Friday, March 6, 2015

My Children Are Killing Me

I came to motherhood later in life than some, having not even met my future husband till I was 28. I had my first child in my early 30’s and my last in my late 30’s. That’s not so bad, right? But once you have kids, they always come first. It’s sad but true. You may have just gasped and thought “how could she, doesn’t she know her children SHOULD come first?!?!” They have and they do, but when it gets to the point that your health goes to hell in a hand bag because you have been tending to everyone but yourself, it is time for a wakeup call!

My oldest is pushing 9 and has always walked to the beat of a different drummer. We found out a few years ago that his quirky behavior was due to Asperger’s Syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder.) His IQ is amazing, he is creative and hyper-focused, and upon first meeting him, he seems to be a “normal” child…… But he can cause havoc when not properly watched, in seconds! He is “mouthy” and could argue down the best lawyers. He is stubborn and defiant. Some of these traits will lend themselves to an independent adult later on in life, but can cause dramatic issues as a child.

He is now homeschooled because our Podunk little town school refused to rise to the challenge of educating him. Despite a medical diagnosis, they stuck to “he is just a bad behaved kid.” And there are days I agree! His behavior sucks! But he is an amazing little person and if handled properly he will blossom. I am still new to being a mom of a “special needs child” and it is tough. But I have always vowed to be by his side and champion his growth.

So how can I say my children are killing me? Because they are! The constant toll of “dealing” with his behavior is draining. Then throw in a little brother who does not have Asperger’s but mimics his older brother *smacks forehead* I feel like I am the captain on a sinking ship. And of course you get other special needs parents who write pieces like this…..

Welcome to Holland-

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…

 When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley


Was that supposed to make me feel better?!?!?!

Because you know what? I didn’t end up in Holland….. My plane was hijacked and I ended up in Beirut! Every day is a constant, stress filled, physical and emotional war zone. The oldest takes the majority of my time, while the youngest is left to play cars or watch Mickey Mouse. The oldest is angry and volatile at times. There is yelling, anger, tantrum and sometimes physical interactions between the two that I have to break up. My oldest does NOT like my youngest and blames him for his unhappiness. The whole, “Everything was better before you were born” thing.

Farting on purpose!?!? I would get notes like this almost every day when he was in public school. He often would get up at 2 am to paint. He once painted the dog, on purpose! And he refuses on a regular bases to go to his room. Yeah, sleeping on the stairs is so not safe. You should see the stuff I didn't take photos of.....

And no matter how hard I try, I feel like a bad parents. I just can’t give everyone everything they need. I try to, but I can’t. I guess you could say I am under just a wee bit of stress. And that is when I noticed my hair was beginning to fall out. And then the TIAs started. And most recently I had chest pains. And that right there folks, was my wakeup call! I have spent so much time trying to raise/save/tend to my children that my health was push to the back burner for almost 9 years. I was so busy dodging bullets and tending the wounded, that I forgot to keep tabs on my own injuries.

I don’t want to have a stroke or a heart attack. I don’t want to die, because who would take care of my kids?!?

I have to face the fact that their behavior or rather my behavior in handling them, oh who am I kidding, OUR behavior is killing me. It is a mess, but it is time I put myself first, and that is OKAY. Moms out there, listen to me….. PUT YOURSELF FIRST every once in a while. Make sure your children see a doctor regularly, but make sure you do too. We as moms spend so much time even without a special needs child, making sure our children are cared for that we often overlook our own health. STOP IT. Go make yourself a doctor’s appointment before you end up like me.

Please moms (parents)……. you are NOT alone. We don’t have to keep silent about the “things” our kids do that drive us nuts. Who cares what social media would think! It is okay to complain about your kids! Maybe if you realized you weren’t so alone, you wouldn’t feel so stressed. People need to stop photo shopping their lives and just be real!!!! Raising kids is a hard job, with good and bad.

So I am here today to say it out loud…. My kids are killing me…..   My kid can suck sometimes…. Their behavior can be too much…. That does not make me a bad parent, it make me a real parent. I received my wakeup call…… I am putting myself first for once! And so should you!


I'm only kidding.... I mean who would use the Vulcan Death Grip on their kid?!? Right!?!

