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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Parenting Failures

You know we've had a really rough 6 months.
We moved from our own home, to my MIL's, to my MIL's new home, to my parents.
We moved from one to state to another, then on to another country. We've gone from having more than enough room for all of our junk, to squeezing more in than there's room for.
We've had a decent relationship with each other, to letting the circumstances get the better of us. All of us.
We've gone from being supported by my Mr, to being supported by me. And being jobless in between.
We've gone from one Immigration system to another.
We've switched schools, started with new ones, and worked as closely as we could with teachers. We've started counselling, alone, together.
I want so badly to not feel like I'm on the brink of tears at any moment. I want to actually be happy, and not pretend that I am. I don't want to feel so tired. I don't want to see my own anger flash quite as quickly. I want to be able to cope.
We put D into counseling back in November. He's angry. We can't seem to help him.
We can't help him because we're at fault.
We fought hard to keep our relationship intact, and to avoid familiar pitfalls and old habits. They, unfortunately, got the better of us.
We've slipped into familiar routines, accusations, battles, and finger pointing.
We are failing our children.
We're failing because we don't have the ability to show our children just what to do when the going gets tough, and then keeps on going.
The cracks that were there are now showing through.
My child is angry, upset,sad, and saying things a 7 year old shouldn't even be able to conceive of yet.
I phoned the Child & Youth Mental Health place today, to get us an appointment (all of us), to get some help. The intake worker gave me a questionairre over the phone. It was awful to admit a lot of the stuff out loud, and so unpersonally over the phone, without even knowing what the person I was talking to looked like.
I'm ashamed at some of the things I had to admit to. I'm sad that I let it get this bad.
I love my children. I love my oldest son. That hasn't stopped me from being two heartbeats away from wanting to phyisically hurt him. It should. There are times when I walk away and I'm envisioning myself giving him a slap (or worse) to stop him from doing what he's doing.
I love my son. That hasn't stopped me from feeling like dealing with him is a lost cause. Is that just how I work?
It makes me question if my motivations for having children, or even wanting children in the first place were honest. It makes me wonder if having my children in my care is the safest, best course of action. It makes me wonder just how my children will look back on their childhood when they remember it. It makes me wonder if they will feel like I do about their childhood.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Lois said...

Don't be so hard on yourself...they don't come with an instruction manual! We all learn this crazy parenting thing one day at a time, hell, sometimes hour by hour.

They're kids. Kids are tough. They're like Bumbles...they bounce.

Deep breath.

Southern Sage said...

Lois is right on it. Everyone has those thoughts.

Just do your best girl. All you can do is all you can do. They will be fine. Find his triggers. Everyone responds to something, some respond to pleasure, rewarding, head patting some respond to punishment, once you figure out what they want bad enough to act right or what they don't want bad enough to act right you will be able to guide them.

good luck. It;ll work out.

Certifiable said...

You're both taking the steps caring and loving parents do. Admitting our weaknesses and faults helps us all figure out where we need to be...or at the very least, where we DON'T want to be. Life is certainly a work in progress and we can only try to improve upon it for our children.

Nietha said...

I've no doubt you're the best Mom they could possibly have.
kids get over things and I think they have more drastic swings in moods.
they're also not old/mature/aware enough to realize that the life they have is pretty damn good compared to a lot of children in the world.
they're going to love you regardless and once your family is all settled somewhere it'll be easier to forget a rough period.
and hey, maybe they'll be like most of our family and not even remember their childhood.

Anonymous said...

I concur with all these comments, you are hard on yourselves. It's a learning experience.
Consistency is also a key. Kids are more resilient than we think. You guys are doing a wonderful job. I see patience, I see backing off when you need to take a breath, I see persistence.
mummie

Andhari said...

I don't think it's a parenting failure from you at all. I'm sorry things have been tough. I may not know anything about kids but I know the more I grow up the more I realize my parents have done a lot for me and looking back, I was just a spoiled brat and I just couldn't see what they see at the time.

Things will be alright, I hope you can figure it out :)

only a movie said...

You are not a failure. Failure would be not calling for help. Failure would be not noticing or reflecting.

Your perseverance is a model to your kids. Hang in there.

It will be ok. I know it feels hopeless sometimes, but it will get better.

The Rambler said...

Get something through that rather hard head of yours.

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

Not as a person and certainly not as a parent. I have seen your boys - they are happy and bright, and appear to be quite healthy.

When I look back at my eldest (he is 25 this year) I wonder how either one of us survived his teen years (yup, that's when the REAL fun in parenting starts), but survive we did, and now I have a beautiful granddaughter because I chose to allow him to live. Some days I had my doubts.

Lois said it best;
"They're kids. Kids are tough. They're like Bumbles...they bounce."

So how 'bout you get off that pity-pot of yours and realise that you are a great Mom, you have a partner who adores you and worships the ground upon which you walk, your family supports you, and you have annoying friends like me (... and Lois, and Southern Sage, and Certifiable, and Nietha, and Andhari, and ...) who will not hesitiate to remind you not to beat yourself up.

Anonymous said...

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