Not Pretty

19 Oct

Today was without a doubt, to date, the worst mothering slash parenting day 😦 I did so many things wrong. Admittedly my kids weren’t behaving nicely and I tried, I did. But it didn’t work and I think at the lowest point of the day I had all three children sitting on a mat in the garage while I sat in a corner of my room and cried, wondering how it had got to this and whether I could get hub to come over and take one of them back with him.

Its not really something you want to share and on several occasions during the day I felt like everyone was just looking at me and judging me by how my children were behaving. Oh my god, that disheveled woman is actually rewarding her kids over there breaking the gum ball machine by getting them DVDs and popcorn….

We went on an impromptu one night vacay to see some friends. Woke up yesterday morning and it was raining and thought hey, why not. The kids had a blast at the inflatable bouncy castle extraveganzar with my friend’s kids. They weren’t overly unkid like as we were getting or eating dinner and they went to bed relatively OK considering the pub across the road was pumping sounds until half three in the fuckin morning – which I guess was where some of my angst started from. Didn’t get to sleep until 4am now did I. Fucktards. I used to drink at the same pub when at uni and without a thought to whoever was having to not get their sleep due to my drunkenness at twenty years old and at 2am.

So I woke up at 7am, reliving the sleep deprivation I had while breastfeeding, and was not happy. I was meant to meet friend for cuppa but had to just pile the kids in the car and leave, because in the grand scheme of things car time is more bearable than not. At least one might go to sleep, or I can stop on the side of a road, in front of a paddock full of cows, and say I am quite happy for one to get out. Has any parent ever followed through on that?

We got home and it was still only lunch-time so decided to go and find the Labrynith on DVD as friend had said her kids had loved it. Went to DVD shop and kids were bastard spawn of devil – kicking UFO catcher, Marina banged her head on coke machine, kids all bashed the lollie gumball machine and fell over each other when non-paid-for lollies rolled out – prompting further banging and yaddah yaddah. And YES, I was trying to stop said behavior and if ya’all feel like pipping up about what I should have done then you can fuck off. Especially if your kids are not this age.

I wasn’t a video member so was filling in the forms and then had to keep answering questions and when he asked one too many about my emergency contact I said ya know what, don’t worry – he had been witnessing my kids unfolding from grace and yet, as a teenage boy and you would expect, was not sympathetic.

So I left.

Without Kung Fu Panda, without Home Alone, and without the karaoke sing-along version of fuckin Frozen, because Let It Go thirty times might have cheered me up ya know.

And on the way home I yelled at the kids. NORMAL CHILREN LISTEN TO THEIR MOTHER… (and various other things)

It wasn’t nice.

My throat hurt.

But then they all started laughing at me.

So we walked in the door and I opened the door to the garage and told them to go in there until they could behave.

I went in about 8 minutes later and sat down and apologized for yelling the universe down but asked them what they had done to contribute to the day being a complete horrible shit fest.

Fortunately they knew.

We had quiet time for two hours and then I suggested we try the over video shop in town as a re-run. See if we could listen to mum part II.

I am pretty sure the saving grace on round two was BEMUDA TENTICLES – the DVD showing in the shop. The giant squid kept Shou engrossed while I filled out the card forms and got Marina and Ryu choosing a video.

We made it home. They are bathed. They are watching Kang Fu Panda in their PJs and eating Popcorn.

Their games and iPad have been removed for the foreseeable future – because the day included a lot of ‘life sucks unless I can play my game’ shit. If you haven’t got a touch screen device, or a handheld game for your child – DON’T. You start out with the best intentions but unless you have a stylist, bather, fitness instructor, chief, nanny and maid, you WILL inevitably use the device more than you initially intended.

I nearly sent out an SOS to my family. Can someone please come for an hour so I can leave and not feel the need to physically harm my children. I reckon if you have never had that feeling before then there is no way you could understand what I was dealing with today. Don’t bloody comment and say you will ever only permit 7 minutes and twenty seconds of screen time a day. And if you have managed that then go pat yourself on the back while I skull tequila.