44 comments:

  1. Well, I have to tell you. I admire your strength. I know you don't think you are strong but you are and you are an amazing parent. If you weren't, you wouldn't care at all what shape your kids are in or homeschool them because you wouldn't care what school does to them. I wish I could tell you it would pass because it probably won't, just shift, but I will keep you in my prayers and hope that putting yourself first will help you keep putting one foot in front of the other day after day. Putting yourself first isn't really doing that at all. You have to be in good shape to be able to be a good mom and sometimes people refer to that as putting yourself first. You are important too, especially to them. And, social media HAS made this worse. Too many people playing perfect. Ahhhh, the magic of Facebook.

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    1. Social media really does make you feel so alone and question why YOUR life isn't picture perfect.... and then I realized a lot of people are liers liers pants on fire! LOL People need to know they are NOT alone.

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    2. I know this pain all too well. I have a 15 year old with asperger's. Brilliant, creative, attractive. Just introverted and socially anxious. Daiganosed at 7, she then had 2 younger sisters. I was done having kids. But then, a certain operation wasn't effective and I got a 4th, a son. My eldest resents all of her siblings, I have gone through years of therapists, verbal/emotional abuse. I am drained to the point that I feel my health declining . Life is hard - I'm right there with you.

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  2. I chose not to have children because I knew I didn't have the patience to raise them and knew it would hard work. I was a difficult child myself and I know what I did to those around me. My Mom had jinxed me many times, telling me I should have 10 just like myself. Thank God that didn't happen. I don't have wisdom for you. I can only say that I hope you feel better soon and take care of yourself. Eventually this difficult time will pass and you will have two lovely adult children.
    Annamaria

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    1. Haa haa the mama curse.... maybe I should have listen to that warning!

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  3. MIndie, you are so much more than you think. You are incredible, beautiful and brilliant. Yes, you are having a hard time. Who would not? I have a special needs granddaughter and live in awe of her parents. You are right. You must take care of yourself. You have so much riding on you. Sometimes life if just nasty. We all know life is not a blog. Listen to yourself, you know yourself better than anyone else. God bless.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words but most day I barely feel like I am holding it all together!

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  4. Hey Mindie, I admire you for putting your thoughts into words on paper (so to speak). Life is real, too real for many of us and we need to be able to encourage each other when it hits the fan. Thank you for sharing part of your life with us so that we can understand where you are coming from. You are doing an amazing job, that is all I can say, keep going, keep looking after yourself. I don't know where your journey will end but be assured you have friends who care (even though we may never meet) and are praying for you and your health and sanity. Blessings Mindie.

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    1. Parents need to know they are not alone. It is so important that others know, it is okay to be real and not like your kids something! LOL

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    2. Thanks Mindie for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Thanks. I don't know, it has just kind of become the "normal" for me.... wouldn't know how to operate if everything was calm LOL

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  6. I think you have your plate really full :) You do need to take care of yourself first!!! Have you considered getting some counseling support for yourself (and/or spouse)? A good social worker might have a good set of ears, and you may need more time away from them (or him). Even a short break is better than no break. I've also worked with A.S. kids as a spec. ed. asst., and it was challenging. You may also want to take your younger son out and go do something fun with him, or visa versa at home without the oldest. Is there someone who could watch the oldest once in a while? Is there a mild, natural sleep aid you could give the oldest to help him rest and stay in bed at night? Not knowing much- is he doing any therapy outside the home? Is there a local parent support group you could go to? Any kind of support may help you feel less isolated. Good thoughts to you, hope you can find some resources...

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    1. My plate is running over..... I do plan to put myself first more often. We have tried so many of the things you have touched on. Thankfully my parents take him once in a blue moon.

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  7. Thank you, Mindie, for keeping it real! It took a lot of guts to put it all out there like that! But it is nice to know that we are not alone in this & that the struggle is real. And please, please take care of yourself. You are more important than you may realize!

