Confessions of a Home School Mom. Things I regret but needed, to learn it's lesson!

MJB - posted on 07/29/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. --Richard Bach


The quote above is from Bach's book Illusions, The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah. I read this book in high school and still have it on my shelf. A story about a Messiah who doesn't want the job and quits; he gives the Messiah's Handbook to someone else. It is an interesting read, that is spotted with verses that make you think, but ultimately make no sense. But this quote has been ringing in my head a lot lately.

I have decided to pause my judgement on others, (mostly large conglomerates, and small silly web sites,) and look inward. There is as much in my own errors that could be of use to others as there is in theirs. So, here we go. These will not be in chronological order, as they do not come back to haunt you that way.

Recently, my child who is past the "big boy" stage and headed towards independence, (that means, without me,) headed off for his first long trip alone. He went to visit relatives for 5 days-- the longest we've ever been apart. Since he has a type of dwarfism and I am an overprotective mom, we've practically been attached at the hip since birth. When ever I dropped him off at nursery school, or the half day preschool, or at a friends, he never had separation anxiety. (Do you blame him?) He would just run off, sometimes hurrying through a hug. This trip was no different. He was very excited to go and packed a week ahead of time. I slept very little the entire time he was gone, even though I knew he was in good hands.

The day came for him to come home, I met them half way and was so excited. I ran towards him for a hug, and all I got was..."Oh, hi mom." He didn't even look up from the Nintendo DS he'd been playing! I thought perhaps he was tired, or would miss them. When we got home I asked if he wanted to cuddle and watch a movie, (an every night thing since he was born). He said, that there was a program he was going to watch in his room--- I stood dumbfounded.



His behavior change reminded me of that song "Cat's in the Cradle..." or for the younger generation, the movie "Click". I taught him to push ME away. I was so busy being nurse, patient, teacher, mother, that I wasn't MOMMY. When did that happen? How did it come to this?

My girlfriend and I used to sit in the pool with our kids and joke..."Hmmm, vacuum the house or play with my child?"...as we held our hands out like scales weighing the obvious option. Why was my house cleaner back then? How is it that now I do so much more, and "order", (for want of a better word,) him to do so much that we haven't accomplished half of the things we needed to.

Between schooling, making the stuff for schooling, play dates and everything else, I began to be irritable, and cold towards him. I worked harder and was angry when I did or did not take time for myself. I've spent the last several years caring for him, schooling him, raising him, and yes, many times wishing I could have time off.
"Why not?" I thought, "I work hard, I'm ALWAYS with him, I need time for myself." He needs time away from me.


I started taking some time for myself, but felt guilty. I have Fibromyalgia and there are flare up periods when I simply am not "there". I try to make it through the day, then as soon as hubby comes home, I'm in bed with morphine or heating pads and a TENS unit. Being sick was already creating a gap between us, I can't take more time away from him.


Thank God, this problem had a gift. I stopped. I looked around. I looked at him. I remembered all the times I was too busy preparing schoolwork to play a game. The times I was too tired to bake cupcakes. Too busy to snuggle. Too irritable to let him be near me. The times I laid in bed sick, looking at his picture, feeling guilty. Now, I've received the gift of second chance. He is back to his old self, just a little more mature; but willing to let me earn him back as his mommy. I mean "earn" because, I was cruel to take his mommy away to begin with.

We live differently now. Never again will their be a day when my husband puts him to bed and I say I'd be up in a minute--just as soon as I finished this---only to find him asleep when I finally get there. I won't miss that moment again. He needs independent time, me too. We also need "quality time". Something I used to pride myself in.....I will again. That is a promise.


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Vanessa - posted on 08/17/2013

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I agree with Candi. Despite the fact that your health is compromised (painful I know) and that your son had his own challenges he faces, it sounds to me like you're doing the best you can. For some reason while I was breastfeeding I experienced severe joint pain which still continues and it can be daunting. But children are marvelously resilient and wise. They understand so much. Clearly your son know you love him. And how wonderful that you've taken the time to look at yourself and your relationship with him rather than take it for granted. I imagine he's quite luck to have you as a mother.
We ALL, all of us mothers and parents have our own demons to cope with. The biggest difference is the parents who, one day at at time, make amends, find the beauty and love and try to do better next time.

Candi - posted on 08/16/2010

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Actually, your story doesn't sound unique at all. Mommies are real people, too. We are not super heroes. And I would even venture to say that a child that meets the world without any fear means you've done your job quite well. And your son sounds like one of the kind that strides into the future with confidence. Also, connection styles for kids vary and they even change and morph as that child ages. The fact that he went from wanting cuddles to being more aloof may just mean that his connection style has now changed to something else. Maybe playing a game with him would mean more than cuddling. I think it's normal for boys to be this way, too. I will admit that the first impression I get from your story is that there are a lot of guilt messages you are sending yourself. I don't think you were "cruel" at all. I think you were human. There is a very big difference between being humanly flawed and being cruel. Of course it won't hurt to pay closer attention to your sons needs and to spend more quality time with him. But don't do it out of guilt, because he will sense it and want to relieve you of it out of obligation. Anything done out of obligation denies the joy one can have from a heart of willingness. Do it out of a renewed thankfulness for having him in your life. He will see the difference and will respond accordingly.

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