For the people who think their kids are better than mine…

… I don’t agree.

I think most of you have kids with issues, too…

I don’t always like your kids either…

I definitely don’t think you deserve the perfect parent award…

I think you duck it up just as often as I do…

I just think my kids and I are more real than you.

Because you see…

my kids have another house to live in, but they still choose this one…

My kids have another parent to choose, but they still choose me…

My kids have issues, but we are aware of them and we face them head on…

Now…

How many of you can say the same??

So whilst you sit in your castle and mutter concerns over my parenting and my kids… I’d really love to tell you something important… I truly, genuinely, don’t care.

I love my kids. I like my kids. I actually like the craziness of each of them, the real ness and the quirks. But most of all, I absolutely love the fact that my kids feel safe enough to be real. To tell me the truth – even when I don’t want to hear it. To tell me their thoughts and fears and all the things I really don’t want to know. They know they can tell me. They trust me with their fears as well as their dreams. With their truths and the chaos inside their heads. They know that no matter what… and they actually know this deep in their souls… they know that I might not like their choices, the path their on or even the person they’re angling to be right now… but I respect their right to be themselves… and I trust their ability to make those choices and to learn and to grow from their mistakes… and above and beyond it all.. they know there is nothing on this earth they can do that will stop me loving them unconditionally.

So you can judge and you can sit in your alabaster tower… but I’m here with my kids and I hear them… truly hear them… can you honestly say the same? 😉

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Morning feels…

Four is too many…

The Princess is away. I hear from her at odd moments through the day and night. 

The baby Dragon is across the drive at a sleepover. They knocked on the door at 7. Who comes home from a sleepover at 7?!?

The Wizard is being his usual morning nerdy self. He’s 8. He’s cuddly. He reacts strongly to moods and stress. He started the morning with a meltdown over his big brother annoying him. He has close to zero understanding of other people’s moods… he just reacts to them. I tell him – look at my face, listen to my voice. I am frustrated. I am tired. I am angry… he laughs and continues. I hold back the tears. 

So… that’s 3. Goes without saying that I love all 4 of them. But my days are filled and I can barely breathe at times. 

Then there’s my Knight. He doesn’t sleep at night. He wakes me to tell me he can’t sleep… or because he’s on his Xbox and he’s loud… or because he’s talking to a friend at 3am and the conversation is hilarious… or because I take the Xbox controller and he can’t sleep… or because the Internet is slow and he demands to know why… all night… every night… 

His favourite saying is kms… kill myself.. I told him this morning that if he doesn’t let me sleep soon, I’m going to kill my own self. 

I feel like a new mother all over again. There’s no break. At all. I want to cry in frustration all the time. I’m exhausted. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. I can’t keep up with their wants and needs and demands. The level of utter self absorption does my head in. 

The Wizard has climbed into my lap. He has no sense of personal space and boundaries. He needs and he needs now. I’m still on my first coffee and he’s asked at least 675435 questions so far. There’s no conversation. He doesn’t tell me things. He asks. Demands. Sits on me and realigns himself for his own comfort. I can’t deny him the hugs he needs. But OMFG I want the space some moments. 

The Knight has disappeared to his room. He’s tired. Am I supposed to care? I’m sure I woke neighbours at 4am when I got up for the 27th time to tell him to shut the f up… 

I remember when I thought I’d be a good parent. I hear others horrified that someone says a ‘bad’ word in front of their kids… oh honey, I say them AT mine…

Friends see the surface. You’re a single mum of four kids. You’re a great mum. 

No… come see me at 4am or 6 am or 8am… my deadly times… see me at arsenic hour or after I’ve tucked them in for the 571st time tonight and it’s nearly midnight. See me when they just won’t freaking sleep or let me sleep. When they bicker with each other or cause havoc in their own frustration. When I count yet another bruise on my thighs (9 atm) or shins (6) because they’ve left yet more crap in a walkway and I’ve tripped yet again. 

Or better yet… come take over for an hour or two… take my phone and take my kids… leave my house and leave me in peace… just an hour or two of utter silence. 

But mu-u-um…

Me: what’s the go with the screensaver?

Knight: What? It’s Alice in Wonderland licking a rabbit lollypop…

Me: Uh huh…

Knight: What do you think it means?

Me: I know what it means… I want to know what you think.

Knight: It means I want to try LSD.

Me: No.

Knight: Oh, come on!

Me: No.

Knight: Mum! Yes! And MDMA.

Me: No.

When did this become a normal conversation???

I can’t tell when I’m being manipulated… and I can’t take the chance that this time it’s real…

He just called me during class.

I want credit.

No.

Please!

No.

