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.
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!?!