Monday, March 7, 2011

Like a Bad Country Song

It is amazing to me how much a kid can hurt your heart when he's not even IN THE HOUSE.

I was planning to write a happy blog this morning. M1 made dinner for the family last night, and I wanted to talk about that. I really did. And I will write about it at some point. Just not now. I've got thoughts echoing in my mind and they just won't shut up till I put them somewhere, and this is my venting spot.

M1 is at Grandma's today and tomorrow. He's doing schoolwork there so we don't get behind, but mostly he ISN'T HERE. She wanted him for the entire week, but it doesn't work logistically... and besides anything else, the kids are out on Friday anyway for the beginning of Spring Break. Why did she want to keep him? Because my stress level is roughly at the level of the Sears Tower (which I learned last night isn't called the Sears Tower any more, which I'm sure makes me behind the times, but seriously, what the heck is up with that??), and she could tell I needed a break.

I am exhausted. I tried to see the positive in yesterday's post, and I don't want this to sound like there isn't anything good that has happened lately, but I feel like I've been stuck in a bad country song for the past couple of weeks, maybe months. You know the kind of song I mean - the ones where it starts to sound like Job had it easy. My heart is being slowly squeezed apart by the very children who hold it in their hands.

I discovered more tic-tac-toe grids carved into M1's furniture/wallpaper this morning, and it just set me off. I feel like I help and I give and I do for him, and in return, my reward is to do even more the next day, starting from scratch. There is simply no progress. Give him an inch and he'll take a mile. And if I get two seconds of reprieve from him (which is rare), M2 wants to claim a spot in my attention, too. I don't want her to feel neglected, so I can't ignore her. She's my baby, too! So he gets my mind and my body, because I have to chase him down and constantly come up with new ideas to try to curb whatever new behavior he has invented, and she gets my soul, because that's all that's left. Without the kids, I am a shell, and with them, I'm slowly being broken into pieces.

I sometimes think I was never meant to be a mom. I certainly was never meant to be a helicopter/Tiger Mom, but I can't be the opposite, either, and walk away. These are my babies, parts of me, and I think that's why it kills me so much that I don't feel like I can help them. I just want to go for an entire day without destruction or fighting or feeling like I'm working a constant search-and-rescue mission rather than riding on a normal patrol.

I'd say this break would be good for me, except I still can't separate myself from the thoughts that follow me 24/7. Obviously I'm still thinking about the kids. I can't get away from it. They are my world. I envy Oz his ability to compartmentalize and let it all go while he's at work. Adult conversation is healthy. I should find some of that, perhaps, except I don't know what I'd talk about other than the kids!

To those of you out there who have never doubted your ability to parent your child(ren) and who feel like you were always meant to be a parent, I know you won't understand this post. That's okay. You don't have to. Just remember that not everyone has it as easy as you do. All I ask is that you don't judge me till you've walked a mile in my shoes.

To continue the bad country song cliche... this is my road. I have to walk it. I won't run away. But Lord... some sunshine would be nice.


rowan said...

(((HUGS))) My problems are nowhere as severe, but I completely understand this post. I hope things improve, both with the kids and within.

Beth said...

Awwww shnuggles.. As a parent with challenging and challenged kids I've been there. It's a dark, dark place that I've spent a lot of time in. But, you are doing the best you can with what you have. Maybe it's time to put M back on something, just until he evens back out. Or maybe he needs a different therapist.. Or maybe you need a tutor to come help with his school work once a week so you can go do errands and they can work with him on his school work and his behavior while you do the shopping and have a break. And the girl.. Well.. I know we've talked about her some.. Hang in there and of course she's doing worse now! T1 has FINALLY evened back out some over here so of COURSE your girl would have to go haywire!

hornblower said...

(Hugs) Sounds like you're in a tough spot!
Is it partly the hell that is February still dragging you down?

Are the kids hitting puberty & adding some hormones to the bhvr soup?

Hope you see sunshine & better days soon!

Sarah said...

Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the sympathy. Rowan, I'm glad other people understand. It's a good feeling to know I'm not alone. Misery loves company and all that. Bethie, dear, you read my mind. I am seriously contemplating putting M1 back on something to get this wigginess all... unwigged. It ain't flying. And hornblower, if it's puberty, SHOOT ME NOW. They're 8 and 5. I don't need hormones in the mix! ;)

Thanks so much!

Mom on the Verge said...

You DO sound like you need some time off. Go take a l-o-n-g walk or ten. You needed the time off, so let M1 go for a while. He's safe. He's well. Look after yourself.

Amy said...

No judgement here - complete and total understanding is more like it. I'm hs'ing my 9 yo dd. She's on the spectrum & is a major handful. I very much get what you're saying. I wanted a baby, desperately so, had a hard time conceiving, and now, sometimes, I wonder why I'm here. I wonder why I thought I could do this, worry that all I am anymore is an ineffectual mom with nothing else to offer the world. :( Some days/weeks are worse than others, and I think this time of year is the hardest. I'm sorry you're feeling so badly right now. It will get better. From my experience it always does. Hang in there.

Mum. said...

Please don't beat your self up. You are an awesome mom. You have given your children love security and structure in their lives not to mention stability. That is not to sneezed at. Too many children grow up in unsafe unstable environments. It is draining having a child at home 24/7. You do need to make time for yourself regularly. You are not like most mothers who have time while children are at school or a job to divert your attention. You know I am always willing to play teacher and have M1 during the day time. We really should think about a regular day to do that each week, a day that you can make just your own to do as you would like to do. Not errands and chores!!! Again honey I love you and I greatly respect your mothering skills. I am not saying you are perfect. None of us are. Motherhood is a learning experience and we will all make mistakes BUT you are doing better than most so give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up. You have two wonderful children who love and adore you so much. Not to mention all the rest of us who love and adore you.