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.