I hated them. I hated myself. I hated myself more than I hated them – or rather I knew that it was my fault, as the parent, for them behaving like they were and hence me reacting and hence, like a big old dirty cycle, them further reacting.

Such are the perils of single parenting three small children. I used to think I was single parenting in Japan when hub wouldn’t get home from the tax office till 11pm every night for six months a year…

I was wrong.

This and that are not the same, and in hindsight the shit days I had with smaller children don’t compare to the ones I have now.

I have no-one. Yes, my sister and brother would come through if I really needed it but my brother has smaller children and hasn’t reached (and can therefore not understand) the stage of kids speaking back and saying they hate you and worse. My sister’s kids are all older and while she can remember this stage she has never had boys and once even suggested that I get Shou tested for ADHD.

Yeah, put him in a room of girls and maybe you’d think he had a problem. Put him a ring with other boys his age and bloody hell. Boys and girls just aren’t the same.

So, today was not nice.

I can only hope that I can conquer these feelings – well to be honest, they were pretty short lived. I also hope my children do not have memories of today. Perhaps enough to know that mum loses her shit big time if you carry on like that but that she does love them and would never truly want them to go live in the mountains with bears…

OK, so I didn’t actually say that but I did cry a lot today – for me. For my children. For hub. For everybody who had to witness what (in my mind) was totally not acceptable but had I seen it from another mum’s perspective wouldn’t have thought that at all…

This 6 months away was meant to be a positive experience. Where we all ran through fields of bilingual daffodils and came out the other side speaking English and Japanese….

It would seem I may have succeeded, to some extent, on the bilingual thing, but that that whole field of daffodils shit…

Yeah, fuck that.

8 weeks and counting.




And I will hit post on this because I think it is important to later read and keep me grounded and know that it WAS hard, and I did try my best but sometimes I really wasn’t winning at all. I don’t expect comments to say what a great experience I am giving them yaddah yaddah. Today was NOT a good experience. Perhaps tell me how you’ve fucked up yourself. That shit will make me feel a bit better.


26 Responses to “Not Pretty”

  1. Lauren October 19, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Yep, a shitty day. Considering you only had three hours sleep and had probably been lying in bed fuming for hours with the thump thump music from the pub going before those three hours sleep, I think you got through the day pretty damn well. You didn’t lose your shit in the video store and swear at the kids, lash out at them or just take off and leave them (like my mum did to us once). The last time I really lost my cool, I screamed at a colleague and called him a selfish useless piece of shit in the middle of the staffroom (full of Japanese teachers). He was soooo in the wrong but my reaction made me look like a nutter. I felt great at the time but then terrible afterwards. We’ve all been there and most of us will probably do it again at some stage. I think it’s amazing what you are doing for the kids and even with a few bad days thrown into the mix, they will get so much out of this trip. I hope you can get some good sleep tonight and that the kids give you a hug and remind you how much they love you tomorrow.

    • gaijinwife October 19, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

      Thank you Lauren. Today is definitely a better day. Totally understand your mum wanting to leave – I’m pretty sure if the kids were a bit older I would have. I was reprimanding the kids in Japanese in the video shop so I guess it was just fortunate Japanese doesn’t really have swear words 🙂 There were a lot of ‘korrrrrraaaaa’s though. Got all the kids in my bed for a sandwich hug off this morning. We had a talk and I declared this week ‘listening week’. Fingers crossed. xx

  2. Tash October 19, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    What a sucky day!!!! Solo parenting sucks. I wasn’t even solo when I screamed something so awful at Lucy that I typed it out and deleted it because somehow it seems worse to read it. I was so sleep deprived and she came into our room five times one night. Charlotte had been up twice. I snapped and absolutely lost it. I will tell you in private maybe 😉 I don’t think she even remembers but I do.

