Today’s one of those days when to be honest I need to be honest, I am not looking for tips, suggestions or any of that because I can assure you I already know. I just need to give voice to the shit that keeps me up at night.
I love my kids, I would die for them, and my son is a prince of a young man. Seriously, I often wondered how damaged he might end up as a result of his non standard upbringing; instead he continuously blows my mind with his thoughts, actions, etc. I look at him and he reminds me of what I might have been at 19, had I not decided to take a different path.
My daughter, much loved, much wanted, one of the few things my own beloved Mama told me before she passed away was that I was going to have a daughter and I’ll be damned if she wasn’t right. I did indeed have a daughter, though dear old Ma neglected to tell me though that this daughter would be a handful. Even in my womb, I sensed she was high energy, I sensed she would be larger than life and well….to be honest she has not disappointed.
Yet lately I find myself grappling with the fact that she tires me out and she wears me down and sometimes parenting her is not only not fun but downright hazardous to my health. For over a year now I have sensed in that way that only mothers can, that there is more to her quirky behavior than regular age appropriate behavior. Whereas my parenting style with her was very attachment parenting almost bordering on consensual, the hubby and I have tried to tighten up a bit in hopes of reining her in. I struggle with not wanting to douse her fire but at the same time the reality is until recently we lived with a child that ran our lives like a mini Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro combined. My husband was the first to notice her behavior was not normal and that we needed to adjust our parenting style, I slowly realized he was right.
I admit that one of the reasons we have kept her in school despite our desire to home school is the hope of getting her services, however much like her physician and others, no one sees this behavior, and instead her teachers and others constantly rave about how perfect she is. My daughter is a charmer; adults love her because she is well mannered and in most adults eyes the perfect kid. Instead my husband and I are the recipients of her wrath; I admit I am being intentionally vague in not wanting to describe the behaviors we deal with. I will say though that we have tried diet modification (instead she refused to eat and lost weight which was a no-no) and other ideas and none have worked. Right now we suspect she may have ADHD but no one else agrees with us though it seems common that girls with ADHD don’t get diagnosed until puberty whereas boys are diagnosed much earlier.
I admit parenting her has become a lot easier now that the Spousal Unit and I have recommitted to our relationship and despite the need for sleep have found ourselves staying up all hours of the night just to make that happen. But today was just one of those days where my patience is thin, so very thin. No one ever tells you that sometimes parenting is really, really tough and even when you are not a first time parent in my case, you may end up with a child that throws you for a loop.
5 thoughts on “Parenting….so very rough. Bad day in Mama land.”
I’ve so been (and am) there. My first was my ‘throw me for a loop’ kid. I’d previously taught preschool and managed 15, 3-5 year olds successfully yet couldn’t handle my own kid at that age; talk about feelings of failure. I look back at what we went through and I’m amazed we survived. Said child is now 10 and while he’s been since dx with Asperger’s and we’ve reigned in most of the symptoms with diet mods, this past 3 months something has been up and it’s been nutso.
If you think she’s on the ADD/ADHD spectrum somewhere, get her evaluated. You know her best. I got the courage for an eval when mine was 3, she told us we were shitty parents (basically). Fast forward two years and we have another eval, with another provider, and hands down, no question, he has Aspergers. Duh. I’m glad I stuck with my gut… didn’t change anything, didn’t make it go away, but gave us answers, a direction and was incredibly validating.
I’ll also say that most parenting books (even the “spirited child” book) didn’t even begin to touch what we were dealing with, even though his autism is on the very mild end of the spectrum. I stopped reading most of them because all they did was make me feel bad… so my advice, don’t go there because I don’t think you’re going to find what you’re looking for.
So at our house, our big things we’re going to work on are teaching him to be flexible and how to cope with situations. If I come across any magic tricks, I’ll let you know 🙂
I don’t have any words of advice . . . just sending you lots of encouragement. I hope you make some headway soon.
I definitely understand. I have a 10 year old son who is in the same boat. He seems no different than any “normal” child during school hours but loses his shit everyday when I pick him up. We’ve tried all sorts of parenting tactics and diet modification as well and nothing has helped. It is often an exhausting and frustrating existence because a lot of effort to help him be more calm, positive, and in control has been extended with the returns being few. He is my youngest child and it feels like he has been here forever. He rules the roost with his tantrums and attitude and stubborn antics. No matter how we try to move forward through those things the focus still loops back around to him. I can’t even imagine how my oldest must feel. (Most likely very neglected when all eyes are on his brother at all times.) Is it wrong to say we have a calendar to tick off each day that we make it through with him & become closer to hopefully dropping him off at a college? Its straining on the family as well as my marriage. You are not alone.
I hate to break it to ya but if she holds it together all day at school and most of the time when out and about, it’s highly unlikely she has ADHD. I tell D all the time that other parents would’ve medicated our kid because he is the EXACT SAME WAY you describe I. However, I’ve worked with kids with ADHD and they were in a different category than what we’ve got here. Smart, strong willed, independent and creative kids can be real PITA’s to parent, but those qualities have wonderful results as well. Double edged sword.
Good luck! I can really relate.
I hate to state the obvious but since she is a delight for everyone with whom she comes in contact and saves her bad self for you it would seem that you are safe. She knows that you will love her regardless of how she behaves. She lets down her guard and lets it all hang out. I don’t think this is a bad thing although it may not be easy for you. We all need a safe place.
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