It’s the freaking weekend, biatches! Weekends mean naff all to me other than there being no nursery for Bean, I’m guilt tripped into baking with him *scream* with the added joy of nodding and smiling (i.e not listening to a single word) whilst OH tells me every in and out of the football. Marvellous. Anyway, Saturday equals #SatCap whereby I post a HILARIOUS photo and you sexual lot give it a HILARIOUS caption, innit. Ch-ch-check out the Fairy Blogmother and ACTUAL AWARD WINNER herself, Mammasaurus for more, much better photos.
Again it’s an oldie, but I tell you the efforts I went to to find this beaut it most definitely isn’t a lazy one. I searched hi and lo for this, climbed on cupboards and everyfink, I tell ya. And yes, that is me, rocking my brother’s Garfield slippers circa ’89.
*gets magic pixie dust* #SatCap awaaaay, my pretties *poof*.
Just what we need for a cold, damp Thursday, right? RIGHT?
Nature or nuture? Bit of both, maybe? Neither? Is it all chemical? Just a shitty result of circumstance? Depends? All of the above?
I’ve had the somewhat lack lustre, mouldering badge of depression slapped on my forehead for about fourteen years, so I’ve had it over half my life. I’m OK with this, well, OK-ish, and I’ve come to realise that it will never truly “go” and I most certainly will never be “fixed”. To my loved ones, I’m sure they’re used to it, and are more than aware of my highs but mostly of my lows and my fantastic ability to be an EPIC pain in the arse. I’m aware of what triggers the dark spells, and all I can do is try to stay busy and keep taking my medication which numbs everything to my toes but really are far better than the alternative.
My mum I’ve noticed, likes to think I’ve some freaky “chemical imbalance”, which for some reason always conjures up images of Doc Brown from Back to the Future in my mind. Lack of serotonin and the like, I don’t buy it, I think that’s the easy route out. She tries to encourage me to eat bulgur wheat and spinach and other such pretentious foodstuffs in an attempt to counter my lack of da chemicalz, and keep me from being insane in the membrane. Hmmm. I’ll grant you some things you put into your body definitely do not help, but I don’t think superfoods are the Holy Grail, soz.
My mum has suffered with depression and it’s derivatives from a young age also, waaaaay way before I was born, and I’ve seen her at her absolute worst. I’ve watched her occasional gin and tonic in the evenings escalate into a mahoosive drinking problem, drinking close enough to a bottle of gin a day until her eyes turned yellow and it rotted her teeth. I’ve fought knives and even carving forks from her desperate fingers. Hidden every form of medicine and chemical away from her. Had glass bottles thrown at me in her fits of uncontrollable rage. At the age of fourteen I was asked by her, pleaded with, when desperately trying to negotiate her to put the fucking pair of scissors down, for me to kill myself with her.
I hate that depression is part of me, I hate it is likely to never disappear in a puff of dramatic smoke and everything will return to its original Technicolor and I will be permitted to see and feel and smell and love again properly. I hate worrying about my beautiful, beautiful boy, and if he is predisposed to depression too. I hate second guessing everything I do, in case it has a huge knock-on effect and teaches him the wrong ways to cope with difficult things and situations in his little mind and they never go. I hate when I’m having a bad day, when it’s all too much and I’m too exhausted to fight back the tears anymore, and telling his tiny worried face, “It’s OK, Mummy’s just a bit sad,” and making him cry too because he can’t understand, both of us clinging to one another in a mess of hot tears.
But I hope, I desperately, desperately hope that I know when I’ve crossed the line, or even when I’m flirting too close to it. That even though my mum didn’t teach me much in the emotion department as I kid, that she did teach me exactly what that line looked like and that I should never, ever cross it. And I hope more than anything, that Bean never has to feel that way, that that will never be a part of his make up, and that I won’t have to badger him to eat goji berries and drink disgusting herbal teas when he’s twenty-five too.
I’m about to admit something, something that I have done everything I can to skirt around and ignore for the last 18 months. Something that crushes my self-esteem to a tiny, crumpled mess. Something that breaks my other half’s heart and his manly hunter gatherer pride. Something I’d do anything to change. But it’s also something, ultimately, at this moment in time, cannot be altered or fixed. I’m just gonna come out and say it. *deep breath* *looks at the floor*
I live on benefits.
