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Health&Wellness,  Life with N,  This Parenting Thing

A Misunderstood Mom

This is the first installment of a series surrounding the struggles of being a mom with mental illness and raising a child who is struggling during quarantine.

Being in quarantine is tough AF! As is being a very misunderstood mom.

It didn’t hit me full force though until our playgrounds closed. Living in a small town, there really isn’t a lot in regards to entertainment. But, we do have a few nice playgrounds that I LOVE visiting with my kids. I’d never ever thought that might not be possible at some point. I took it for granted completely.

We don’t have our own private yard yet.

Just a community space where all the children play, so we haven’t been able to allow ours to go outside to play as often as we normally would. Two of my children understand quite well. I explained it as a “big germ” and they accepted it.

My 6 year old isn’t one to give us a hard time. She never has. My 3 year old is happy as long as he is with us. We go for walks of course, but the world is different. Everything has changed.

And, on top of that, I am still weaning onto my new medications and managing my illness too. My moods tend to be all over the place and many times I am struggling.

My 9 year old is the complete opposite of my other two.

While my other two are laid back and accepting, my 9 year old can be vicious and aggressive. Telling you he gets very angry does not even begin to explain how intense and exhausting the days are. We have explained Covid-19 in every way we could, but he won’t accept it at all. He is convinced that it is our fault.

My oldest has always been a struggle for me. Right from day one. I was 21 when I had him, and while I loved him, motherhood did not come easy for me. (Not that it does for anyone, I just mean I was definitely NOT a natural.)He showed signs of excessive aggression at 18 months. It seemed as if he enjoyed hurting others. I’ve been told “it’s just a phase” more times than I can count.

At 3 he made an attempt to choke his sister.

She was 6 months old. I had left the room for 5 seconds. I needed a coffee refill. Since that point, I’ve tried very hard to not leave them unattended. However, there are times it’s almost unavoidable. (ex – using the washroom, etc.) He continued on being very aggressive. I took him to the doctor so many times. He was assessed at 5 years old and was found to be a very well-mannered, respectful little boy, and I was the problem. They figured all that out in their one, one hour appointment.

Life continued on, and we worked so hard to try to help him.

Day after day, there were things being thrown, broken, and people being hurt. By this point I was expecting my last and I was struggling. My mental health had deteriorated so much that I was feeling beyond hopeless. We tried everything that was suggested and there were good days, but not nearly as many as there were awful ones. We explored different discipline tactics, and showed him more affection and love.

When I was 6 months pregnant I was so low I called a crisis line.

I felt unsafe, and I didn’t feel I could keep my daughter, my oldest and my unborn baby safe. I was so overwhelmed and my husband worked late quite often. So I was alone. I felt so inadequate as a mother, and completely out of my league with parenting. Every time I went to the doctor I cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to be a good mom so badly, but I seemed to be doing everything all wrong.

Watch out for the next part of this series. If you are a mom who is struggling, please reach out.

Love Always, N

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73 Comments

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver

    I’m glad you have this outlet to share your feelings, and hoping you can find more local support, too! Doesn’t your son’s school notice his behaviors? Does the school system offer any help? It sounds like the pediatrician may not be the right one for your family if they are unwilling to listen to the parents! Sending you a big hug!

  • Claire

    Thank you so much for sharing so honestly. Parenting is hard, in this lockdown time it is even harder.

    I have just read about a young woman who planned her death, she was a single parent to 3. She planned it, left the children letters, packed their things and left a key under the mat and told whoever was to see her online letter first they could use the key and take the children but not to go in to her room so they didn’t have to remember her like that. She had hung herself.

    We need to talk about how we feel and that it is Ok to feel how we do, because no one should feel so alone that they have no other choice.

    Take care x

    • admin

      Wow. That’s so incredibly sad, but I’ve struggled with thoughts like that for a long time. Parenting is so so hard. Thank you for your meaningful comment. Sending you so much love.

  • Nancy

    You are lot alone with having to adjust to a lockdown lifestyle. It is hard, and kids need their space to play and grow. It can be hard with all of that energy!! OMG!!! I am so sorry to hear about the difficulty with your son. It is hard, especially when he tried to choke his sister. Hopefully things will improve.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  • Ashleigh Davis

    Firstly, well done for being so brave and being able to share your story. It sounds extremely tough and I do feel for you. I know how hard it is to have to fight and fight and FIGHT to try and get an answer to something. I seriously send you my love and if you ever need someone to talk to I’m always here. I am too a mum who struggles ❤️

    Ashleigh x

    https://www.ashleighsmoments.com

  • Nyxie

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this and with minimal help. There is no way they could have assessed him right with just one wee session and HOW DARE THEY blame you! That’s ridiculous.
    Sending you much love xx

  • laurenhollie

    I’m sorry you’re going through this, I cant imagine how difficult it is (I dont have any kids but want to some day) thank you for sharing though as I am positive theres someone else in a similar position that you’ve just helped out a lot by sharing! Lots of love.

