Bleh. Yeah, that’s how I feel lately. Seems everywhere I turn there are opinions about my parenting. It sucks. A lot. And after awhile it wears me down.
I was recently told that I put my kids in front of a screen so I don’t have to deal with them. (While kids was plural, we all know the reference was to one in particular.)
That is so far from the truth. In the moment, it made me angry and upset and hurt. I mulled that one over for days, then I realized that, to that person, it was the truth. That is what that person sees. What that person doesn’t see is the day to day. What that person doesn’t realize is that my kid has a screen in front of him so YOU don’t have to deal with him.
If that were true I wouldn’t homeschool, I’d throw my kids in the public school system and let someone else “deal with it” every week day. If that were true my kid would probably be medicated instead of my trying to change his behavior, as slow as that process is, because I want a long term fix, not a short term solution. If that were true I wouldn’t be so dang exhausted, I’d have time for the things I want to do instead of putting them off to do the things I need to do. If that were true I wouldn’t be so emotionally spent on a monthly basis.
You see that screen he has is for YOUR benefit, and his. Believe me, I pay for it the following week, where screen breaks are enforced. See, when we travel I’m a different mother. I do whatever it takes to keep the peace, I’ve always been a peace keeper. I do whatever it takes to avoid the meltdown in public, in someone else’s home. It’s tiring to stay a step ahead for several days. I come home from a weekend away and it takes at least that long for me to recover. It takes twice that for my kid.
It has a name- the Delayed After Effect. It doesn’t only apply to school, it applies to many situations. He holds it together and believe me it all comes out when we make it home. That computer/tablet allows him to withdraw from stimulation around him. It allows him to pull within and calm himself, it allows him to “take a break” and reset. It allows him to avoid stomping off, slamming doors and everything else that normally happens. Things that I have worked incredibly hard to lessen, but that still occur fairly regularly. The meltdowns are not as bad as they once were (and that tells me I’m doing something right), but they do still happen. I actually have video from almost 2 years ago, we’ve come a long way.
Is he perfect? No. We still have a lot to work on and a long way to go, but I feel we’re making progress. No, I don’t think my kid will be a murderer. No, he won’t be abusive. He used to hit a lot, now his hits are a lot less painful. That’s progress. He does have chores, even if they must be prompted every step of the way. I do think he’ll function in life to some degree because I’m not done with him yet. I still have work to do and I still have time to do it.
So judge me. Go ahead. Tell me how horrible I am, tell me what a terrible job I’m doing, make me feel like a failure. I’ll cry, but I’ll be okay.
Then spend a week in my chair. Spend two days, no, just spend a day. But not an easy day I have set up for you, because I do that, I do what I can to make things easier for others when I’m not around. No, spend a full day- the kids need school done (all three of them) which means telling the youngest what to do, grading the work of the oldest and keeping him on track for the day and off the Playstation, the middle kid needs everything read to him because his vision issues make it hard for him to read print and his other issues cause other difficulties, which we won’t get into, just know that his work is one on one, with no one else around. Sheets need washed, towels need folded, bills need paid and food needs purchased. Kids need to get to practice and the animals need their water dish cleaned. The dishwasher needs emptied and loaded and the kitchen needs swept, the crumbs are just too much today and I can’t remember the last time I used the broom in there. There are client needs to be met- a website crashed and needs saved right away, two clients are 2 months behind on paying. Don’t forget to feed the kids lunch, oh, and feed yourself. Don’t forget to order that last college textbook for the oldest, no longer homeschooling her, but still guiding and helping. When all of that is done, there are spouse needs to be met even if that simply means lounging on the couch to watch a movie during which you doze off. Did you take your meds today? That’s just one day.
Yeah, do that and then come judge me. Remember, you don’t know what another person has gone through, so you really shouldn’t judge.