do you ever feel like if only you did something different?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    lately i've been noticing that i often think if only i did something different, if i hadn't divorced, if i'd made more money if id spent more time, if i was able to afford to buy a home things would be different they woudl be better.

    yup i'm in pity mode for sure. i drip in and out of it through week. i have my up moments when i have to then i crash at night once the day that occured hits me.

    little difficult child working on it diagnosis that is, bigger difficult child almost 15 didn't think that there were these many problems. i'm taking her for drug screening tomorrow. nevre thought i'd be here. don't know why maybe i thought it would be different for her for me as a parent maybe i'd luck out more importantlly she'd luck out. i dont' think she's using but schools requesting it due to all failing grades all year long. and last year and year before that.

    it's so freaking aggrivating to give so much of yourself your time sweat money heart love all of it and to have this **** in plain english.

    i sit adn beat myself up on occassion say all the things what if this what if that. i know i shouldn't but yet sometimes i think i'Tourette's Syndrome all my fault. i see peoples' faces when i tell them i can hear the thought in their heads the look on their faces oh well they come from a broken home, etc. it was more broken when i was married 6 yeras ago is what i want to say

    im ranting i know i am. just so so so so aggrivating. if i was one of those single parents who partied, drank had a huge social life i'd say oh well you reap what you sow you screwed your kids up but tha'Tourette's Syndrome not me it's never been me. i met my fiance on eharmony because i don't do bars and clubs etc. several emails adn phone calls later and meetin gin public place here i am.

    point is i'm not one of thsoe parents. i consider my job as mother to be the most important job i'll ever do i take the time all the time almost to love to say the kind words to write the notes in lunch boxes to run off job when there's a problem i come running not dad who does fun thigns every other weekend yet kids adore his existance. he gets fun time i get sleepless nights endless doctors school mtgs where as today's i wanted to throw up while the 8th teacher was talking about how disconnected my kid is...........ugh

    ok ((( breath Jen))) thanks for letting me type out my anger and frustration. i joined gym i totally should go kick some bags or people or something

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You sound so worn out. Don't blame yourself. I think going to the gym is a great idea. Seriously! It so improves my temperament and my entire perspective on things. Gentle hugs.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i am worn out your right. it just seems once i put out one fire another starts. i can't run quick enough, fix stuff quick enough, be enough for them.

    i need a kick boxing class i have alot of anger..........

  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Jennifer - If making more money, owning a home in a really good neighborhood, and having all the time off of work you need to do what you need to do was the answer, then I definately be difficult child'less.

    But I am not - I have two difficult child's - I had my daughter when I was young and single, and although I was a party girl at the time, she never saw that side of my life - she lacked for nothing -and ended up a difficult child. I had the two boys when I was married and a little more stable - and one of the two is a difficult child.. Could be biological, chemical, who in the heck knows - but there is no instant cure to be found

    Having difficult child's - It s ucks eggs, but its the luck of the draw. I try and not go there in my head about the what if's - it is what it is - but as I have gotten older, I try and go in my head about how much being a parent of difficult child's have taught me - patience, humility, patience, a sense of humor,tenacity, and did I mention patience??. If you can make it thru their childhood and adulthood with some sembalance of sanity left, you can make it thru anything that life throws at you I think.

  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Jen - a big hug to you.

    I have said this for years and will say it again, and I truly mean it: I have nothing but awe and respect for single moms. The ability to work and parent (a difficult child or two!!) and hold a home together, alone? You and all the other single moms totally humble me. I was a stay at home mom for 16 years, married to a man who is truly a saint, and I still had a hard time keeping it together. When I went back to work 2 years ago (even though I work at home), everything just fell apart around here despite husband's superhuman efforts. I honestly do not know how people keep things together so well. It's *really* hard work.

    I'm a bit of a fatalist - things are how they are supposed to be, in the grand scheme of things. There's a reason, though darned if I know what it is. When really bad things happened with my first pregnancy, I did go through a period of thinking that somehow I "earned" this, that I brought this onto my children and my husband. Or that if I had done X, Y, Z, it would've been different. I finally decided that "what if" is a really twisted mind game I was playing on myself. What's done is done - I did the best I could, still do, no matter how pathetic my "best" may be.

    I'm also a terminal pessimist. Murphy rules my world. I *always* expect the worst. Very rarely do I get the worst but if I get something even a little bit better than the worst? I feel like I've won the lottery. Wouldn't necessarily recommend this as a healthy coping skill, LOL, but... I have to tell you, I'm rarely disappointed with our lot in life these days. If everyone makes it home safely at the end of the day, it's a good day.

