What dreams...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    did you have for you family before you realized that your child was a difficult child? I had always thought we'd have two or more children, that changed when Duckie was so difficult from the get-go. I was an overlooked child and didn't want a second or third growing up resenting Duckie. Or, realizing how genetic many disorders are, I didn't think I was up to handling the rigors of multiple difficult children. I was also going to go back to work after she was born, but it wasn't really feasible because of her issues.
    What changed for you? How have you handled these changes? Looking back, what (if anything) would you have changed?
     
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Before husband and I married we agreed on 12, yes a dozen, kids. I always wanted a huge family and loved children.

    By the time Travis was 2 I began to doubt I'd have enough energy for that many more children. As a toddler Travis kept me skinny simply because I so rarely ever got to sit down.

    Once Nichole was 3 I wondered why in the world I'd ever wanted a dozen kids. I more than had my hands full with the 3 I had, although I loved it 99 percent of the time.

    A dozen. Yeah, right. What WAS I THINKING??? :rofl: :rofl:
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While we were dating (when I finally accepted that it was serious - had a bad case of gunshy because prior relationship!) we decided to adopt. I was told I would not be able to get pregnant or carry a child to term if I did, by some miracle, get pregnant.

    We wanted 4 kids. While I was pg with thank you I learned that a. difficult child needed to be an only child to thrive and b. my heart did not like being pregnant. So we only had 3, and now difficult child does not live with us.

    I saw "brady family" type outings. I was determined that some of the things I went through would NOT be things my kids experienced, esp with the alcohol abuse by my bro.

    What we got were endless debts because difficult child therapy and doctor appts. I really thought a PHD and life doing research and teaching would happen, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards for a few more years, if at all.

    I do have strong, wonderful children with an amazing capacity for love and forgiveness and tolerance. Esp Jess - one of her friends NEVER gets sleepovers anywhere, because the child only sleeps maybe 2 hours a night. I enjoy the child, though recognize when she is not stable. So does Jess, so we do things with her. Jess does not discriminate among friends, not by intelligence, physical problems, or other issues. She truly did become a diamond through the pressure of difficult child's impact on her. I am thankful I have her.

    Gfgness makes me see thank you's issues with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) as no real big deal. It is part of how we live, offering him the different sensory things and time to wind down after busy times. with-o difficult child I would have been heartsick, but it just seems like no big deal. He is also very sweet and caring, even when I feel horrible and can't do much with him.

    While I don't have all that I thought family life would be, at the same time I have so much more than I thought it would be. My children are so very unique and strong, and so loving toward all. difficult child is himself, but is much more stable and comfortable with himself now.

    Hugs,

    Susie
     
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    TM,

    What a heart breaking question. I dreamed of having 3 kids - the gender didn't matter. As my sister was terminally ill when I was young, I learned early that life can throw "a wrench in the works".

    However, I assumed I would have 3 healthy, for the most part, happy children.

    My plans changed when we decided on adoption; in fact, I had no desire to adopt after learning it wasn't in my best interest physically to have children. I worked on my career - worked 6 years or so doing the accounting in the advertising industry. I enjoyed that environment, loved the travel & chaos. I also knew that once 5 pm came around I could shut it down & walk away for the evening.

    When we decided to adopt, in fact it's in our home study, after a year of maternity leave I had planned to get back into the work force. I had lined up day care for the tweedles, with backup care for sick days.

    What I planned & what happened are so opposite of the reality.
     
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I definitely dreamed that life with my children would be much different than it is. husband and I knew when we married we would adopt which was fine with us (I already knew I couldn't get pregnant).

    Much like Susie, I saw a Brady type family. I have always been a very idealistic person and although I knew there would be issues but believed love would conquer any problems.

    Never in a million years would I have thought parenting a child could be so difficult. Never in a million years did I envision days when I really didn't like my child. Never did I imagine instead of taking my children to different sporting or other extra curriculars that I would be hauling them to so many doctor appointments.

    But I also didn't dream how I would see the joy in so many little things, baby steps if you will.
     
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dreamt of many children as well. I have choosen not to have any more children out of fear of having another difficult child. That may sound weird to some, but I know my limits and I can not handle another several years of the chaos. I like peace.

    Peace and Love - that is me.

    I never figured I would have had a child that died.
    I never figured I would still be a single mom.
    I never figured it would take this long to get my degree.
    I never figured I would be this far from the pla in my career and income level.
    I never figured I would still be worried about paying the bills.

    There are many things that just do not go as planned in life. I have really let that sink in during the last year. Things just do not turn out as planned. So, I stopped planning so rigidly - that was the lesson I learned. I can go with the flow no problem! I feel for the people that are unable to go with the flow. Because, in my humble opinion, life kind of requires it.

    It is difficult to give up a dream. But, we must move on. And find ways to enjoy life.
     
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It is difficult to give up a dream. But, we must move on. And find ways to enjoy life. </div></div>

    Very well put.
     
