papa, duck, bubble and tractor in the past 24hrs. Cute. I have to remember that he is cute since he hasn't smiled in about four days. I am doing my best not to go too far down this rabbit hole, people...


Jen said...

Sometimes you fall down the rabbit hole without seeing it coming and I swear it gets bigger the more kids you have! I remember reading here years ago about a girl starting with H who would be up all night eAch might and a Mama starting with C who wondered if it would ever end? :) and there were other posts where she proclaimed it did, even for a little while. Hang in there Cass, these days will pass and all will be smiling again soon. Thankyou for writing this post, it was a shock to read as through reading your blog I surmised the hitting, yelling, swearing go against your parenting ethos...but I've also had days like this and I've felt awful and wondered who decided I was fit to parent these kids? I've felt so guilty, but to know I'm not the only parent to do it is a comfort in a sense and I do agree with your summary afterwards. Perhaps I'll start giving myself a little slack and tell the dhead drphil voice in my head to p'off when it tells me that 'that' is the moment my children will remember forever...which in hindsight i'd totally ridiculous! I'm willing to sacrifice some sleep filled Ashman nights and so I'll send our sleep vibes your way Cass xo

kate said...

I think anyone who's a parent has had a day like that. I'm sure it's the sleep deprivation. I hope things improve soon.

Wondering Willow said...

Hey Cass, This really struck me;

"But I have to say, in testament to our determination to try and be half decent parents (well ok, for *me* to try and redeem myself against being absolutely everything I work so hard against being)"

I have felt this too many times in the time I have been parenting. And yet I also agree with your final point. I think that the times that we have 'lost it' as a family have been the times we have

a. come together better and with a fuller understanding of each other
b. come to a better understanding of ourselves and the bits we need to work on (ok thats probably more me than the kids)

So yes I have had days like this as well, crazy bad days where I dont know where up is in relation to down.

I love that you wrote about your day Cass. I often feel that we mothers arent honest about the hard times or the times when we dont live up to our expectations of ourselves but it is so freeing both to ourselves and others to admit those times we loose it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cass, I love your raw honesty. Thanks for sharing your day down the rabbit hole. We ALL have them, sometimes even for several days in a row. I know I do and I always come out the other end stronger, more enlightened to what we each need/what we're each missing/how we can go forward. Parenting is hard enough WITH sleep, without sleep makes it really really hard. Good sleep is coming I promise. Maybe a little while off but it IS coming...
Xx Lou

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog and have come to know you from another forum also. I read so much of myself in your posts about sleep etc and my heart is just crying out for you.

I don't know how to word this so I will just go ahead and put it out there, have you thought about night-weaning DS? I 'hate' being the one to suggest it, but I just wonder at what point do you decide that you need more sleep in order to be able to function effectively? Sleep deprivation is horrible and I'm only suggesting this out of respect for you and your ideals....

Hope you get some sleep soon x

Anonymous said...'s taken me about 5 minutes to...think what to say. I beleive this is an incredibly brave thing to have done publicly Cass & I beleive that every parent should be privy to such displays of honesty- these days are not rare for many people. I have just spent the weekend trying to redeem myself from "not putting Sam first" in ages- turning down several requests to head out with people who really needed my friendship & attention, And I am so sorry that I was not able to spend some time with you !!!! You deserve a couple of hours (days) respite I think- coffee, chatting, music,sleeping(drinking hard liquor)and we will make a date to do that ASAP !! I hope the sleep fairy visits both your children for about 3 days straight ??? xxxx Lis