Tuesday, June 7, 2011

forget success, i just want to survive... by anonymous

i've started to write about my children three different times (this week), about three different topics.

this is the sad one.

this week my son missed what, in my mind, was supposed to be a major event in his life - thus far. when we left the house he was showing signs that he was not going to make it through the event peaceably, but i was not prepared for the way that the evening unfolded and i was (even) less prepared for my reaction. he cried getting out of the car when we arrived and he cried when i walked him to his class and he cried when i told him there would be cookies waiting for him at the end of the night. i sat with him until he calmed and i thought the worst was over.

then we lined up. he turned. ran. couldn't do it. couldn't stand and smile for 10 little tiny easy minutes.

not only did he refuse and kick and scream, as if being shoved into a burlap sack, he knocked over a small display in the main hall. and i was shattered. broken. embarrassed. humiliated. mortified. spite-filled. heart broken. now we would both cry and cry and cry and cry (and cry).

i dragged him back to the car (yelled at him, told him how upset i was, how i couldn't believe he couldn't do this one thing, how it was ridiculous, how he hurt MY feelings) and gathered up the rest of the family and we drove home. i couldn't even speak the whole way, i let my streaming tears yell at everyone in the car so i didn't have to. when we got home i sent my son straight to bed. i couldn't even say goodnight (or i love you, or it's ok, or get some rest, or sweet dreams, or you are my sunshine).

after that i was only tears. only tears and the f word. only tears and the f word and self-hatred. only tears and the f word and self-hatred and the hot shower. only tears and the f word and self-hatred and the hot shower and realizing-i-am-the-worst-mother-that-i-know.

there are worse mothers than me. for sure. no doubt. women who hate their children, who use their children, who abuse them, who don't give them affection, who don't rub their backs, who don't sing them songs, who don't feed them, who don't care where they are or what they're doing, who don't talk to them, who don't snuggle them, who don't call them sweet little names (baby love, honey, bug, little boo, pumpkin, jelly bean, turtle), who don't wash them in the bath, who abandon them, who don't adore them like i adore my children. BUT...of the mothers that i actually know, that i have relationships with, that i see on a regular basis with their children...i am the worst of them.

i feel like someone reading this might wonder why i feel this way. it's true i love my children and i try to support them and encourage them to be free and open and happy people. but i don't seem to be the best kind of mom for my son. i can't seem to give him what he needs. he's sensitive and emotional and strong-willed and funny and special and different then other kids. he gets embarrassed easily (and like me), he doesn't deal with it well. he doesn't seem to be able to handle his own extreme emotions sometimes and (after all the talks i've heard about it) i can't seem to give him the right boundaries so that he feels safe. i'm not consistent, i don't know how to be, or how to learn to be. i'm selfish in that i can't prefer him and his need for consistency over my need to make the situation more bearable. i bribe him. i beg him. i keep going-in-his-room-when-he-calls-me at bedtime. i bargain with him. i lose to him and (so) he loses overall.

i hate hoping i'm doing a good job, telling myself i'm doing a good ENOUGH job, knowing i'm not succeeding...

1 comment:

Recovering Church Lady said...

Sorry to be reading this so many days after it's posting, but it could very seriously be a page torn from my journal as a first time mom. I have lived this. The most painful part is the words to yourself that you are not the mom that your son needs. That is a devastating and downward spiral thought.

BUT, our kids survive in SPITE of us! In spite of being a mom who can't be consistent or who would rather just do the chore herself rather than wait for him to get it right. That was me, along with all the other stuff you said. My son was in constant motion for the first many many years!

And my two grown sons are amazing men! I am proud of them and they love me and say they never doubted my love for them! I hope these words help a bit. Susie K