  • Chantelle

    First of all, you are a straight-up badass to be able to share this! Nobody has a perfect life, but most people only show the polished outside. I’m sorry things are hard, just know every mom has struggles. Every mom has the one kid that threatens to push her over the edge. Just keep showing up, and being you. You got this!

  • A Capone Connection

    My heart breaks for you. I have three children and I can’t imagine dealing with your struggles. Quarantine has been easy for me because it is just me and my youngest, who just turned 18. I can’t imagine being quarantined with young children and having to home school at this time. I think it’s helpful for you to share your experience with other struggling mothers. My hope for you is to find a community that you can connect with to share your struggles so you can encourage each other.

  • Lyv

    Don’t blame yourself sweetie… We all struggle, and we all have our own concerns when it comes to our children! It is not your fault, you are doing all the right things. Keep up the amazing work and keep that head held high! xx

  • Kelly Gegg

    Wow my friend. I’m so very sorry that you went through this and continue to go through this now. I can only imagine how hard it must be with everything going on in the outside world to feel trapped in your own. At least when things were open, you were able to get out and let some energy disperse. I wish there was something I could do or say to help you. I do agree with some other commenters though; whoever that doctor is that you took your son to needs to be evaluated him/herself if they said there was nothing wrong. I would definitely keep trying to get him help as well before he turns into a teenager and there’s no way to handle him any longer. Best of luck and my thoughts/prayers are with you!

  • Fransic Verso

    I’m sorry that you have to go through this struggle but I appreciate you being strong and keep it going because you are not alone. I think the work would appreciate more people like you even though you deserve a lot better life, stay safe and strong!

  • Jenn

    I’m not a mother yet so I can’t connect on that aspect but I can definitely feel for you. Life can get overwhelming as it is without kids. But then add in little ones and that can be a lot. You are gonna make it through this girl. This is just a season that you gotta make it through. It’ll get easier and you seem like an awesome mom.

  • Piper Hill

    All power to you for writing such a raw and honest post. I cannot imagine what it’s like for mothers and fathers to be raising their children through a time like this. All the struggles you’ve gone through will only make you a better mother to your kids though, I’m sure. The closing of the parks and the impact that would have on families all over, especially those without a garden, isn’t something that had even crossed my mind. Hope you’re keeping well!

  • Teresa

    Oh wow, that is TOUGH! Stay strong and trust that better times are coming! So glad you’re not on your own, though, even if you so is working late. Most of my friends only have 1 child, and some of them struggle with that. I can’t imagine how they could cope with 3! You’re doing the best you can 🙂

  • esraa

    I think you’re really brave! What you’re going through isn’t easy, mental illness really takes a toll on a person (I know from personal experience) but being a mother on top of that! I can’t give you enough kudos! I must be so tough but I think you’re handling it quite well so please don’t feel like an inadequate mother!

  • Jaya Avendel

    A heart wrenching story, but I love how beautifully you have captured the emotions, and I hope you find a balance with the struggle soon. I love that you are putting this out there so others can know they are not alone and even offer suggestions as to what worked for them.

  • Deandra

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this with your son. I’m not a professional or licensed, but having gone through these Psych courses for my Bachelors, I definitely can say there’s something wrong and it’s not just a phase. I hope you can find some proper help love ♥

  • Tiffany

    Parenthood is tough!! I was 21 when I had my oldest too, now I have four kids. Its the hardest job there is, and although it comes with it’s own rewards there are a lot of sacrifices involved as well. Each of my 4 kids are so different and no pregnancy or child rearing experience has been the same. They are each individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses, struggles and talents. I am so sorry to hear that you have had to go through such a difficult thing. You’re amazing, and did all the right things… including getting professional advice and reaching out when you were scared you might hurt yourself. I look forward to hearing the rest of your story!

  • Brooke

    I am sorry you are going through so much right now. Children are all very different and each have their own struggles. What worked for me was including my difficult child in the discipline decision making process. We decided as a family what the punishments would be for certain behaviors. It helped my child know what to expect and feel like he/she is in charge. The undesirable behaviors have dramatically decreased since then. And when they do present themselves, I have a calm, rational discussion with that child alone about the behavior, what caused it, and what he/she should be doing instead. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Hope this helps! Good luck to you.

  • Rayo

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I don’t have a child yet but I’ve seen children being excessively aggressive and it’s really not the parent fault. So you shouldn’t blame yourself. Stay strong 💪

  • Shruti dubey

    It’s so sad to hear that you faced such a tough time and are still having struggles.
    Hope everything gets fine soon. More power to you girl.

  • Nafisa

    Woah,, thank you for sharing your experience, I’m so sorry you’re having this problem with your son.

    Stay strong, continue seeking for support and never blame yourself.

  • Giulia

    I’m so sorry you’re having this problem with your son. Don’t give up, keep bringing your concerns to the doctors. And never blame. yourself, tons of other parents have similar experiences. xo

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