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Daisylover</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It is difficult to give up a dream. But, we must move on. And find ways to enjoy life. </div></div>

    Very well put. </div></div>

    I agree, very well put.

    I was already separated, divorced, moved out of state and married to my H by the time my difficult child's TRUE difficult child-ness exploded in our faces. We were trying to get pregnant at that time. It didn't happen and as difficult child's behaviors gradually got worse, I changed my mind, H was equally relieved not to have an addition to our family and RAN to get a vasectomy! At times we, especially now with the house empty, we sometimes think it would have been nice, especially to have a boy, but overall, I think we're both pleased that we didn't have anymore children.

    I envisioned my daughters being best friends growing up. I realized they would have thier moments, but I always imagined they'd lean on eachother or be in cahoots with one another when trying to dupe H and me by covering for one another! I imagined them getting ready for proms and double dates and hanging in a similar crowd together, sharing clothes and fighting over whose sweater it was. I imagined them wanting to sleep with each other once in a while and consoling one another when one's heart had been broken. I imagined lots of those sisterly moments growing up in their teens. But none of that came to pass.

    Instead they each tried to become the polar opposite of the other. They didn't band together when things were going wrong, they grew apart. difficult child resented easy child for her seemingly perfect personality (refusing to see that easy child could be a real pita at times) and easy child resented the tension and craziness that difficult child brought to our home. easy child speaks to difficult child as would a surrogate mother or close aunt, not as a sister, and I know that hurts difficult child now, as a mini adult. I've tried to talk with easy child and help her be a sister first but it's so ingrained in her to mother her sister. I often saw hate between them and that always made me sad, I felt almost a mourning for the relationship that was lost. When they were little, before difficult child's rage attacks, they were bosom buddies - always together, telling secrets and entertaining each other. easy child could make difficult child laugh within seconds of her crying. Thinking of this makes me sad right now. I hope one day they can find each other again and be closer. They are all they will have one day in the way of immediate family and I hope that none of this is irreparable.
     
  9. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Funny how life gets in the way of our preconceived notions.
    I always planned 2 children only. I didn't plan 5 yrs apart but it was a good way for our particular family. difficult child got all my attention and he needed it. By the time easy child came, difficult child was in K and easy child got my attention during the day.

    My expectations were that I would never depend on a guy for my money or my happiness. I planned to stay single and happy as opposed to married and miserable. I enjoyed my single days.
    husband snuck in and stole my heart. Marriage turned out to be pleasanter than my wildest expectations. Parenting on the other hand turned into more work than I ever could have dreamed. I always expected to work to make ends meet and provide for my children.

    I was fairly confident I could handle children and what ever came my way including disabilities. My back ground gave me the experience. The fates laughed at me. I got difficult child who was emotionally and behaviorally so off the charts that I was humbled. I really thought that if you gave children a stable home, love, structure, morals, stimulation, learning, fun that they would just grow up. Never in a million years did I expect child rearing to be so much work. I'm not sure why my children were so needy(different ways but needy)

    I had low expectations of marriage and high expectations of parenting. Turns out being married was better than expected and much more fulfilling. Parenting was much more work, more challenging and a heck of a stretch.
    I ended up not working much after 2nd son was born and find more satisfaction in a self driven life than I expected. It forced me to be more disciplined and goal oriented.

    The more years that pass the less inclined I am to think thoughts that maybe I should have passed on children but it was an awful experience in the 9 to 15 age range. I love my boys but it doesn't diminish my dissatisfaction at the experience.

    Every year I answer this question differently.
     
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Every year I answer this question differently. </div></div>

    Fran, that is so telling. I can see the answer changing as we change. It is OK though. It is life. We roll with the punches. Funny how you had low expectations of the part of your life that has turned out to be the most fulfilling. Crazy, isn't it?

    We think we know so much. We just have no idea what we don't know. Our grandmas know. Our moms know. We don't. Not yet.
     
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Busy...that is so true.

    I didnt really have any preconceived ideas about what my life would be like if I didnt have kids because I just jumped in with both feet and never planned anything. Typical difficult child behavior. Looking back I have moments of wishful thinking of what could have been if I hadnt been such a difficult child but nothing I can do to change it.

    One thing I do find really funny is watching the next generation go through the same struggles. Just this past weekend Cory made the comment about Keyana starting to go into her "demanding" mode and I had to suppress a grin while I just said "welcome to yourself 20 years ago". I thought kids were going to do ok with love and patience before I had them, so did he...lmao.
     
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I thought about this last night after saw TM post it... I don't want to sound too depressing, but as I thought about this I honestly never had any dreams...

    I think my own lame experiences as a child, with the divorces, affairs, abuse, drugs, suicides, prison etc. I was always on survival mode.
    I never thought I would:

    ~graduate high school, first in my family
    ~go to college
    ~get married
    ~have kids

    I was such a difficult child, I didn't realize I was until I had my own... LOL I thought It was fine to stay up all hours, do lots of risky things and almost die... have severe anxiety and not realize it!!!

    I fought marriage and kids... I was afraid of how my childhood was, how was I to know that it could be different? How was I to know that all men were not losers???

