I feel like a bad mum!

Mel - posted on 12/21/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hi Guys,
My son is 5 and we are in the process of diagnosing him. I am finding out that it is a very lengthy comlicated and delicate matter, but im grateful for that because it means that the Docs are really looking into his ;problems; So he has been disgnosed so far with Sensory Processing Disorder and in a while we will be seeing the head of peadiatrics at the hospital about Ethan. Apprarantly he is a 'unique' case. Great. That helps! Im struggling on all levels with Ethan becuase yes he is disruptive, loud, has violent tantrums, doesnt EVER STOP TALKING, is hyper sensitive,smears his poo, pees around the home and all of this makes life hard on a daily basis. I have another wee boy who is 2 and a half and is copying all of ethans beaviours. On a daily basis i fell like such a bad mum because I think about how life woould be if I could jsut run away for a while. Or I even get angry with in myself at Ethan and just so frustrated because even tho we are getting diagnosis its not helping me or him. He is still behaving the same way and then there are new behaviours coming out. I feel stretched beyond my limits and feel so utterly selfish that I feel this way. None of my friends understand and my husband just thinks im being moody. I love my children so very much and would give my own life for them if i had too, but at the moment, this Autism/Aspergers/what ever it is, is totally ruling our lives and its scary because i am finding it hard to enjoy the small things at the moment. DOes anyone feel like this? What can i do to make my days less stressful so that i am a better mum to them both. I dont know hot to ebate the situation it seems as soon as i open my mouth the speak wtih ethan he gets angry, or just tells me he is bored, and then when I suggest to do something he wont want to,or its just too boring or he hates it. I just can not make him happy and in the mean time im making everyone else around me miserable too.
Does ANYONE feel like this?

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User - posted on 12/22/2009

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Being honest about how you feel is better than pretending life is grand and better than ever. I just went through an hour and a half with my son in meltdown mode. I would have loved to have been able to snap my fingers to bring in supernanny and let me go out for a tea....ain't gonna happen!

Then, when meltdown is over, I am exhausted and he is waiting for me to play. I want to sleep, or at least lie down.

If you can, get the 2.5 into a good little nursery school to have him see other children on a regular basis so that he can begin to model their behaviour.

You don't write if you are a stay at home mom, or if you work outside of the home. If you are a stay at home mom, and even if you are not, look into getting a mother's helper from a local college that has an OT program or Developmental Skills Worker program. A fun, energetic college student that will get you out of the house for a few hours a day/week.

Your husband needs to back off with the "moody" label. As moms, we take on the motherload of responsibilities, and he needs to support you.

See if there is a Dinosaur School Program in your area (available in Canada and US) It is an amazing program that works on social skills. It is offered through community and social services here (Ontario) and I believe it is free.

If you can, put him in overalls with a belt. Makes it harder to get to the poop. Or pants with a belt. Same thing.

Get a small trampoline that he can jump on to help burn energy.

A round yoga ball to sit on when watching tv. When he "sits" he is still moving/bouncing and he has to "centre" himself to stay on the ball.

A small pop up toy tent to give him a sensory time-out...not a consequence, just a little tent that you have in the living room so he can take a break from the sensory overload.

Good luck,

Sheila

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8 Comments

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Heidi - posted on 12/26/2009