    The thing about being solo is that you have to look after yourself. Get lots of sleep, I almost never go out at night. Don’t over schedule. Plan ahead for a babysitter or someone to relieve you for a few hours on a Sunday. Explain to the kids when you’re feeling good that it’s actually really tiring for you to be in charge all the time and you need them to help you out. They are reasonable and will hopefully agree. Then when you’re feeling stresed, tell them and remind them that they can help and everyone will benefit. Try making it a team effort. I hope that helps you survive the next 8 weeks. The longest I’ve done without a break is three months, six would be so hard. Three is hard enough. Look after yourself. If you’re not ok, they will bear the brunt of it xxxx

    • gaijinwife October 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      God, I hope the kids don’t remember what I said yesterday, and I agree, it looks very bed written down. Can you find a nice quiet spot in Cambodia and mediate for me. Preferably outside (or inside) ancient temple or similar – and then channel the calmness back to me 🙂 Ta. xxxx

      • Tash October 21, 2014 at 12:26 am #

        Ommmmmm 😉

  3. Brenda in Nagano October 19, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    If you and I switched kids for a few days I guarantee you would feel better. I have twins, which makes me an authority on this, personality is 90% nature, 10% nurture, and that’s being generous. Unless there is some serious abuse going on, and I’m sure there is not in either of our cars no matter how many hateful thoughts go through our heads, the personality a child is born with, is the personality they are born with. If you seriously want to swap horrible mom/horribly behaved children stories I’ve got plenty and I’m just a Skype call away anytime.

    • gaijinwife October 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      haha, thanks Brenda. No, I can’t cope with my three as it is some days so thanks but no thanks on swapping for a few days. Although man the twins are adorable and very very quiet – obviously that is because I just see pics of them but ya know. Here’s hoping this week is better – a long weekend this weekend but I don’t think we will go away. Going away can increase my rage when I spend so much money on things and they behave like ungrateful bastards!! Think we will spend weekend studying Kanji, baking cookies and making pressed flower art or similar…. …..

  4. inesusan October 19, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

    Oh dear what a shitty day. I hope the last 8 weeks are better. I alsways try to tell myselfe that there will be a tomorrow soon and nobody is perfact

    • gaijinwife October 20, 2014 at 1:42 am #

      Thanks 🙂 Today is definitely better. The fact they are still at school helps though! xx

      • inesusan October 20, 2014 at 1:44 am #

        Hahaha mine were sick over the weekend. I was close to shoot myselfe

  5. Erin October 20, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    So, I don’t have kids of my own, but I remember my own mom (very kind, generous, patient) snapping several times in my childhood. Now, though, they’re these odd, actually rather funny memories that we joke about! Particularly the time we were going out to eat, my sisters and I were arguing about where we wanted to go, and my mom tore up a $20 bill and threw it out the window while yelling that we were never going out to eat ever again and we could all just starve.

    Then, terrifying. Now, hilarious. Same goes for locking them in the garage some day, I promise. They’ll get over it far, far faster than you will.

    • gaijinwife October 20, 2014 at 1:42 am #

      haha- thanks for that Erin. Can relate to your mum tearing up money and throwing it out the window!! Sometimes I feel like doing that. Glad to hear it didn’t traumatize you too much 🙂

  6. hamakkomommy October 20, 2014 at 4:16 am #

    We all have days like that, and anyone who says otherwise is either delusional or purposefully trying to make the rest of us feel bad. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Tomorrow is another day, right?

    • gaijinwife October 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      I know but sometimes doesn’t it feel like everyone else has their shit a lot more together than you do! Yesterday was heaps better and today hasn’t hit the dog box yet so fingers crossed. xxx

  7. Jen in Chch October 20, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    Babe. I feel ya. Just had a huge blow-up at my own kid and said things I really shouldnt have. Must be something in the water today. But the only positive I (and by extension you) can take from it is they have been reminded just how much crap they can give Mum before they have to take it in return!! Hang in there. They know you love them.