But mum…

And so it goes… He starts chatting… telling me he’s a satanist and his friend is a necromancer… He needs to call his girlfriend because she hasn’t been at school this week and won’t talk to him… and last week she slit her wrists…

I can’t follow most of his chatter… most of it’s for show. He’s in class. His teacher is telling him to get off the phone. I know I should hang up on him. That’s supporting his teacher. Supporting the school rules. Teaching him boundaries. But… what if he just needs to talk. If right at this moment, he’s feeling a bit more lost than usual and he really just needs to talk to me right this second…

So I can’t hang up…

Somewhere in the garble, he tells me his dad is taking him to the GP later this week to get anti-depressants…. Ummm, who has diagnosed you with depression?! Of course I’m depressed mum… Honey, there’s so many other things that could be going on in your head, and it’s really important you have a full mental health assessment so they can find the primary cause and give you the right treatment…. Mum! I think I know whether I’m depressed or not. *Dad’s gf* went cause she’s OCD about cleaning so they gave her some pills and she’s good now….

OMG….

I am too far away. He’s 14. My head is spinning in a mess about this… If they give him the wrong medication and treat the wrong thing….

OMG…

How do you sit so far away and deal with this without going insane? Without having your heart shred over and over?

It’s okay mum… mum? Are you there? It’s okay… I just need credit… I need to call *my gf* and make sure she’s okay… Did I tell you I’m a satanist now? There’s a spirit looking over my shoulder. Protecting me. That’s why I didn’t fall. It’s four storeys – did you see that? Or three really – I was standing on the fourth. If I fell, I’d die… I was just hanging there by my arms, conquering my fears mum, you know I hate heights, scares the %$^ out of me… but this spirit is protecting me. Satan sent him… Mum? Can you send me some credit… please mum! I had a panic attack yesterday…. Can I smoke if I come stay with you? What about outside?… You know how you always say – you get more flies with honey mum? You don’t you know, you get bees. And did you know, you get more junkies with ecstasy… Please can I have some credit? No, don’t hang up… I really just want to talk to you mum… I want to live with you… Please can you move here? I won’t smoke in your house…

How did we get here?

The problem with snooping, is that you learn what someone really thinks about you…

I’ve always been a big believer in privacy. My kids know that I will respect theirs completely… as long as I am not worried about their safety…

So I’ve been snooping. He doesn’t know I have access to his social media. My kids would be horrified if they knew I read his messages…. but I do try to skim them – a token to that privacy :/

But today, I read the comment “Your mum’s a ho” and he agreed…. and elaborated…. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s said worse to my face…. In fact, I should be surprised – the other day he told me “Actually, you’re not a whore… You’re too f%^&ing fat and ugly for anyone to go there”…

But seeing him chat to his friends and laugh about it…

A reminder to respect his privacy I suppose… there was nothing in there to suggest he is currently in harm or feeling harmful… content and happy now that he is no longer with me…

I am writing several days after the event. I need to stop the self pity. The moping is doing my own head in and i know people are not wanting my company at the moment.

Sunday. It had all just gone too far. Too much. I had a friend fly in on Saturday and spend the day and night. She’s known my kids forever. And yet, my teen just…

What exactly? What did he do… I don’t have the words to explain it. I am so exhausted by it all… that self pity again…

He decided his 7 year old brother is a great side kick. That was the final straw for me. Seeing my youngest trying so hard to impress his big brother. Being rude, defiant… everything they could to upset and hurt…

But Sunday… Sunday my teen decided to run away… and take his little brother with him.

He’d answer the phone just to laugh at me… mocking… calling me names and telling me they weren’t coming home… they’d die first…

I drove around trying to find them. I saw them at one point. I was on a busy road and couldn’t stop. They saw me and ran. Up the stairs and into the bushland.

And that was the kicker. My 7 year old running too. My 7 year old swearing at me and calling me names. Refusing to come back. The 7 year old who gives the best cuddles and can’t bear being away from me for too long… He ran away too. He just needed to impress that big brother.

So that was the straw that broke my back.

Do you know that police don’t answer their phones on a Sunday? Apparently, it really was an emergency and I should have called…. but in the moment, I just kept calling all the stations that were kind of nearby…

Finally, I called their father and he managed to get hold of them. Told them to come home. And they did…

But I was done. Finally. I insisted he get his stuff and get in the car. That he was going back to his father’s or anywhere else. Anywhere but here.

I’m sure that this was the wrong action in the eyes of the experts and the amazing parents. But taking my 7 year old down that dark, destructive path he has chosen… that was my straw.

The phone call with his father lasted for over an hour. I have no idea what was said. I imagine the fear of having his son with him convinced him to pull out all the stops though. I’m pretty sure the girlfriend gave him an ‘it’s him or me’ speech… because my son eventually came back in, in tears, and begged my forgiveness. Acknowledged he has been an arsehole. Please let me stay mum…

And I caved again. And I am waiting for the next outburst.

We’ve just been to gymnastics and he started again – ignoring me, encouraging his brother to ignore me too… misbehaving… breaking the rules… because it’s fun….

He turned 14 on Tuesday. His first appointment with the mental health team is on Monday (finally!). And the road is long… and I am already exhausted…

The start to my morning:

Me: Morning kids!

Child 1, 3 and 4: Morning mumma – followed by loads of cuddles and giggles and stressing about getting out of the door to school on time…

Child 2: Sometimes I just want to stab you in the stomach, or in the kidney, and just watch you in pain while you die…. (insert superlatives and loads of venom)