Picture This!

Life is an unpredictable journey, filled with challenges that often test our patience and resilience. Last week, I encountered one of the most challenging weeks I’ve experienced as a parent. 

Picture this: two weeks into the school holidays, a household bustling with three kids – a 4-year-old (going on 14!), a 2-year-old (in his prime of terrible twos), and a 4-month-old—testing the limits of my sanity. This marked the first time I’ve had all three under my sole care for such an extended period. It became evident that my eldest daughter was grappling with the absence of one-on-one attention. While I recognised this, the overwhelming demands of life left me feeling like I was chasing my own tail. Unfortunately, I couldn’t muster the mental space to handle things as ideally as I would have wished. In hindsight, her behaviour was far from ideal. She simply wouldn’t listen – NOT AT ALL. Being unwell, she repeatedly approached her baby brother, Zayden, making him sick in the process. I found myself repeatedly asking her to give him space, to step away. On top of that, she took on the role of boss with her younger brother, Zac, attempting to override my directives. 

Our efforts to dissuade her from giving Zac items, along with the reasons why, fell on deaf ears. The whining, the SCREAMING—it was high-pitched and relentless. She even resorted to dramatic tantrums, flinging herself around in protest. Caught up in frustration, I failed to see the forest for the trees. My thoughts circled endlessly around the notion of ‘why can’t you just listen?’ All of this escalated rapidly. Even when she used the restroom, washing her hands seemed like an impossible task. Instead, she’d proceed to touch various surfaces around the house, probably transferring the germs she picked up from the bathroom, which, given she’d wiped herself, probably included urine. And mind you, this was just one child! 

The emotional toll became too much to bear—I found myself raising my voice, losing my composure, and clenching my teeth in an attempt to keep my cool. She knew how to push every button imaginable, and the cycle perpetuated itself into the following day, casting a shadow over my mornings. 

Amidst the chaos, I found solace in silence. I penned down my feelings in a piece titled ‘When I Am Silent,’ as Dean, my partner, questioned my quiet demeanour. 

I needed him to truly comprehend the storm of emotions brewing within me. We’d set out to create wonderful experiences for the kids, yet my own state of mind remained in turmoil. Zara’s challenging behaviour cast a shadow over every endeavour. She contested everything, refusing to let Zac enjoy anything. It seemed that whatever he picked up, she swiftly confiscated it. If he initiated a game, she’d swoop in and take the reins.

What’s coming next?

A poem for mothers… ‘When I Am Silent

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In the meantime… Let’s Connect