Operation Caffeination

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Asking for help

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Someday, I’d like to be the kind of person who checks in on their blog regularly. Actually, while I’m dreaming, I’d like to become the kind of person who washes her laundry regularly.

Life is always getting underfoot, like a very affectionate cat whose constant shin-rubbing may or may not be intended to cause death and/or dismemberment.

Our latest bit of excitement has had to do with Darren’s struggles at school. The situation at school deteriorated rapidly over the month of November, with the teacher instructing children to get into Darren’s face and yell “like you’re really angry” whenever he hit them and sending him to time out over and over, and I ended up pulling him out of the program. He is devastated about the whole thing and was pretty depressed during his last week of school. We both cried when we said goodbye to our friends from class, and I have been feeling like a shitty parent for letting him go through this ordeal.

On the bright side, Darren’s difficulties in school at the age of three may prevent him from going through a more difficult time in kindergarten in a few years. Darren’s pediatrician and I have been trying to puzzle out which of his behavioral quirks are normal childhood idiosyncrasies and which ones he may need help to overcome. It has been a frustrating journey for me because I have had a feeling in my gut that something was off since I was eight weeks pregnant with Darren, but what I saw as early prevention, the pediatrician saw as me being paranoid. This was the first time she was able to see what I have been seeing all along, and I feel like we are finally on the same page. We started working with a therapist who specializes in sensory sensitivity last week, and Darren loves her and can’t wait to go back.

And me? I feel like an even shittier parent than before, because actually getting help from a professional for my child makes me feel like I’ve failed, like I should have been able to provide everything my child needs on my own, that his need for a kind of help that I can’t provide is a sign of a failing on my part. Like my sense of self-worth is so tied up in my children that emotionally, I can’t tolerate their mistakes, flaws and failures without berating myself for not creating “perfecter” people. Like I need to have that kind of control over how they turn out.

Darren and Darren’s needs aside, I think this has all been very good for me (in a “shoveling snow is character building” sort of way). I have listened to my gut, ignored my ego and it’s paying off. I am learning accept myself as less of a superhero and more of a regular mother who is doing her best to raise happy, healthy kids. Sometimes, that looks a lot like being Wonder Woman. And sometimes, that involves breastfeeding in a teal and plum waiting room that smells like lavender while my son plays with a miniature bowling set with his new BFF/therapist.

Glamor isn’t everything, I guess.

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Written by GRSeim

December 20, 2011 at 10:40 am

2 Responses

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  1. I feel like an even shittier parent than before, because actually getting help from a professional for my child makes me feel like I’ve failed, like I should have been able to provide everything my child needs on my own, that his need for a kind of help that I can’t provide is a sign of a failing on my part.

    No.

    I utterly believe that you feel this way, and I also utterly believe that it is not true. Being able to seek help from others when you need it is a sign of a responsible person, and being able to seek help on behalf of your child who cannot yet do so for himself is a sign of a responsible parent. You are doing everything right that is within your power to do. That is not failure.

    jaqbuncad

    December 23, 2011 at 5:53 am

    • Thanks for the encouragement…I know in my head that I am doing the right things, but there are about a million things I’d rather be doing right now. 🙂

      Grace

      January 2, 2012 at 8:55 am


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