  8. Tracy October 21, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Yep, been there done that. The whole turning into a deranged fishwife screeching insults and threats at the kids. There are times when you just get pushed beyond the point of reason. To be honest I still have bouts of it and they are now 14 & 17 but they can be incredibly frustrating at times. Believe me, they will not have been irrevocably traumatised by this, in fact if they even remember it in a few years it will be one of those “hey Mum remember when” stories you all laugh about.

    You are a great Mum and they are lucky to have you. Try to get a bit of a break if your brother or sister can have the kids (even split between them) for a couple of hours so you get a bit of downtime yourself.

  9. Susie October 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    “If you haven’t got a touch screen device, or a handheld game for your child – DON’T. You start out with the best intentions but unless you have a stylist, bather, fitness instructor, chief, nanny and maid, you WILL inevitably use the device more than you initially intended.”
    We tried getting Andy a tablet for him to use at Christmas, it was shipped right back before the end of January. I don’t want to keep him from the education that tech can provide but abuse was just too much so back it went. He periodically begs for us to get him a cell phone…. he is 11! I didn’t get a cell phone until my late 20’s and that was because I enjoyed not having to worry about people ringing me while I was out busy. If I was able to survive just fine into my 20’s without a portable computation device or phone… I think the kid can too.

    Good luck with the kids; parenting is NOT for the weak.

  10. Debra October 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Everyone who has kids has had days like that and they are lying if they say otherwise. I think it is amazing that you are wrangling 3 kids away from home on your own. Methinks you deserve some shockingly expensive and very sexy boots. (or is it summer there? all the ladies are in boots here and I’ve been trying to rationalize getting a new pair)

    • gaijinwife October 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      haha – like minds. I went to try and find some the other day but there weren’t many about. I must admit it was a half pie effort though so must try again. I did buy some ugh boots though, does that count? Kind of minus ten on the sexy front

      • Debra October 24, 2014 at 1:15 am #

        does not count. sorry. 😉

  11. Susan October 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    So, my sister in law still laughs about the time I was driving and she was in the car along with her three kids and my own (at the time) two kids. And mine just WOULD NOT STOP doing whatever it was they were doing. She said I screamed so loud in the closed car that I scared the shit out of her!! This is just one of many examples of really stellar parenting over the years. Everyone loses it and if anyone acts shocked they are delusional or lying. My kids are all grown now, youngest are 18, and know I love them, and they love me. And no one’s ear drums were broken by my screaming fit so it’s all good 🙂

  12. Joshua Hideki October 23, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    Absoloutly beautiful! Love it! ❤

  13. Deb October 23, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    I’m going to go all woo woo on you for a minute here … I think you would feel less like the world was judging you if you stopped judging yourself. I don’t have kids but I know what it’s like to feel like shit about myself and to treat myself far worse than I would anyone else- in my head at least… You’re not superwoman and as someone else said the kids learnt the line they shouldn’t cross next time. Believe you’re doing a great job, cause you are. You always have been and will too. Make the next 8 weeks count rather than a countdown. Xx

    • Tash October 23, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      We are our own harshest critics. Amen to that.

  14. Mrs. N October 25, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    Katy- don’t beat yourself up about it. I remember having days like that when my kids were little. I had a bum of a husband then- wife beater and womanizer – no support from the jerk at all- had to do it all on my own. Sometimes I lost my cool. Kids are kids- sometimes they are angelic and sometimes you want to stick them on a mat and tell them to sit there and think about it. My kids sat and faced the wall while I went and cried my friggen eyes out hating myself. But you know- that’s just a part of the journey. It will be ok. My kids are grown now and sometimes we talk about the not so good times. I get a lot of ” it’s ok mom- you were the best mom ever because we saw what you did for us”. They know you love them. Better they see that you are ” human” with all the imperfections that humans have. My kids told me it was because I was ” human” that they could come to me and talk to me because they knew I understood. I had been there and done that because they SAW me. They saw me come unglued and they saw me apologise and make things right again. They learned.
    Lots of love. Xxoo- things will be ok.

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