    What is amazing is that my husband and my 2 girls have given me the ability to dream... I now have dreams for me and husband as well as for my girls... before that I could never get past each day, I would struggle to get through each day let alone think down the road.
    I now think about the girls happiness one day... their long term happiness. :crying:

    Me and husband spending our lives together... even getting our puppy. I would have never done something like that before...

    I dream that my girls will make friends, learn new things like to ski this year... I have hope and dreams because of my Gs'FG...
     
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    totoro, your post brought tears to my eyes. How lovely that your life has been lifted up so high! Your perspective surely has had an impact on how you parent your own children, bless you for it.
     
  14. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I was one that came into my difficult children lives after they were difficult children. I had felt that I had done pretty good with easy child and that all that I knew about raising her could turn the other two around.

    REALITY CHECK!!!

    I knew we would have bumps and would struggle I just thought it would be mostly about money with husband and I. We made the decision together that I would stay home to do things for the kids and just live more modestly while they were finishing school. Wow did I find that a difficult prospect.

    I realized that love doesn't necessarily mean hugs and kisses. I realized care didn't just mean give them all that you could (good food, clean clothes, a home to live in etc). It meant more change on my part than I had ever been willing to make for anyone. It meant more sacrifices than I had been willing to give for anyone. It also taught me a deepr appreciation of myself. I thought I was okay at parenting before. Now I know that what the child turns out like isn't a result of good or bad parenting. Good parenting is all the stuff people don't see.

    Beth
     
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thank you so much for all the replies. It's wonderful to see just how much in common we have: lessons learned, challenges met & goals attained. I'm surely in great company with the parents from this forum.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: totoro</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I thought about this last night after saw TM post it... I don't want to sound too depressing, but as I thought about this I honestly never had any dreams...</div></div>

    {{{totoro}}}
    I'm so happy your life has turned around so much from your childhood. You must be a very brave, resilient & strong person to have survived and thrived despite your upbringing. I, too, had a difficult childhood even if it wasn't to the same level of pain and emotional strain as yours. I can remember clearly being 11 years old and sitting on my front porch for hours one evening... just thinking . I became keenly aware of just how dysfunctional my family was. And also how desperately I wanted my future family to escape the chaos, mental illness and addiction that plagued my world. It would be almost 22 years later before my Duckie was born, but I knew that night I would move heaven & earth to protect my children and to shield them wherever possible. My friends wanted to grow up to practice a certain career, marry their childhood crush, or be rich & famous. I just wanted to be happy. To be content, really. And to not feel guilty because others in my family were still tormented by their particular demons.
    And I am happy, maybe a little to rushed and stressed to be content, but happy. I have a lot to be happy about when I take an inventory: a strong marriage, a beautiful daughter that completes our family, decent health, pets I adore, a comfortable home, many friends and activities I find very fulfilling. And even though Duckie is a difficult child, I still have hope for her. I pray for continued improvement & functionality. I pray that she will get to be happy when she grows up too.
     
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Like Janet, I jumped in feet first. Is there any other way? I got pregnant in high school at 17, had easy child 6 days after I turned 18. It wasn't until I was in the midst of delivery that I thought, "Holy pooh! :smile: What have I done?" They were telling me to push and I was exhausted, when I suddenly had that thought and was suddenly terrified out of my mind and I told them simply, "No." And I laid back down. I decided that easy child was just fine where he was. :rofl: Of course, easy child's dad grabbed my hand and was pulling me up and me in my stubbornness was resisting and pulling back and voila, easy child was born. Told ya...NO idea where difficult child gets her stubbornness. :wink:

    I'm sure at some point in time I had some preconceived notion of what my life would be like, but I've long since forgotten what that was. I guess it really wasn't that important. My children are the loves of my life. I couldn't ask for anything else.
     
  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks ladies-
    I think all of us question our parenting. I dream I can be a better parent now.
    I feel much like you TM... If I could dream anything I would definately say it would be for my children to grow up in a different environment than I did... a more positive one, a more loving one and a more kind one.
     
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I would have had that hysterectomy at age 21, traveled, lived abroad or lived like a broad, I'd probably be a hammock alcoholic on some tropical island with a fabulous tan and slim body attracted some middle aged man who's children are grown and be spoiled rich and rotten.

    And then I realize...God has a plan, I accept whatever blessings he gives me because this was meant to be and cherish oh so very very much any fleeting moment that my son said or did something nice for me, thank heavens I'm not a drinker, don't have melanomas, never got the bird flu from flying, and don't have hammock marks on my keister and appreciate a frugal or good deal when I get it.

    I still met a middle aged man who spoils me rotten...so not all of it was funky.

    Thanks for asking....oh and they hysterectomy? The first insurance I get, unless I win the McDonalds millions - then 10% to the church, my teeth fixed, a fat farm for a month, gonna get that Dodge charger and THEN travel. CAN YOU SUPERSIZE THAT PLEASE SO I CAN GET MORE MONOPOLY PIECES?
     
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