You can report me to the Daily Mail now if you so wish.
I’m gonna try my fucking damnedest to not make excuses and try to justify my family’s situation, because really and truly, I know I don’t need to. However, from gauging people’s reactions (raised eyebrows, embarrassed avoiding eye contact, snidey comments), over the last year and a half, I feel obligated to explain why I’m living off their hard-earned taxes.
But I will reiterate again, as I did in this post that my other half has been ill and unable to work for two years now, and we’re still, STILL, yet to find out what is actually wrong. In the meantime we’re in a no man’s land of limbo and I’m left looking after my three-year old, my thirty-two year old, myself and our house with no answers, solutions or end in sight.
Yeah I know, bloody martyr, me eh? But what the fuck do you care? I’M SPENDING ALL YOUR MONIES AND HAVING A BLAST, AIN’T I?! I’m the young mum cliché, with my Greggs and daytime TV, feeding my kid kebabs and fizzy drinks and thinking it’s all one big HILARIOUS joke, aren’t I? Aren’t I? What do you mean, “no”?
I don’t want to live like this, I don’t enjoy it, it doesn’t make me feel good. I hate feeling guilty for having to buy a deodorant or a new toothbrush. I hate having to sell my old nice stuff on eBay in order to buy myself a coat or new pair of jeans. Even though Rob’s illness is entirely out of my control, I still feel like a complete failure. I don’t particularly like feeling judged and resented by the somewhat less than understanding members of my family and friends. My other half worked for fifteen years, paying taxes and national insurance like everyone else, this is the first time either of us have ever claimed benefits. Why the stigma? Why the taboo? Why do I have to explain myself every time I’m asked “do you work?” or “does your partner work?”, why isn’t a simple “no.” enough?
I was under the impression, I know, I must be freaking MENTAL, that the benefit system was there for people in need. People who are vulnerable. People who are absolutely NOT having a good time. Yes, of course there are idiots out there, abusing that system, and making it so hard for those that have genuine needs, I’m not denying that, I ain’t kerazy.
I’m pretty sure we’re actually entitled to MORE benefits, i.e Carers Allowance or whatever it is they might have renamed it, but I refuse to claim this as our plan before all this happened was I’d be a SAHM anyway, therefore I’d feel wrong to claim for something I’d be doing anyway, it’s just that now I’m looking after two people rather than one.
It seems a lot of people we know opinions have changed, from initial sympathy, if I haven’t seen them for a while, the common question is “Oh, you’re still on benefits then.” or “He’s still off work then.” Well yes dear friend, because what you are avoiding to recognise is that he is NOT WELL, he can’t work, he can’t walk without falling into something or to the floor, he’s constantly, yes, like ALL THE TIME CONSTANTLY, dizzy, he is always, always always in massive pain. See, I can’t write a few hundred words without feeling the urge to say this again. Yes, we are still on benefits, yes, he’s still off work. I appear to have used all my wishes up on my own personal fairy godmother, and I have no magic cure for our personal problems, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that my partner had the audacity and sheer CHEEK to be unwell. I really am. I’m sorry I have to claim some financial support from the government in order for my family to survive. But please, don’t assume this is fun. Please don’t assume that we’re lazy. Please don’t assume we wouldn’t do anything for an alternative to this. Please don’t assume I don’t spend every night awake worrying about money and if this will ever end. Please don’t assume this is all one big fabrication, just to receive some money to just about get by on. Because honestly, the alternative, working and feeling like a member of society again, is easier than this. I’d rather go back to my pre-Bean job of being a manager and working eighty plus hours a week on a shit wage. But that I’m afraid, really isn’t possible right now. The reality is simple, but the answer isn’t, and I’m sorry, I am, if that’s so hard to understand.
Thank fuck that’s over, hmmm? It’s the freaking weekend! Of course weekends mean approximately nothing to SAHMs (and dads), other than CBeebies changes it’s scheduling, and we’re expected to make Sunday lunch – haha as if. Anyway, it’s specifically the day of the Satur… Consequently, in blogging land, this means #SatCap. I post a dubious photo and you sexy lot give it a funny/witty/clever/disturbing/thought-provoking caption… Ch-ch-check out the Fairy Blogmother herself, Mammasaurus for more, most definitely better photos.