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    1. Aww thanks. I just wanted people to know it is okay to be crazy LOL Oh and guess what I bought because of you? A rutabaga!!! LOL We are gonna cook it up per your instructions :)

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    2. Great! Let me know how it turns out. :o)

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  8. Bravo Bravo Bravo Bravo Bravo... Social media sucks and makes us feel so inferior, that we are failing in some horrid way. I stand up and applaud you and yell it from the top of the mountains. I am the mum of a 17 y/o that as an 8th grader and freshman had a breakdown and took this family with her. It was brutal, and just down right horrid. The screaming, yelling, threatening, cursing, running away... I WANTED TO RUN AWAY!!!!!! I never wanted to come back. I can't believe I am writing this. I didn't start my blog until after we got through it, I didn't want a negative blog. She has come a long way, this family has come a long way. I started the blog.
    Reading what you wrote brought me back to the horrid lonely place. All my friends had the perfect kids, perfect grades, perfect house, perfect life.... I was an idiot... They didn't, I just thought they did. Because no one has it perfect, they just don't talk about it. Finally I met a friend and she reached out and we TALKED!!!! I was not alone. I was not alone.

    I hope that you have a friend near you that makes you feel not alone...

    Also what the heck is with your school, that is illegal.... Your child should have an IEP, and be appointed a team leader, and the school works with you. That is federally mandated..... Thank you for being honest. Can't believe I am hitting publish on this.

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    1. Bravo to you for saying it out loud and hitting the publish button! More people need to scream it from the top of the hills that everything isn't alright. They need to stop posting memes about bad kids just not being parented right. Seriously, society needs to lift the pressure of parenting and accept that it isn't all perfect and those of us brave enough to say it, should not be looked on as bad parents, incapable of doing our jobs, but as humans who can only take so much. As for the school, he had an IEP but for ADHD not Asperger's. I fought with them, and I so could have taken it further, but it was a bad fit for him. They destroyed my happy boy who loved to learn. I am starting to get him back by homeschooling him. I know some parents say I should have fought the fight but my son is not a guinea pig and I was not going to keep sending him back to a place that was destroying him. The last straw came when he was found outside in the middle of winter sitting on a snow bank waiting for me to show up for after school pick up. He was in 2nd grade and they didn't know where he was for almost 20 minutes. His safety and happiness is more important to me then being legally right.

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    2. Oh my goodness........ That is utterly disgusting and BRAVO to you for such an HONEST and wonderful post. It was rather uplifting to hit the publish button. I also know it is not my parenting as I have another child that is just helpful and graceful..... Some kids have damn issues, and no matter how we are they suck. As I said she pulled it together, she has been accepted to her dream Univ. in Cali... We live in Il :) But just the other day her ugly mouth started, and it took all of me not to just ask her to leave. I am so happy for her to go to college FOR MANY REASONS!!!!!! :) I think you understand ;) Again I can't explain to you what a breath of fresh air it was to read this. Thank you thank you thank you...

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  9. Great words from an obviously strong mom! I agree that taking care of mom is very important. I have been guilty of self neglect in the past, also. Until I realized that I wouldn't be around to raise them if I didn't stop and do some self care. I look forward to reading more! (I was a farm girl growing up).

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    1. Strong!?!? Or just to stubborn to give up? LOL I so want to be around to see them grow up.... and I shall curse them that thir children be 10x as bad as they were LOL

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  10. I would try and get him back into school personally. If you get him with the correct diagnosis, and the right program thru the Spec. Ed. dept. you would have a daily break. He could socialize, learn to function outside the home, etc. Have you also tried taking him off wheat, grains, white sugar, etc? I was watching a wheat belly documentary last night and they talked about some kids with disorders having violent outbreaks. It stopped after they went off. Might be worth a one or two month try...

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    1. While I do need a break now and then..... our local school is NOT the place for him. As for socializing, he belongs to 3 different 4H clubs. It's not like I keep him locked in the house 24/7! LOL And yes, we have looked at his diet. Thank you for your concern. Until his frontal l lobe matures.... it is a suck it up and keep trying kind of thing. *sigh*

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    2. I didn't mean he wasn't socializing, just more in a educational setting, with various kinds of kids and age ranges. I'm sorry your school system is so poor. That wouldn't happen here :( Hang in there....