    You're under an incredibly amount of pressure and stress right now but at the same time, you're being, from where I'm sitting, a good parent for both your kids. You may feel like you're falling apart but you're not. You're still right in there, dealing with teachers and professionals and hotel confirmation/cancellation issues. You're doing a great job, hon.

    You did *not* cause any of these challenges, but you absolutely are dealing with them to the very best of your ability. Allow yourself the pity party because things didn't turn out the way you thought they would, but don't forget to give yourself credit for the way you've handled the challenges.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I ditto Sue.

    I am in awe of single Mom's. My mother was a single Mom the majority of the time she was raising 5 kids. I was so in awe of her, I was determined....and stubborn enough to not repeat it myself. Cuz, honestly, I don't think I could've done it.

    I'm gonna be honest, we may have always been on the poorer end of things, but my kids grew up with no drama in their lives at all. I tried to keep things pretty June Cleaverish as much as possible while staying grounded in reality. So what they got was pretty hum drum boring stuff. lol I even did the whole stay at home mom thing.

    And I still got 2 difficult children.

    Do I have regrets? Please, you don't want to get me started. (honest) But there isn't a parent on the planet who can look back on their parenting and find plenty of things to regret. And if they say they can, well they're most likely lying.

    Hindsight is 20/20. We're human and we do the best we can and know at the time. Beating yourself up for it later is both useless and sort of brutal. Afterall, you can't change the past, even if you'd like to. So what's the point? I'll tell you like I tell my kids, as long as you've done your best, then let it go. Mistakes are how we learn.

    I think the gym is a good idea. difficult children generate alot of frustratiion. A gym is a great place to work it out, and you get the added benefit of getting in better shape at the same time. Win/win situation.

  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    jennifer, you are doing right by your kids. No matter the situation you are doing the best you know and can. If you aren't being a party girl with a string of strange men, irresponsible or mean then you are doing a good job. You set the example. It's all we can do.

    If it's any consolation, I did it right by the book, straight down the line. It didn't matter. difficult child was born with a "brain wrinkle" and everything we did helped or made it worse. I always thought that if I had been a single mom or a drinker or irresponsible the professionals would have pointed the finger of cause on my behavior. In the end, the only reason difficult child is this way is that he got the lousy end of the genetics on both sides of the family or there was a hiccup in his DNA or the planets were out of alignment.

    Don't beat yourself up. Do the right thing and hold your head high. You are your child's best advocate and they would be in a world of hurt if you weren't there to be their soft(and sometimes not so soft) place to land.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    In the back of my mind, the little voice is always whispering, "if you'd done..." or "you shouldn't have..." or something like that even though I KNOW in my heart I did the best I could with Miss KT and I am STILL doing my best, but I just hate to admit that my best simply isn't good enough to fix everything.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i just logged in, havne't had much time during days. i couldn't cry last night only for a min then the tears went away very unlike

    this, your words touched me so very much yea for me i cried :)

    i am very hard on myself at times, i know that. i look back and say if only this, if only that. stupid i know but i guess i'm only human and i go there sometimes. i am full functional now everyday in the thick of it shall we say.

    i've spent so many years as a single mom. now i'm not married but as many of you know live with boyfriend. he has made some horrible mistakes in our relationship, mistakes with kids, etc. i have to say though he's working on it everyday he tries harder he really does as of late i can see it. he tries harder with kids, comes home after long day and sits with me for two hours discussing my kids how to improve it am i doing the right thign bouncing ideas of eachother. i'm sooo afraid of committment petrified to be honest. i steer clera of it at every turn possible. i'm only here because i lost it all last summer due to medical bills for little difficult child and i had no where to go to be very honest ilost it all. it was so so sad. yet my family friends no one offered shelter yet he did. we hadn't even been together that long and he did which at times still shocks me.

    last night was the absolute worst with little one, absolute worst night yet. i was done nad tired had nothing left. he got home and i could see the look on his face of sheer desperation. little difficult child was upstairs screaming i hate you you dont care about me, etc. she's BiPolar (BP) we at least think so so she climbs walls at night.

    i sat there on couch feeling so deflated adn so worn out i saw him standing in kitchen getting stuff ready for a.m. it was after midnite and him nad i just looked at eachother and started laughing believe it or not at the severity of it all. it helped for 5 minutes to laugh like that.