Here’s my offering this week, somewhat lazy as it’s old, but it made me smile, and it’s my blog I’ll post what I want to! Is it wrong that I hate summer, and am getting rather excited about it getting cold and dark again? Yeah? Ah, I’ll sit my arse in the corner then…
*Slings on cape* #SatCap awaaaaaaay. *Poof* *Disappears*
Short one tonight, I am so bloody tired I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, *slaps self around the face* Nope, nothing.
What’s been happening I hear you all cry, how’s the cat, how’s the Bean, what’s UP?
Well strangely enough, Bean has actually behaved OK today, not amazing, not GOOD exactly, but bearable. I’ve still been bitten, and my glasses have flown off my face a few times, the cat has been bear hugged etc etc but compared to the last few weeks, he’s been OK. I’m not allowing myself to be fully sucked in though, I have a feeling he’s been reading my blog and is on to me. Bean, if you’re reading this, GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP.
He seemed to be in good spirits this morning, so I decided I’d utilise his chirpy mood and take him to the woods to find some squirrels. It was nice, he had fun and I got to see a good few glimpses of my beautiful, funny, kind little boy once more.
I’m hoping, and praying that this is the beginning of me having my Bean back, but even if it isn’t and today was a one-off, I needed it, I needed to fall back in love with my little dude, to laugh at his ridiculously stupid dances and stories, to have a bit of fun with him and to feel like he loved me again too. I’ve missed you baby, don’t go away again.
Other news, the cat cost me another 30 quid, the vet thinks she has some kind of virus and has put her on antibiotics, she says thank you for all your well wishes.
Sorry for the lack of funny tonight, normal business will resume shortly I promise, I think the last few weeks of mentaldom have finally caught up with me, and I just feel exhausted and numb. I’m going to do something I very rarely do, and switch off the laptop and have an early night. Also, I have the period from hell and feel like I’ve been run over by a steam roller / kicked in the cunt. Yes, I just wrote kicked in the cunt. On that bombshell, I’ll see you soon my beauts x
It would appear I shot my blogging load too soon last night when I wrote about the Tyrannical Threes (Copyright pending) and how the Bean has gone supersonic turbo on our arses. It all became rather apparent once I was sat in the vets this morning, trying to hold back tears whilst getting an almighty ear-bashing from a busy-body granny sat opposite me for 45 motherfucking minutes.
There I was last night, happily typing away, feeling better with each word I wrote, drinking tea, the cat sat next to me.
Hmmm, she seems a bit off, I thought.
She wasn’t scaling the curtains or trying to jump on my face for one thing. Didn’t think much of it. Went to bed, forgot about it.
This morning, Bean wakes me up, he varied up his wake up call for me slightly which is always nice, rather than dive-bombing my head he thought it’d be a change to pile all my pillows and cushions (I do like a cushion) on my face, then lie on top of the squishy mountain.
“Mate, can you get off, please?” I managed to muffle through a mouthful a goose down and ditsy-printed pillow case.
“WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU MUMMY.” he squawks.
“I can’t breathe, darling. Can you please get off?”
So on and so forth.
At least there were no false pretences today was going to be good, at least I knew from the second I opened my bleary eyes that today was going to be a total cluster fuck.
Up we get, I make breakfast, the cat’s still acting strange. I watch her as I’m just about to take my first sip of tea, wondering what’s the matter and what to do, when Bean out of nowhere announces, “Mummy, I sat on Evie yesterday.”
Ah. That’d be it then, wouldn’t it?
According to Bean, when I’d nipped up to the loo yesterday evening, he put her in one of his toy baskets, and then sat on top of her. On purpose.
And it would appear, the cat was completely not ready for his jelly.
I couldn’t speak to him, I didn’t know what to say to him, I was too angry and scared and worried and sick to my stomach with guilt.
