Single Parenting Adventures

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (you may well have unfollowed me), you’ll know just how hard I found the four days of parenting without the husband. When I say hard, it seems like it turned into a full blown parenting disaster. Our house descended into one of those child hell houses you see on Supernanny. You know, the ones where the children bully the parents and the parents are standing outside the front door sobbing into their coffee at midnight, head in hands.

It started off promising, I had a few things in mind to do. But then I felt a bit tired and lethargic and pregnant so I sort of let these ideas slip. I didn’t fancy driving for miles to go to various events and places on my own. The children sensed weaknesses and  demanded films. There was one epic day where I cooked four, yes four despite there being only three of us, separate dinners for none of them to be eaten. The living room was destroyed, sofas taken apart, food thrown onto the carpets and toys strewn everywhere. Fifi chose this time moment to try to potty train herself insisting on assistance in the toilet every few minutes and the boy took control of the television. I lost control. I knew it and I struggled to regain it.

As kids sense weakness I think they realised that I had lost control and from that moment onwards we slid into an epic descent into oblivion. Demands for constant films, sweets (which they took to helping themselves too) and a desire to make me get up from what I was doing on average every 3 minutes ground me down. Bedtime was the crunch point, they just would not go to sleep. By the fourth night it was ten o’clock in the evening before they finally agreed to even go into their bedrooms. Having been up several times in the night during the previous few nights and then fully up and about at 6 a.m with them everyday I was very pleased to think that this was my last night flying solo.

I have to admit, I think my children have become a bit spoilt. They get sent a lot of toys to try out and have the benefit of going to lots of exciting places which most children could only dream of. They also have a parent that desires an easy life. I have given into tantrums and allowed them to dictate what we do, what they wear and what they will eat. I think I have created two monsters. What is interesting is that they don’t have like this with other people, in fact I’m often told how well behaved and angelic they are. It’s clearly that I have no control over them myself.

In thinking about how to regain the control, yes it’s easier now the husband is back, I have no idea how people manage to do it on their own. Sticker charts don’t seem to work in our house, removal of privileges and toys seems to now have a limited effect. I feel a bit like my life is being taken over by children, along with my house. I realise this is inevitable but the daily grind of demands and tantrums seems to out weigh the fun times at the moment. These last four days, which on reflection had some hilarious scenarios to look back on, have I think become a turning point. It’s just which way to turn!

Oh, and if that was you and your dog standing in the exit of a large shop in St Albans, blatantly blocking my way on purpose with a smirk, whilst I had two children clamped to my leg tantruming. I can only say that you are very lucky not to have ended up in the hospital, you were living very dangerously…


5 Responses

  1. Emily O 30th August 2011 / 8:51 am

    Sorry to hear you had a tough few days Claire. Strangely enough things have been really similar here. My husband worked away for two weeks. My children have been very much like yours, the bank holiday weekend was horrendous with the older two being brattish the entire time. The more we clamped down the worse they got. Lots of toys have been confiscated which upset them for five minutes but they&#

  2. Aussie Mum 30th August 2011 / 11:44 am

    Well done – you survived AND you can look back on it with humour – you are one very talented lady! Hope hubby is letting you get some catch-up sleep.

  3. Sarah1965 30th August 2011 / 8:12 pm

    Sorry to hear it was tough. My suggestion is that you be more gentle on yourself. What your children sensed wasn't weakness, but desperation. Of course you knew it would be tough looking after them by yourself while pregnant, and they knew it too. That and just the change are enough to put them and you on the back foot. If they're happy (and they sound it) and treat most people well then

  4. Muddling Along 1st September 2011 / 6:34 am

    You do need to be kind to yourself – single parenting is really tough and at its worst when you are tired and not getting enough sleep<br /><br />We found that removing all TV and screen time for a week helped reset things – then TV became a treat and something they would behave to have. Not sure if you fancy trying that. We&#39;re trying to be stricter on not pulling every single toy out –

  5. Crystal Jigsaw 2nd September 2011 / 8:39 pm

    It&#39;s very easy to get out of a routine during the holidays and our kids tend to take over when we&#39;re feeling a little vulnerable. I suspect your two little monsters are also little angels when they want to be, much like my Amy!<br /><br />CJ xx

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