    then we went to bed got tortured further by little difficult child her screaming crying hysterically begging for me i had already been in there for four hours on and off trying various things to get her down. she wound up in bed iwth us again. she kicked all ngiht had nightmares had us up and down. he got no sleep nor did i really. then he got up this morning and kissed me good bye and all i could say was thank you.

    it's so hard i want so much for them i've given them my all i feel like there's nothing left. i know i have reserve i'm trying to pull it out of there to move forward every day to get things where they should be not where they are. i'm afraid she may feel like the older difficult child that she got put to side the past 2 1/2 years due Occupational Therapist (OT) her sister's illness. i'm not sure what it is. if only i could cut em into two then i would be so much more productive and could be there for both of them.

    without a doubt this is the hardest thing i've ever encountered ever.

    i applaude all of you who have it so much worse, i know it's all relative yet i felt so guilty complaining the way i did.

    yet i couldn't help it. i want so much for them their lives i look back at decisions i made that maybe weren't the best, i hope this decision being here wasn't the worst i had no where else to go. i did what i thought was best.

    my life is gone my time my friends, etc. my job will be gone soon too. i was always the single mom who worked full time did it all dodged school mtgs, phone calls, etc. yet always managed to pay the bills and balance it all. yet nowtheir demands are out weighing everything altogether.

    he keeps saying stop killing yourself, quit your job it's o.k. get a local job i got the bills (i haven't paid any anyway), be there for girls it's ok i love you.

    yet i'm afraid.

    ok i'm done


    p.s. thank you again i mean it your words mean so much and help so much
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{jennifer}}} sending lots of hugs to you. been there done that, STILL DOING THAT...there are many moments over the years where I've spent my time in the shower sobbing (so no one would hear me) over how I could have made things turn out differently...what did I do wrong...maybe if I had stuck it out with exh...maybe remarrying wasn't such a good idea...maybe moving 150 miles away to take an excellent job and putting them in daycare wasn't good for the kiddos after all...maybe putting difficult child on medications at 10 wasn't the right thing...maybe I went overboard with trying to find a diagnosis for her...maybe I should not have fought to put her in Special Education...maybe, maybe maybe.

    The bottom line is that you were not purely selfish in the choices you made for yourself and your family. You made choices that you thought were best based on what you knew, know and/or researched. Our emotions rule us in so many aspects of our lives and that's not such a bad thing really.

    I think fulfilling yourself is a great place to start; treat yourself well, nurture YOU...then you can be the person your family needs you to be (and I do not mean you are what your family needs you to be by giving your ALL 100% of the time - often they need LESS of you). Hugs~

    And thank you to all of you who wrote in about the June Cleaverish homes, by the book, traditional nuclear family lives that you've provided for your difficult child's. Hearing that certainly takes away some of the doubts I have about how I parented my difficult child. But then, I've been called a June Cleaver by many friends over the years (and I think I'm anything but)...and I also look at easy child so if how our kids are wired and how they turn out has anything to do with how we raised them, then I guess I have done very well...but I don't think it's all one or the other. It is what it is.
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    your a hundred percent right. i do need to take care of me it's just that right now things are very very hectic at a very "crisis" sort of mode as per my therapist. i have to move fast and swiftly stay focused and clear and make best decisions on the fly.

    setting up plan for bigger difficult child now to ensure she wont' go down completely. continuing to ensure columbia testing is set up for little difficult child, dealign with school who is pushing hard and getting frustrated teacher who is honestly at her wits end. a dad who is in hospital just finished surgery yesterday they need me yet i cannot be there right now. i went yesterday and had to run otu of pre op about 3 times for various calls from columbia her pyschdoc, etc.

    it's hectic for sure without a doubt. i used to sob in shower, it's changing now though i'm in robot mode moving as fast as i possibly can to keep it altogether. a close friend's dad died i couldn't even be there for her as well. terrible terrible. i used to be a great friend.

    i appreciate all of you sharing your thoughts and fears with me. i know i'm not alone.

    just seems so tiring at times.

    i want to send both kdis with dad this weekdn to refill my cup so to speak a little quiet time in between laundry and chores. yet the older difficult child is claiming wants to stay home doe'snt want to go to dad's house sick she may have mono waiting on confirmation yet i truly need some space see selfish i feel bad about that like bad mom.