Cue a mad hour of phone calls, a quick rummage in the shed for the cat basket and there I was sat in the vet’s waiting room, wondering what the fuck I have done to cause my son to behave like this. Have I made a pint-sized psychopath? Have I not told him a gazillion times before, WE. DO. NOT. HURT. THE. CAT. FULL. STOP. EVER. PERIOD. END. OF.
What had he done to her? Would I be taking her home? What would I tell him, when I didn’t bring her home? Once again, like most things, I didn’t catch the correct protocol for when your three year old murders the fucking cat in the parenting manual. What the hell am I doing wrong?
The questions were zipping around my head like flies, the cat looked annoyed in the basket, and seemed to be saying with her forlorn green eyes “You’re shit!” to me.
Of course, there’s a sodding old granny in front of me, that thinks that the girl sat opposite her, with the haunted look on her face, yesterday’s crumpled clothes on and the day before yesterday’s mascara flaking around her eyes is right up for a nice jolly chat. I one-word answer her pointless, nosy questions, hoping she’ll disappear, but obviously she’s a stubborn old bint and isn’t having that. I up my game, nod and “Mm hmm” my replies, pointedly stare out the window before playing on my phone. Rude? Abso-fucking-lutely. To be fair lady, I couldn’t give a tiny gerbil’s arse that your cat has been acting “All peculiar,” since that squirrel set up home in your hazel tree. You’re at a vet’s surgery,wait to tell the fucking vet, I’m sure he’ll be truly riveted that your here to pay ginormasized vet bills to basically waste his time.
I see the vet. I tell him what has happened, I envisage him shaking his head in complete disappointment before pressing a big red button under the examination table, BAD PET OWNER ALERT *siren* BAD PET OWNER ALERT. He’ll whisk poor Evie away, and I’ll be on TV for being a terrible mother and cat owner. I’ll be in The Sun. I’ll be like that crazy old woman who chucked the cat in the bin on CCTV. I’m done for.
Thankfully, he thinks my story is funny, he laughs. Fucking LAUGHS. The monster. He checks little Evie over, can’t find any internal “damage” caused by my son’s posterior. Pops a thermometer up her bum, which funnily enough she doesn’t seem to enjoy, says she has a high temperature and gives her two injections, one anti-inflammatory and one anti-biotic. He reckons there’s no need to keep her in for observations, she might just have a little virus and my son is in the clear. For now. I leave with a scandalised cat, £53.10 lighter, a smidge of relief with instructions to return tomorrow evening to check how she’s doing.
And this is all before 11am this morning. Christ, I think I should have picked a different career. I know I wrote on my resume, “Thrives under pressure,” but dealing with a sickly, squashed cat, an insane three year old and a very ill, dizzy other half is taking the piss a bit isn’t it, life?
Be sure to tune in tomorrow, for the next exciting installment, folks!
How was your day? Did you, like me realise your child was a future serial killer, before you’d even had your caffeine fix? And are you totally sure there isn’t a secure unit for under 4′s I can send mine to? Like a giant bouncy castle, with electric fencing and the Veggies from Mr Bloom’s Nursery on security?
I’m going to dig the parenting books out of the bin from last night, and check for any hidden pages or invisible ink, to make absolutely certain I’m not missing a chapter about this shit and down another bottle of pink wine. Bottoms up! But not on the cat, remember.
Right, let’s get this shit straight, right now shall we?
- Toddlers, specifically two-year olds = The Terrible Twos (spoken in a Dracula type voice).
Mm hmm. Cool. I know what’s coming. Plenty of people harp on about the TT’s. I can mentally prepare for this. I can buy a book patronisingly entitled How To Tame Your Toddler or some such bollocks. I can stock pile wine and Cadbury’s, I can double up my medication, I can get my 8 hours of sleep in. I’m fucking READY for you, Terrible Twos. You’re gonna regret messing with my kid. BRING IT.
But what I was not, and am still not ready for, is what is happening now. The Bean has gone turbo, it’s all kicked off, the shit’s hit the fan etc etc. My problem is Bean is three years old (plus three months) and I absolutely, most certainly was not ever prepared for this. As far as I know, there is no name for this, so I am christening it:
- The Tyrannical Threes (Trademark pending).
