I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Day 14 - Mother of all Meltdowns

We were meant to go to nurture in nature today which was a day trip to Loch Lomond. I have been part of this outdoor group, Nurture in Nature since Ellie was a baby. We meet in the parks around Glasgow and stay out for the day, have our lunch out and play in nature. Whatever the weather.

I'm one of the diehard crew but lately it's just been too damn difficult. There were times when Maia refused to walk and we would arrive and leave shortly after because she wasn't happy but we kept going. There were times when Ellie would refuse all help from everyone and freak out if I was more than a foot away from her but we still went. There were times when I would carry one on my front and one on my back.

Nowadays, with three differing needs and Millie not happy about being down and my back being completely gubbed, I have found it really difficult to go on my own. I admit defeat! Organising the food. Getting everyone ready. The walking. The carrying of everything. The whinging when tired. Oy. It tires me just thinking about it!! I feel sad and guilty about it.

Today I would have geared myself up, girded my loins and possibly gone. It's a great trip, train ride, boats to see, water and other excitement along the way. Unfortunately Ellie's puking and my sore bum put paid to any trip. I am slightly relieved!!

Today I was also going to do very little. I had done a load of washes and drying  and a massive hoove on Monday. I've succumbed to pain killers. I really don't like taking them. They give me a false sense of my abilities and I end up doing too much. Without them I know exactly how much I can do, unfortunately it's not very much.

Also, today what with the worms and the puking and the needing food and other things, there is a lot more to wash clean and do. I am still tea tree spraying randomly. The girls alternate between playing and needing me.

By 4pm I give up and lie on the sofa. Millie won't settle without being on me. What's a mama to do!

When hubby comes home I have amazingly managed to have dinner ready!! Typically the one time the girls decide they want to try salmon again (they go through phases of likes and dislikes) is the time the pieces are really small. I sacrifice some of mine. I'm a wonderful mother!!

After dinner, Maia asks if we went out today, she looks out of window and says its says "its a lovely day we should be outside" and before I know it, we are. In the park. With bikes and scooters at 8pm!!! In the back of my mind I sense a tiredness meltdown later but push it away..hmm:

The girls catch sight of the skate park and ask excitedly if they can go on it. We don't normally take bikes and scooters to NIN since I usually end up having to carry them. This is the first time they have ever been to one with their stuff and they have an absolute ball!! I sit in the middle and Barry stays at the side throwing the ball to the dog. After a while I realise I am one of the, what are they called? Rides, bits, ramps? I move to the bench and notice with glee and relief that even though it is a metal bench, it is in two pieces so there is a gap for my coccyx!! I sit nonchalantly and excitedly watching the girls race up and down ramps whilst others zoom past them, round them, over them, under them, through them. Shit. My heart is in my mouth a million times. The nonchalant look has been perfected over 5yrs. They stay mostly on the small ramp side but Maia has no fear and at one point goes up a big one that has a sheer drop on other side. I sit on my hands. I *know* hubby hasn't seen. I cover my mouth. I get ready to spring into action to suggest it might not be a great plan....and then her innate self preservation kicks in and she turns and whizzes back down the other way. And breathe.
Maia and I then wander over to the play park and Ellie stays in skate park with hubby. I sit outside and leave Maia to it. She no longer needs me to be inside. Sometimes she wants me to but tonight she doesn't. I ain't no hover parent

As Skenazy says "we have lost our ability to assess risk. By worrying about the wrong things, we do actual damage to our children, raising them to be anxious and unadventurous or, as she puts it, "hothouse, mama-tied, danger-hallucinating joy extinguishers." (From this article in Time magazine.)

We make our way back to the car and pass hubby and Ellie going to the playpark for a few minutes because daddy promised! My meltdown senses are tingling...

We arrive home and the girls are on a roll of joy.  Ellie decides to have a shower and I relax with Maia in bed till she falls asleep.  Ellie has been in the shower for a very long time, even by her standards and I know she is lying on the bottom letting the water wash over her. It's very relaxing and she is almost asleep but I am unsure whether it is safe to leave her there to actually fall asleep, then put her in bed. Her head is on her arms not flat on bottom. I let her know its almost time to come out. She shows no signs of moving. Hubby goes in a minute later, to ask her to finish, telling her its not safe. She refuses. I make a decision. Its late. I'm tired, she is clearly tired, I come back with a couple of towels, turn off the shower, scoop her up and take her into the other bedroom.

OMG. We have not had a meltdown like this one for a VERY long time.  She is trying to get back into the shower, is absolutely exhausted and struggling to get out of my arms. For better or worse, I keep hold of her. I have never done this before for as long. It's been a long time since a meltdown this huge has occurred, in the past, she has absolutely hated being held when upset and I have always let go. This time though it felt like she needed me to keep holding her a bit longer. She is just flailing and roaring. I remained calm.

I am veering into territory that is considered restraining and honestly it doesn't feel completely ok. I loosen my hold and stop struggling with her. Ellie has never been a huggy person unless on her terms. She has never liked being touched either or have someone hold her hand. Unless she is ok with it. She rarely complied.

She is still really upset with me for taking her out the shower and runs to get back in. I close the shower door and basically carry her into bed where she lets me hold her. All the while saying very little except I took her out cos I didn't feel it was safe to fall asleep in the shower.

She eventually falls asleep. I lie there still wondering if I should have just left her there, kept an eye on her, sat with her in the bathroom and explained why it was dangerous, that her head when its asleep goes floppy and it could slide off her arms into the water, that she could breathe the water in and choke. I suspect she would have been too tired to hear it. It would have been calmer if she had come out herself though.

That would have been a gentler approach than the meltdown.

She always gives me an opportunity to get it right next time!

Meltdown - oh my huge!
Losing the plot - none
Breastfeeding - as ever!

1 comment:

  1. miri, i think you got it exactly right. this is exactly the sort of thing that dr laura markham, patti wipfler et al are always on about, she was tired and needed to let out some feelings, you were able to be there calmly holding her while she had the opportunity to release them.i wouldnt be surprised if she slept really well! x