Oh shit! I cursed in the title. Oh shit! I just did it again!
I’m sorry for dropping the doodie bomb right out of the gate on this one, but sometimes ya just gotta say the bad word. I don’t think declaring I was a real poo poo mom this past year would’ve had the same impact; so we’re sticking with shitty.
In fact, I just might actually qualify for the shittiest mom award for some of my behavior this past year. You might be wondering just what the hell happened this past year that I feel the need to declare myself a shitty mom. Well, lemme tell you…
It started last September/October when little dude’s new teacher thought he might do better in a more academically challenged environment. That meant changing his classroom, teacher and peers. I stupidly agreed to this. That was shitty. It was shitty because I was so excite about him moving into a more academically challenging environment that I didn’t even stop to think what the sudden change to his overall environment might actually do to him (spoiler alert: it wasn’t a good move). And so they changed his class, just like that and I immediately regretted it. There was a… how can I put this nicely? Okay, there was a behaviorally challenged student in this new class and little due started picking up some really bad behaviors. Like violent behaviors. This behaviorally challenged student would do things like oh pick a desk up and throw it across the room. Guess what my little dude tried to do a few times? This behaviorally challenged student was also a hitter and now what do you think happened? Yep, little dude also became a hitter. In fact, he became such a hitter that he punched his new teacher in the face and gave the woman a concussion!
I was a shitty mom because I let the child study team try to convince me that because he’s autistic he may be turning aggressive. Instead of saying something like, Um, well yeah, look at the violent little bastard* that’s in his class now. Amazingly my little dude started picking up these violent/aggressive tendencies when he and this little shit* met one another. I didn’t say that. I was thinking it, but I didn’t say it. I also should’ve asked what was being done about that behaviorally challenged kid, particularly how they planned to protect my kid from him. But I didn’t. I allowed them to fear monger me into thinking it was MY kid who was the aggressor. I allowed myself to be convinced he needed yet another medication to keep him under control. Shitty mom.
Little dude’s speech therapist was also pissed about what had happened since he was moved into that more academically challenging class. She told me to get angry at the meeting we had scheduled. I didn’t. I couldn’t. There’s no real way to explain this and there’s no way to explain it unless you happen to be a special needs parent – I was exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally. I was completely spent. But, his child study tea representative did push my buttons to the point where I did drop an F*bomb during this meeting (don’t ever do this, it’s really not proper/professional and I should’ve known better), but after I did that she did seem to back off a bit. Like she could see I was about to crack and she should maybe stop poking at me. Still though, shitty mom for not mustering up enough emotional strength to tell them off in the proper way.
Little dude’s speech therapist may have said something to the child study team herself (she’s an amazing lady – I miss her already!) because when little dude returned to school after winter break they had moved him back into his original class, from the start of the year, and he did SO much better. He still had his off days, but we all do, right? His aggressive behavior stopped and he became my sweat pea again.
The shitty mom behavior also extended into home life a bit. Because he was aggressive in class at times he would’nt earn a prize for good behavior and he loves getting those prizes for good behavior. So if he wouldn’t earn a prize for the day he would come home and act out here. It got so bad that I actually told him if he didn’t stop it I’d send him away and have other people deal with him by locking him up. I know! That’s straight up, f*cked up, shitty mom right there! Wanna know how I know that’s shitty mom behavior? Because my mom used to say that very phrase to me. Okay, she didn’t say it all the time; in fact I can count the number of times she actually did say it to me on one hand. But back when I was in third or fourth grade I had some serious sleeping issues. I couldn’t sleep, at all. To this day I have no idea why. Maybe because of my parents’ divorce and all of the moving around we did for a while, who knows… The divorce, well because my mom was amazing she explained to me that the divorce wasn’t my fault and that sometimes parents fall out of love and can be better parents when they live separate from each other. She never trashed my biological father, although the way he tells it you’d think differently. So even though I knew their divorce wasn’t my fault I think it still had an effect on me. This was also the time I started court-appointed counseling because of the pending divorce. So there was a lot of stuff happening at that time and it possibly had an effect on my ability to sleep. And if I didn’t sleep, my mom didn’t either. At the time we lived in a small one-bedroom apartment so if I was awake my mom knew it and it kept her awake too and after about a week of very little sleep, my very frustrated mom told me she was going to call the authorities and have them take me away to a place where I could stay awake all night and then maybe she would finally get some damn sleep.
Yeah, ouch. I mean I remember those words today at the age of 44 as vividly as the night she said them back when I was 8 or 9. And there I was saying the same shit to my anxiety ridden autistic boy child. Please, just hand me that award for the shittiest mom of the year right now. Oh, and it didn’t stop there. I knew damn well that he was upset when I said that and yet that didn’t stop me from repeating those words multiple times, to the point where he was in tears and begging me not to have him taken away. Shitty mom.
It’s been much better lately. I was concerned about little due starting middle school with all of the changes but so far, I mean it’s only been 2 days, his extended school year session has been okay. He likes his teacher and I think he really loves the fact that he’s in such a big school now. Seriously, he can’t stop telling us how big his school is with all of the rooms and how high the ceilings go. I’ve also restarted him on a very small dose of a mood stabilizer and that seems to have helped tremendously. While he was no longer truly aggressive he would hit his dad and curse a lot when we’d go out to eat somewhere. I know it’s helping because last night we went out to dinner for our daughter’s birthday and little dude did awesome! He colored, played with his car, calmly ordered his own food and was very patient while waiting for it to arrive to our table.
Mom guilt sucks, doesn’t it? I don’t think special needs parents have more guilt than other parents, I just think we feel guilty and shitty for different reasons.
Are you guilty of shitty mom behavior? Don’t worry, you can tell me. No judgement, I promise (pinky swear… come on, you know those are sacred!)
*I know it’s so not cool to call a child, let alone another special needs child, these types of names. But I never actually said them, I thought them and when your child is mimicking another child’s bad behavior and your child is being singled out and blamed for it, yet nothing is being done about the other kid… you think bad things about the other kid.