I’ll be completely honest here, I’m struggling to even like Bean right now. At times it feels as though he’s been switched in the night by an evil alien being, sent to emotionally exhaust and inevitably destroy me.
I love my son, I do, more than I could ever put into words ‘ere, more than I could incoherently say but Lord Almighty he is testing me. For what I don’t know. I failed miserably at the Patience test, I skived the Energetic Mum test, and I copied someone else’s answers on the Newborn to One test. I couldn’t even list here what it is he is actually doing that is so naughty, because pretty much EVERYTHING he is doing at the moment is bad. It’d be easier and more time-saving to list the good behaviour. Which are as follows:
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not focusing on the bad only and ignoring the good things he does, I always praise him, if anything I OVER praise. I praise him for crossing the road with me, or tell him he’s a good boy for stroking the cat instead of wearing her like a furry scarf. I lost it this morning, after me making a quick dash upstairs to go to the loo, when I thought he was momentarily preoccupied, he sneakily followed me like a special agent and proceeded to jump on my bed, shout while his sick dad was still asleep and throw all the clean, folded washing down the stairs. All while I’m still doing up my jeans and telling him to stop.
I say “lose it”, well I can’t properly Lose It anymore can I? No, I didn’t slump to the floor swigging from a bottle of cheap pink wine, slurring threateningly and crying uncontrollably. Nah. No, I sighed a big sigh, which by the way, the test for Sighing I fucking ACED, took him downstairs and grabbed a wedge of paper and every single brightly coloured felt-tip I could find, even the dried up, scratchy ones and proceeded to make a reward chart.
Bean watched me with suspicion and refused to join in, just watched from the sofa with narrowed eyes while I doodled questionable pictures of suns and cats and rainbows like a woman possessed. Evidently the art student in me has cleared off long ago, in search of red wine and boys with stupid fucking hair, the slag. ANYWAY, we (by which I mean, I) finished the chart, proudly stuck it on the fridge as if it was the answer to all our problems, and told him if he gets X amount of stickers, he can get a nice Playmobil toy. See how desperate I am? Bribery. My parenting book will be out in all good (and bad) book shops this coming Winter, don’t get your knickers in a twist.
Of course, it didn’t sodding work. Of course, he’s fucking sussed me right out. Of course, the little naughty alien he’s been swapped with couldn’t give a toss about shiny stickers or small plastic German toys. It wants to see me crumble, it wants tears, it wants whispered conversations between me and my OH in the kitchen which essentially involve us dramatically gesticulating and pleading “What the fucking hell do we dooooo?” to one another in hushed voices. It wants me to sit in the corner with my cold tea, and after climbing on me, biting me, pulling off my glasses one too many times for me to say “Just give mummy 5 minutes, please.” in a scarily despondent tone.
He’s been ignoring everything I say for a good few weeks now, to the point today, in my utter desperation I was clicking my fingers by his ears to be certain that he can actually HEAR me. Yup, no problems there, he turned around and looked quite annoyed and asked “Mum, what are you doing that for?”
I’ve tried the naughty step and the cooling down spot. I’ve done counting to three and looking all mean. I’ve tried reward charts before. I’ve tried taking toys and treats away when he’s bad and giving them back when he’s good. I’ve tried to talk to him so, so many times to try to wheedle out of his little head WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? But nope. Nothing. Not a sausage.
I even, get this right, honestly, it’s a fucking good one, said to him the other day “When you don’t listen to me, you make me sad.” Yup. Yeah I did. Take that parental disappointment weight on your tiny little shoulders, son. It actually made him cry. I’m a fucking monster, seems the Bad Mum test was another good’un for me. But please, buy my book? What do you mean the deal’s off?
I am officially at the end of my rope, my tether is long gone and I’ve had it up to here *waves hand above head*. Is this an unspoken thing? Are the Tyrannical Threes real? Or just in my house between 6am and 7pm? Is there a toddler boarding school or boot camp I can send him to, preferably orchestrated by Mr Tumble? Or is it just yet another phase that’s totally and utterly sucker punched me?
I’m going to drink some pink wine, bitterly swear at all my parenting books, before throwing them at the wall and crying myself to sleep again. Haha. JOKE. *weeps*