A shift had occurred in their needs from May and it was a shift into a tough tiresome phase. BBjust seemed to whinge for everything and forgot all his manners, they squabbled over everything and I felt I was constantly being shouted at in a demanding way. As for going out, I began to shy away from it thinking it would be easier and less embarrassing to keep them home, worrying that everyone would think me a parent out of control. The twins were not content to be strapped into the buggy anymore and three out and about…well I just don’t have enough hands, especially if they all begin to refuse to hold it. It just seemed too dangerous near roads.
It dawned on me that I had three toddlers and that three toddlers were hard work and that is where I got stuck. Stuck in a rut of ’today will be tough; today will be a chore; today will be emotional.’ The feeling of I just need to get to ‘bath time’ seemed to become my mantra for the day.
The children were not neglected. I still did my job and we did still go to play dates and have people round but I visualised everything as an effort and I felt so tired. Drained in fact. Like the joy of what I had had been sapped from me. I could not talk about it because at the time I did not know it was an issue. It is only on reflection after 6 weeks ‘therapy’ that I know this to be true now.
I began to yern for me time and miss my job terribly. The fact that I knew I could reason with most hormonal 15 year olds and yet my 21 month old daughter was defeating me was heart breaking.
Then the therapy arrived…in the package of my knight in shining armour, my husband and the summer holidays. With my husband being a teacher I was on the countdown for weeks. I don’t know if he was aware or sensed how I was feeling but he sprang into action from the first day. The relief of pressure was almost instant. The fact I felt I did not have to be up and dressed with all three by 7.00am, the not having to clear up constantly on my own and feel they were undoing everything I had done, the fact that actually the house did not need to look spotless everyday. He let me have some time, some lie in’s, he brought me cups of tea. Little things, but huge things when you never get chance to do them with three so small.
I began to relax. I found myself laughing at and with the children. Sitting on the floor and playing with and not worrying about the state of the kitchen. I was enjoying them and wanting to join in…not the feeling of having too.
We went out and about a lot. I know I am a biased mummy but I have bright children who want and need so much stimulation and they sapped it up like sponges. Not bored their behaviour was impeccable, apart from the odd I can’t get my own way strop.
We went to Centre Parcs and it was awesome – we timed morning and afternoon activities round nap time and managed to get some us time in between.
The turning point however was Peppa Pig World. Just the five of us away for 4 days and we had an amazing time. BBwas hilarious throughout and his Good Knight obsession was a delight! Sleeping in the same room was something that 4 weeks ago would have stressed me out but we just loved it, plus we got an early nights sleep. Hooray! Sleep!
The final part of my therapy was the Lake District. A stunningly beautiful cottage called Bluebell Cottage that is owed by my sister in law (and is available to rent and a bargain!) in the pretty village of Ousby.
I had no phone signal, no computer, just us. It was so good for me to put us all first again. The week was bliss and I only had a few jitters that I could not check my e-mail.
I know I have had the help of my fabulous husband this last six weeks and he is now back at work today but I have seen things through less tired refreshed eyes.
MY KIDS ARE GREAT. GREAT GREAT GREAT!
It was not them, it was me!
They just need my happiness, stimulation and fun to make them tick. my mood totally impacts on theirs.
I am actually quite excited by the prospect of Autumn. The twins turn two on the 15th of this month, BBstart pre-school 5 sessions a week and this will give me some quality time with the twins, knowing that BBis having fun too.
I have a routine and a plan. I feel organised and I want to do it again. It is not a chore, it’s the best job in the world. It may, however, be the hardest.
Yes three toddlers are hard work, there is no denying that but they are a joy and such great fun. I need to learn from them.