I’m just going to put this out there:
There’s no two ways about it, having to be a responsible adult is really fucking difficult sometimes. Like, err, today for example. Ugh!
I knew it was going to happen. It always does. One of my kids gets sick then the other follows along shortly after. Today was my son’s turn to get the dreaded lurgy.
I posted on Friday how nice it had been spending time with my poorly daughter watching movies on the sofa when she was off sick from school. Today should have been the same, right, only this time with my son? Yeah. It didn’t feel like that this morning at all. Why? Monday is my therapy day.
I’m sure you’ve joined the dots by now but the mother of an ill child does not a therapy-goer make! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
I was operating on two levels simultaneously this morning:
- Mother: giver of calpol, cuddles, and care
- Inner Child: tantruming, terrified, and tetchy
It was clear as day that my son would not be going to pre-school. Calpol wasn’t going to cut it. He was running a temperature, had a croaky voice, and was complaining of sore throat. He was too ill to go to school but well enough to fight with his sister and generally kick up a storm before it was even 7am! My wife was in meetings all day and couldn’t be at home so I could go to session.
I know I complain a lot about not talking in therapy, or not saying what I need to, or miscommunicating, or whatever- but I at least wanted to be in the chair to have a go at getting it all out rather than having to hold it for another week!
After the last few sessions that have been quite emotional and exposing I really needed to see my therapist today. I’m crap at holding this stuff for myself and the idea of having to wait another week to begin to tackle any of what I have let out was just unbearable. I’m crap with any kind of disruption to the therapy and couldn’t bear the idea that next week would be a write off due to my non-attendance this week.
I was about to send a text to tell her I wasn’t going to make it to session but then decided to ask for a phone/skype/FaceTime session instead. I’m actually not a massive fan of Skype but frankly anything was better than nothing. She agreed and so we were lined up and ready to go at 10:30am.
It was a weird session in some ways. I know I communicate better in person….actually, that’s a lie, that should say writing, but given the options available to me today I was willing to give it a go. It was lovely to see her face and connect even if it was through a screen.
I remained firmly in my adult which is just typical when it’s the little ones that have been causing me a lot of upset. It’s hardly surprising, though, as I did have my son wandering around the house, periodically climbing all over me, and randomly coming to show Em his dinosaurs!
It’s funny, she’s never even seen a picture of my son until today, and yet she’s met my daughter many many times. When I was in therapy with Em last time my daughter was a newborn. I literally had my C-section and the moment I was able to drive again started the therapy. My daughter would come to sessions with me so I could feed her etc.
I sometimes I forget when I get nervous or anxious that this woman has sat with me talking whilst I’ve breast-fed and that really there is absolutely nothing to worry about when I am with her.
It was nice to see her interacting with my son in the way that she used to with my daughter. It reminded me of how warm and how safe she is. I had kind of forgotten that side of her somehow.
So even though I didn’t really talk much today about this big issues….in fact it’d be fair to say all I did was moan at her, the session was good. I feel I can survive the week now. I know that she is still there and actually, I think she does actually care. I think there is real strength in this therapeutic relationship.
Let’s please hang onto that til next Monday!
It’s really comforting to read about how you’re managing therapy even as a mum. I have huge worries about how I will cope with a baby and still in therapy… this helped to read. Well done for finding a solution x
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I think once you have children your inbuilt ability to handle stuff just kicks in. Like today, i wasn’t happy about not seeing my therapist but the mother bit is incredibly strong and it’s clear where my priorities lie. Honestly, it’s sickening how much you can love a human you’ve grown in your womb! Ha! Skype seemed a sensible option. Taking my baby to therapy in 2012 was fine but I guess that I’d never known it any different – I had to take her or miss the therapy I’d been waiting for for over two years. Therapists are really adaptable and understand you have to care for a baby/child. Let’s face it, they see the fall out of inattentive/neglectful parents daily in their clients who are struggling!
That’s true. It’s good to know it’s possivle to be both 🙂
I have been doing therapy by Skype for 4 years since my therapist moved away. My children are older and ironically I find it harder to do therapy over Skype with them around (eavesdroppping! interrupting!) than if I had a therapy room to go to. It’s very difficult to find private places to Skype outside your own home. I’ve borrowed friends house-keys and wifi-passwords on previous occasions. I also foster babies (one at a time!), but I can usually get their sleep schedules to coincide with my therapy time. It’s definitely an added stress though.
I’m glad you got to see your therapist even if it wasn’t a ‘deep’ session.
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This is the fourth attempt at replying to this message! How did you find Skype at the beginning when you switched to it? And how is it now? I always feel a bit self-conscious on screen – really, is that how I look?!! haha. Having said that, it was a great deal better doing that session than not having any contact at all. It’s not easy finding quiet time with kids is it?! Great idea going to other people’s houses sometimes!
I used to stick a post-it over the view of myself on the screen so that I didn’t get distracted looking at how I was appearing on camera. And I stuck little notes to myself around the screen too such as “eye contact!” “Reach for the connection” “She’s on your side” etc to try and help myself open up more. Also I could easily keep my list of things to talk about at the side of me where she couldn’t see it was there but I could refer to it.
I think if you Skype regularly, you would soon get used to it. Sometimes I think that little bit of extra distance in session is helpful to me, my dismissive-avoidant brain easily gets overwhelmed by too much closeness and emotion and shuts down. So skype helps me stay in that window of whatever it’s called …….the place where you can do the work…
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That’s a genius idea. If I do it again I will certainly poach the idea of the post it notes! I certainly struggle with looking down the camera. I struggle with looking directly at her in session anyway – something about being seen bothers me. I know what you mean about getting a bit of distance can actually help open up a bit – in some ways it feels less exposing on the other side of a screen. Take care and thanks for your insights. 🙂
i’m glad you were able to skype with her! And that the session was good and made you feel contained and safe. xxxx