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Oh sweetie, you are soooo not alone. It does get better. Its not easy being the parent of a child like ours and you have to find patience, strength, determination and a host of other things when you feel like you dont have anymore to give but you will get through and you will find them. I dont get a lot of breaks but I take mini-breaks. I find solace in little things. Whether its putting a movie on for the kids for a few minutes and hiding in the bathroom with a book (the only quiet place in the house lol) or telling my hubby I need a few minutes and walking around the block, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting outside for 5 minutes, whatever you can find.
My son is a screamer. He loves to yell at us and tell us no, or I dont want to, etc. I just ignore him.If he's yelling at me I turn my head or walk away and ignore him, which he hates, but he is attention seeking and if I dont give him the attention he wants then he will eventually calm down and seek my attention in a better way. He gets told what I want (expectation), what Im doing until that happens, and what the result will be (im ignoring you until you stop screaming at me and ask me nicely, then I will give you X or play with X) and given good choices, if he chooses to not make good choices then he doesnt get what he wants. I want good behavior, he wants X. I get good behavior, he gets X. I get bad behavior he doesnt get X. (Notice at this point, however, I am not adding a consequence, I am only adding a reward for making good choices. A reward based system works better than a consequence based system with many Autistic children. The reward can be anything from a high five, to a cracker, small toy, to vocal praise etc. whatever is motivational to your child). Motivation (choosing rewards that he wants/enjoys) and consistency are key here. It doesnt matter if we are in the middle of a grocery store or at home. Whether he's thrown himself on the ground or is standing up. He wants X , then he needs to make positive choices to get X. Its hard and it takes more time than with a "typical" child but you will see results. This is a slow process but as with anything it just takes time (well time and a bottle of Xanax for when I just cant handle anymore lol)

Brandie - posted on 12/26/2009

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You need that break! weather it is just out for coffe with a friend once or twice a week while your husband stays with the kids...dont feel selfish, youll be a better, calmer mom for it. i obtain my break by believe it or not working part time. a good chunk of what i make goes to child care, and yes work is hectic sometimes. but im in adult company, made some new friends, its a total change of pace... its been the best solution for me :)

Mel - posted on 12/22/2009

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WOW, thank you so much for your honest replies. The yoga ball is a great idea Sheila - thank you!! WE are bying a trampoline for the boys for Christmas - thats A MUST!!! And yeah im a stay at home mum, which is what I wanted to be, and am thankful that i have had the chance to be. And as you all understand it is so frustrating on a daily basis! There is just never a day that is an easy one, and sometimes that gets me down. But I REALLY apprecitate all your replies and thank you for the opportunity to vent this to you all. I feel like im being judged by my friends and family if I say anything bad. ANd you guys understand because you are going through/have gone through what I am. Thanks again xxx

Melanie - posted on 12/22/2009

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it can be frustrating at times. Having a diagnosis is far from a solution. we were told our son has all the problems of a cerebral palsy child without actually being cerebral palsy. It's confusing and frustrating at the same time. We all at times feel like we are failures and that even with help it's no use. I love my son to bits i just get frustrated when he can't do things or does things he shouldn't. i suppose it's just our role as parents to take everything that's thrown at us and keep on going. i do hope it gets better for you soon x

Susan - posted on 12/22/2009

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Hi Mel you are not a bad mom you are stressed to the max and that is ok. Look into respit care a program that will help find you someone to sit with your son so you can have a break once in a while.I know what its like to just want to run away for a while but with time things do get better. My son also went through changes at 5 some for the better most for the worst but with teropy and school we are learning how to deal with his behavior and he is learning how to control it.If you ever need anything even just to vent it all out for awhile feel free to contact me.

Amanda - posted on 12/22/2009

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your not a bad mum for needing a break, you're a smart one for realising you are overwhelmed and being able to admit it! and there certainly is nothing wrong with that, I don't think there is a any mother here who could say they haven't felt that way at some stage! It does get easier once you get a diagnosis, it takes time but you will be able to get Ethan the help he needs, my son was diagnosed in May, and since then just the knowledge and understanding from those in his life (family, friends and childcare workers) has helped him progress SO FAR!

You and your son will be fine and u will make it through this and will be stronger for it!

Kimberly - posted on 12/22/2009

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Yes I did and do feel like this! My Aspie is now 19 yrs old an I had a terrible time with her when she was little. Everything from rages to pretending for days on end that she was a cat. All I can suggest right now is you need to find yourself some "me" time. Gather all your support and ask them if they would watch him for just one night while he's sleeping or maybe just for a hour while you have a massage or bubble bath. The point is, that if you are overstressed and upset, how can you be your best for him? I don't know where you live, but in my state, there are programs called Head Start. That was where my daughter was diagnosed at the age of 4. It's a special program that is run by the school districts and is free of charge. Very capable teachers that have special classes for kids with all types of disabilities. Bottom line though, You need rest and support! Feel free to contact me at any time

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