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  11. I love your open honesty! It is so true about social media. Everyone of course puts their best foot forward but not exactly showing how it really is. I am a first time mother to a very outgoing 2 year old. She is so smart but can be sooooo bad at times. She can really put the terrible in terrible two's. Lol Life isn't always covered with rose-colored glasses and as stated before that's ok to admit. You sound like an amazing mother and don't ever let your thoughts or anything else tell you otherwise. We all feel like we fall short in one way or another because we're human and not perfect. You keep on being strong for your kids and yourself. God bless. :-)

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    1. I have too much honesty according to some LOL I may be on social media, but that doesn't mean I have to buy into the "gee everything is amazing" factor. Trust me, I have lost likes on my facebook page for being honest or real but if I can help one other person realize it is okay to be dysfunctional, then my job is done! LOL

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    2. It sounds like you're doing a great job Mindie. None of mine have additional needs but still, it's like having a pack of out of control puppies most of the time. Try to look after yourself, it's in your kids' best interests :)

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    3. I am. Dr appointment today and lots of "things" done to me at the hospital. LOL I feel like I got a full tune up. Now to wait for the results.

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  12. Who can write "farting on purpose" on a child's report from school with a straight face???

    Seriously, I loved the honesty of this post. You captured what it's like to love your child but have days where you really feel "done" with them - or wish you could be!

    Off I go to take pictures of my messy house as your post instructed. They'll be up on my blog within the week.

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    1. I know, right!?!?! Farting on purpose LOL And I told you take photos of your messy house?!?!? LOL If you want to shame yourself, you go right ahead LOL

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  13. Hello...I found you on the blog hop. This post is very touching, made my eyes water. I can sorta relate to what you're saying. My oldest son doesn't have Asbergers but he has ADHD and use to get sent home with letters like that all the time. During his 6th year of school is when I really got fed up with it and pulled him out to homeschool him. He's in the 10th grade now and back in public school but I homeschool our 2 youngest. Hang in there! Your boys are adorable and you're doing the best you can. We all are. Nice to meet ya!

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    1. They are cute, but so naughty! LOL Thank you for your kind words and a glimpse of hope that one day he will be ablt to go back to school (and I will get a break LOL)

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  14. You're are doing the best with what you have and I commend you for being real. Raising kids IS tough (even the "normal" ones, but aren't we all a bit off in our own unique way?) and everyone who begs to differ is lying. But raising kids is also rewarding. You will have good days and bad days and as long as you know you did the best you can do, you should give yourself a break and not feel the need to justify it. Thanks for linking up at Thursday Favorite Things. Can't wait to see what you'll share next week!

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    1. Oh I love when we have good moments! Never good days LOL But we have some really good moments :)

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  15. Absolutely love this post. We all feel like this but so many mothers hide their feelings from the world, afraid of its reaction. I too have an autistic son & my other son is Bi-polar whom for years they said he was just ADHD. The mix of my two boys makes for some hard times, since they never seem to get along & then add in their own personal struggles. It is a hard journey but there are so many others out there that can be your support or listen when you need an ear. The best thing I did for myself and my family was finding a mom who has children like I do, so she could actually understand the hardships without judgment. And your right, if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be healthy mentally,physically,& spiritually to take care of your family.

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    1. Well I did go to the dr and I am taking charge of me. Now that trip was an adventure of its own LOL Nothing like being fondled by strangers. But of course, once you have kids, you don't care any more LOL

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  16. Wow, what an adventure. I love how you used a diverted flight plan as a comparison. I think being a parent is like a surprise party. You never know what you're in for. Thanks for linking up to Mum-bo Monday

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    1. I totally forgot to mention this post received the most clicks and will be featured this week! Sorry about not mentioning it sooner. My kids are killing my memory!! hahaha

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    2. Hey at least it is only your memory! LOL Thanks for the feature :)

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  17. Omg that last meme cracked me up!! Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! Can't wait to see what you have lined up tonight!

    Sharon
    herorganizedchaos.com

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    1. Haa haa Yeah, I have a twisted sense of humor.

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  18. Step parent to a 19 year old nightmare , Aspergers and high functioning autism . Sadly unable to function in the adult world , compulsive liar , thief, drugs you name it , constantly getting a hiding from other teens , because he looks normal but has no social skills . He comes to us when his mums at the end of her tether , the woman is a saint . He can be aggressive, abusive and the drugs arent helping . Sadly hes now classed as an adult and theres no help from anywhere for him , during his school years he had supported education , his mum got respite care and his social worker helped all the time . now she sends us to us because we live so out in the wilds theres no drugs, no shops , no inappropriate friends. Take a break love, on a daily basis its a nightmare

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    1. I am so sorry your having such a rough time. I pray that my son will be able to function in the adult world. *fingers crossed*

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