The Perfect Storm

I sat down in the kitchen today and my husband said to me

“You look pretty”.

I smiled.

He smiled back and did a little surprised laugh

“You look even prettier now you are smiling”.

“I smile all the time!” I say, mock-shocked, pretending to be offended

“No” he said, obviously thinking, “You don’t. I have not seen you smile all week”.

Ahhhh shit. He is right.

And this is why.

I swear I have been loyal to my husband, OK? Our kids come from the exact same gene pool. And so *rubs forehead*

A+B = C…

but then…

A+B = J…. eh?

What? How?!

When Ed was Alex’s age he had his moments. I called in support from Sure Start who sent round a tutor to help me with Ed’s tantrums. And it was to help me, not him, because, I just didn’t get how to deal with said tantrums. I was 8 months pregnant with Alex, and had no idea about the terrible two’s. Whilst she sat there, chatting to me about a plan of action, Ed had dialled 999 and shoved the phone down the back of the sofa. I could hear a teeny tiny voice saying “Hello? Do you require the emergency services?”. You can imagine my horror at the timing of this act, right? Well, actually teeny tiny voice, yes. Yes I do require emergency help. Send round men in white coats. For me.

But always with Ed, if I told him not to do something, he might have created bloody hell and fuss and explode, but he would eventually do it.

Alex? Nah. Jog on, mama.

They have the same genetics. They have the same make-up. How how how are they so different?

If Alex could put two fingers up at me, I swear (pun intened), he would. He just doesn’t know how to do it yet. But, like learning how to write his name and how to use the toilet, it will happen. It doesn’t really matter that he can’t do it yet though – he does it in his head anyway.

Alex scribbled on the wall twice in as many days this week. I know kids do this, it is annoying and naughty but sort of like, saying “F*ck!” for the first time, or pulling your pants down and mooning someone out of your grandad’s camper van on the motorway. Normals.

So, I put him in prison (his cot) for 45 minutes. FORTY FIVE MINUTES. Did he care? Did he hell. He sang. The whole time. Oh no, wait, not the whole time. When my dad arrived after a 2 1/2 hour trip to see them, Alex shouted downtsairs

“HELLO Gyannad!”.

Did he try to escape. Nah? Not because he was afraid of the consequences. But purely because he couldn’t be arsed.

A friend said to me

“It is frustrating trying to discipline a child who couldn’t care less”.

The same friend said

“It will get better”.

I hope so. She should too. Because I know where she lives. She owes me a well behaved child.

But the real problem comes when child A combines forces with child B. When one hurricane joins forces with another…and then bashes in to Hurricane Mummy. It creates The Perfect Storm.

And in the eye of the storm is a momentary silence, where all the air has been sucked out of the room…like when you dive bomb in to a swimming pool and your hearing goes instantly, whoooshed away like you are deaf and you can only hear a very dull thud, thud, thud, before you touch the bottom of the pool with your toes and push back up to the surface..

And before…


And worse.

Someone told me not to take it personally when they get like this. Which is 100% right of course. But when you have a week like this *sighs and cries a bit*, it is impossible to not take it personally. Because the moment the first bubble of negativity pops in the morning, at 7am, and you are forced to jump the first hurdle, knowing full well you have a whole track of the feckers to jump during the day, it is incredibly hard not to take it as a personal attack on you. Because knowing you have another 12 hours of these tiny little silly fights makes a little piece of you collapse inside. Because actually, yeah, you know what, however childish and pathetic and “poor me” it sounds, someone has been mean to me. And I don’t get why. Why? Why? I am a nice mummy.

But they are just kids. Just wee little babies. Pushing limits.

Pushing my limits as well as theirs. But learning and just being kids. I do know this.

So here are some truths. People don’t tend to be honest. People don’t like to admit weakness. It is incredibly lonely when your children are playing up and being little crapbags. I am the worlds biggest say-er-er of

“Oh blimey! Don’t go through it alone! Come round to mine! Drop the kids off and go and have a break”.

