A brief picture of my family.
On any one night they can be 1 person in this house or there could be 7.
My family is combined of a husband with 2 children. Step daughter is profoundly disabled and lives in a care home approx 20 miles away. Stepson is 20 and he is in th British Army stationed in Germany.
I have 3 children all boys. Eldest is 17 and is at catering college, Middle son is 14 and a budding football star and youngest is 10, career and ambitions as yet unidenified.
Husband works away most weeks and stays in a company flat in Manchester, where he gets time alone to relax, unwind, have a drink without having to go out to pick kids up from various locations and watch what he wants on the TV. He works very long hours both home and abroad and really misses being away from home.
I work part time in Child Protection, am studying for a degree in Criminology and Psychology and teach Learning Support Assistants on NVQs. I also help to run my sons local football team and I'm an avid supporter of Birmingham City Football Club.
Life in this house is very stressful most of the time. A typical week for me comprises of Sea Cadets for youngest two on Mondays and Fridays, teaching Tuesday nights, Football training on Wednesdays, locally and on Friday evenings middle son trains in Birmingham. Saturdays youngest is at school and Sundays middle son has football matches all across the West Midlands.
All sounds fairly normal, why is this so stressful for me?
A typical evening for me is middle son from school at 3pm, youngest from school at 5pm, cook tea, help with Prep. Take kids to various activities, make pack lunches, wash up, collect eldest at 8pm, washing and ironing, collect kids, tidy away, bath, TV and bed. If my husband comes home that means there's another tea to cook as he's never home when the kids need feeding.
Alternate weekends Step daughter is home, she requires 24 hour supervision, without it she as a risk to herself and others.
Step son comes home on major holidays for several weeks at a time and having another adult in the home doesn't always work out especially when the Alpha male in him is present for the duration.
Eldest is a referre in youth football and is a season ticket holder with Birmingham City, he is rarely at home and when he is he locks himself in his bedroom with his X box and live subscription. He works 3 evenings a week in the kitchens at Malvern College and requires collecting at 8pm.
Middle son is my main concern at the moment he is extremly stressed out with his GCSE's. Today I had a phone call from school with the head of upper school telling me my son needed his head testing. It was parent evening tonight and he had thrown a wobbly last lesson told the science teacher to piss off and stormed out of school...could I please come into school...right now.
I had a chance to see him before I left and he told me the teacher had told him to 'shut up and sit down you sound like a Pixie' It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. FFS Dan is 6ft tall with size 12 feet, have never seen anything so un-Pixie like in my life.
I spoke to the other teachers who informed me that he works hard in lessons, completes his homework and is a popular nice young man, nothing like the science and maths teachers have described in previous reports. However he can be gobby and disprutive but no more than anone else and does respond to being asked firmly to be quiet and get on with his work.
Then there's the youngest, what can I say about him. He attends a boarding school the other side of the Malvern hills, we use the boarding facilities when he is displaying extreme behaviours and when there are fun things on he wants to do. It is also cheaper to have him boarding for a night instead of getting a babysitter. He is dyslexic and has a gluten intollerance. In every other way he is a normal 10 year old with stroppy behaviour when he can't get his own way. However, when he is in a bad mood and has been fed Gluten his behaviour becomes unmanagable to the absolute extreme. As a family with have the full support of CAFCAS, children services and from our Doctor.
So thats my complicated life. Is it any different from yours? There is one plus point to it all apart from the obvious things like all the pleasure the kids give me and how proud I am of them. And that is on alternate weekens they bugger off to stay with their Dad....and relax...no that's when I clean the house and do my studying for my degree.
Oh and don't forget I can always find the time to tweet. I'd go stark raving mad witout it.
Will it ever end?