**warning – lengthy, brutal & unhappy honesty ahead**
One of the most important benefits of stopping drinking for me was that I’d be a better parent to my three children. They are beautiful little creatures, and I want to be the best mummy for them that I possibly can.
Up until yesterday, I had been delighted to find that my patience with them had improved dramatically, and I’d been much more able to calmly deal with the myriad of crises that make up a day in their little lives. I have even been more fun. This has felt so good.
Some background is in order at this point (yep, here come the excuses). My eldest is 4 years old, and has just started school. My twins are 3 years old, and have just started nursery. They are all at the age where they are little sponges for attention, and I can give them but a fraction of what they need.
Today, I got them all up, ready for school/nursery, got myself ready for work, took the eldest to school (with twins in tow) then got the twins to nursery, then got myself straight to work, then turned around, did all that in reverse, got them home, fed them tea, assisted eldest with homework, whilst entertaining the twins, and then got them all ready for bed. Most of this they did not want to do, and put up a fight against. I am fully aware that a) this is pretty normal for kids if their age, and b)that my life is ridiculously easy compared to the challenges many people face around this world. However..
From the minute I picked the twins up today, it all went wrong; they were tired, cranky, and I had a banging headache and work had been difficult. After hours of countless mini-disasters, deliberate widdling, refusals to eat, jumping on sofas, constant questions, demands, and by bedtime, utter refusal from the twins to cooperate AT ALL, every single one of my buttons had been pushed repeatedly, and I snapped.
I lost my temper, lost control completely and utterly, and absolutely screamed at them. I was a raging tyrant; I shouted in their faces, stormed out of the bathroom and roared like a deranged lion on the landing. They were terrified, they howled, ran to their beds sobbing, whilst I managed to get a hold of myself and tried to reassure my eldest son that no, he hadn’t done anything wrong. I then put him to bed, leaving the twins breaking their little hearts crying in their beds, and finally, when my heart rate had gone down enough, I went to them in turn and comforted them, apologised, and held them. They’ve gone to sleep now, and I’ve been either crying, or on the verge of tears ever since.
What a complete fucking bitch I am.
The thing that is killing me the most is that I thought it was the vicious cycle of booze and hangover which made me a snappy, intolerant mother. Sadly, I no longer have that excuse, and I’m sat here now trying to face up to the fact I’m basically just a shit. I thought it was all so much better now I’d stopped drinking, and that I’d get to be the mummy to them that I so badly want to be.
The irony is, I spend so much of my time worrying about them. I feel completely crushed with anxiety and fear for them, for their safety. Due to certain events in my childhood, I live under a cloud of fear that they may just die on me at any minute. I used to numb all that away with booze. I can’t do that any more. I also can’t numb away the fact I’m an intolerant bitch who doesn’t deserve them.
Still, at least I’m sat here, not drinking, analysing what’s happened, and trying to work out how the fuck I can do better next time. That’s progress, of sorts.