Tuesday 9 April 2019

A Few Quiet Days Off

I have taken a few days off this week and next week during the children’s Easter break from school. I had lots of annual leave and extra hours from work that I had to use up before the end of the financial year or lose them.  I was looking forward to a break from the overwhelm of work, spending time with the children and catching up with housework.

We had hoped the weather would improve and we could go away for a few days. Unfortunately, our family car was stolen and it’s still grey and raining. So, we are at home. I kind of don’t mind. I can’t remember the last time I had the luxury of doing things slowly, or even having some time free with nothing to do – just reading, blogging if I feel like it, or roaming around the house aimlessly.

I am having to fight the urge to do “things” and the anxiety that I am not being productive.  Now that I have had a few days to mull over it and sit with it, it’s making me realise how relentless I can be with myself an everyone around me.  We must be doing something all the time, anything, being productive, aiming for something.  It drives me up the wall to see people doing nothing when they could be cleaning, organising, working, studying, revising, something. Even holidays and rest time for me involve doing something.

It makes me wonder what drives me in this way, some insecurity? Some fear of not having enough, doing enough or being enough?  I will sit with this a bit longer, doing nothing and feeling uncomfortable and see where it takes me.

In other news, my house feels like a battlefield at the moment.  Both hubby and I have had enough of the teenagers angry and rude behaviour in the last few months and decided enough is enough. Little Lady is rude and likes to hide in her room. Little Man is angry and explodes at every turn picking on his younger siblings and shouting and swearing.

We have tried being patient, praising good behaviour, not forcing religion down their throats and listening to what they say. We have tried being gentle, kind and treating them like young adults.  But there is a limit to our endurance and the level of rudeness and disrespect we can tolerate.  So I have taken away their phones, no takeaway or junk food, or privileges and no fun during school holidays.  Little Lady has responded by disappearing into her room once more and being surly and painfully sarcastic.  Little Man is furious. He is adamant he will get worse and we haven’t seen anything yet. He is refusing to talk to me except to say vehemently that he doesn’t want to talk to me.

I have tried to talk them down (sometimes successfully), I have tried reasoning, I have tried encouraging them to talk to me about makes them angry, I have taken their side when they needed me to.  But I am so, very tired of it all.  I can’t tolerate both their Dad and I being spoken to with rudeness and contempt.  I wouldn’t tolerate it from work, my wider family or the world in general, so how can I accept it from the children I do everything for? Months, even years, of day in day out fighting with them has left me feeling bruised and battered.  I ask myself isn’t this what parents are supposed to do?   Absorb the anger and keep going, keep being there, keep loving unconditionally?

I have questioned everything with them – my parenting, my values, my way of living out my faith. I have lost sleep and cried myself to sleep. In the end my husband reminded me – we have to keep strong; we have to stay united, we have to be firm in our beliefs and in doing what feels like the right thing with our children.  In the end they will all go their own way and we will be left together. 

At the end, I don’t know what to do any more. Except to be quiet, to be firm in what feels right and to keep going. To act with love, kindness and patience. To listen, to pray and ask Allah (SWT) for help, trusting he is the one that answers out prayers.

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