But you don’t really want someone else to see you telling your kids off, whilst on the verge of tears yourself. It is exhausting pretending you are in control of a naff situation when, really, you arn’t.

There is a helluvalotta

“Oh I am ok! Oh, it’s fine! Really, truly!”

Well, it is lies. Sometimes you just have a shit week.

I cried on Skype yesterday morning. To my brother and my sister-in-law. They live in Australia but on Friday morning they were sat opposite me, across the dining table. I couldn’t help it. I just started to cry. It was pretty cruel of me to do, actually. I saw my sister-in-law brush at her face (gently. Like she was hoping I wouldn’t notice she was crying too. I did) and my brother looked pained because he was so far away and just wanted to help me out a bit.

I shouldn’t have done it. But I was just a bit tired.

Today was better. I took this photo of Alex and me. It is for my husband.


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13 Responses to The Perfect Storm

  1. Nisha lucas says:

    Don’t lie to your friends – of you’ve had a shit week admit it and ask for help …… As you say, you do help others out all the time. I hope you have a better week this week

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you. x And I will. Because I am dropping the boys at your house at 8am tomorrow.
      Didn’t James tell you?!
      Seriously though, thanks mate for replying

  2. Suzanne whitton says:

    Hey, perhaps you should send that photo to your brother and SIL too – its lovely 🙂 Parenting is the hardest job in the world but although we don’t feel like it sometimes, we can’t give up – who else have they got?! I wrote a similar post this week, it’s been a tough one, we’re all in this together though, right?

  3. Pippa says:

    This is brilliant Hannah. We all have days (weeks) like this. And then it gets better. And worse again. And better. And I suppose that’s how it goes on. The only thing we can do is make sure we look after ourselves in the tough bits – make some time for yourself to get on your bike or rest or whatever it is you need. And don’t beat yourself up for the shouty weepy breakdowns. You are fab. xxx

  4. xojox73 says:

    I hear my youngest wake up some mornings and think ‘oh god, here we go again’. I feel lousy about it, talk to your friends, they may surprise you xx

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you for reading and for commenting. You are right – I know I should. Somestimes I do, but, I always feel bad about doing it. Which is stupid because, like I said in the blog post I am the first person to say to them “WHY didn’t you talk to me?”. But you are 100% right. Hoping you have good friends to chat through it all with too.
      Thanks again,

  5. Liz says:

    Hannah, I really admire your honesty, this blog is brilliant and I can totally empathise. I too have had a really difficult week, my children have been awful. Like yours they are sooo different and what works for one doesn’t work for the other. I too started to take it personally as I try to do fun, nice things with them but realise it’s not a personal attack. Anyway, just wanted to say, if I can ever help at all, let me know, you can always bundle them into the car and come for a cuppa! You do such an amazing job with your boys, be encouraged x ps gorgeous pic.

  6. Adriana Collins says:

    Hey Hannah, i went through several weeks of complete hell with Lucas a while ago. I do relate to what you’re saying and feeling. Talking to friends helped immensely. I also just kept reminding myself that I am the grown-up one (although I wish I wasn’t at times). In the end, i “made friends” with him and made the decision not to take it personally (still do sometimes but I’m getting better). Of course we still have horrible days and that I always try to talk to someone before i feel i’m about to have a meltdown. No point pretending. You can’t be super mum all the time. It’s bloody hard work. You have two gorgeous boys, you should proud of yourself. Hope this helps, babe. Have a fabulous week. BTW, back from holidays so maybe see you at Dizzie in the coming days xxx

  7. Alex says:

    the bit about Simon and Jane bloody made me cry! brilliant piece of writing, I really cant remember when mine where the age yours are at, thats terrible but I cant! But I am going through teenager sons syndrome… Max will be 15 in November FFS and I can honestly say I wish he was 4 again. big hugs and see you soon. xxx

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