    what to do, what to do??
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I recognize that this is a little simplistic...but it might be a good place to start. I really like the Feeling Good book. I posted an article on it and it listed the main ways the author feels folks tend to think incorrectly.
    Here is one of them:
    " You tell yourself that things should be the way you hoped or expected them to be. After playing a difficult piece on the piano, a gifted pianist told herself, 'I shouldn't have made so many mistakes.' This made her feel so disgusted that she quit practicing for several days. 'Musts,' 'oughts' and 'have tos' are similar offenders. These 'should statements' that are directed against yourself lead to guilt and frustration. Should statements that are directed against other people or the world in general, lead to anger and frustration: 'He shouldn't be so stubborn and argumentative!'

    I also like the works of Vicktor Frankl who has many good and interesting things to say. One of which is that our biggest and most important choice in life to make is whether or not a situation is going to negatively influence us.

    Try to concentrate on what is going right with you and your family. Be proud of the good efforts that you have made. Even if your impact/influence was a minor one, you have done many good and noble are a good parent and you should feel proud and wonderful about yourself. Don't let anyone take that from you.

    by the you have a therapist to help you with the stress you are under? Do you practice good self care? Taking care of special needs children is hard on the mind and body.

    Anyway...these concepts give me strength when I have moments like the one you are experiencing.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I have tried to eliminate the word SHOULD from my vocabulary.

    It has helped me squash tons of guilt - and I have less pity parties.

    And think about it -

    At the time you had a choice to do something you DID do what you THOUGHT was the right move. You, me none of us have ever thought about what we did at that moment for our kids and then did the wrong thing.

    If we HAD made the decision at that moment to DO the wrong thing - THEN you could wallow in self doubt, but you wouldn't because you wouldn't have cared in the first place.


    Sitting back now years later and saying Shoulda, woulda, coulda - changes NOTHING. It just creates more problems. If you coulda done it better - you woulda. Because NONE of us make decisions on our life and think - well lets see THIS move would be 2nd best and not good - so I'll take that - heck no - we ALL do the best we can to make the VERY BEST decisions for ourselves.

    The bad part is when you keep repeating a behavior over and over and over expecting a different outcome each time - it's also the definition of insanity.

    hugs for your day.
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member


    thank u for taking the time to type all of that and share all of that, very kind thanks.

    star yes you are correct. it solves nothing, totally nothing. yet i am human and i go there at times i am allowed may not be a Jen empowering kinda moment but just the same im allowed to go there. i don't function with this everyday otherwise i would be unable to function. yet i def. went there the other night after having to hear about older one as well.

    insanity is the definition of repeating same behaviors over over again and expecting different outcome for sure. yet that isn't my problem i've put my kids first i havent repeated same behaviors yet we still have

    i know i shouldn't be so hard on myself. yet that is how i felt the night i posted it, it's in my heart still i will try to change my way of thinking as i function through my days. can't help it sometimes to think back and say wow if only i had bought the house, etc. on and on.

    i know we can all say that stuff. i'm working on everything yet rome wasn't built in a day i'm still a bit unhealthy lol........:)

    thanks for your thoughts
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member


    There have been many times I have sat back from my perch on the far side of parenting my kids and wondered "what could or should I have done differently to get different results for each of my kids?"

    For one of them the answer is pretty easy. I dont think I would have done much differently except maybe try to push academics a bit harder. But even that hasnt been a big issue for him. This is my middle child Im talking about. My so severely ADHD kid that he could literally not sit still for a minute without ritalin. However, he wasnt a behavior problem and he had a lifelong goal and he met it and is now a fully functioning, responsible member of society. Works for me.

    For my oldest I have some guilt about some decisions we made due to not being informed of some things I could have done when he had some issues with being severely bullied in middle school. I pulled him out and sent him to live with my mom. Biggest mistake of his life looking back. That also took me out of the loop to see how what I know now is Aspergers was really rearing its head. I might have been able to get him treatment if he was with me.

    With Cory, I dont think I could have done much different. I tried everything. Im quite certain if they had told us that if we dunked him in horse pee and then had us drink it and it was a sure cure, we would have done it! At this point I have to leave it up to him to realize all the stuff we did try and decide if he wants to use any of it. At least he knows how to call on professionals should he want to make that calls.

    The only real guilt I do have floating around deals with my mental health issues. I know that by not getting myself diagnosed at a much earlier age I put my family through more hell than they needed to go through. But again, that is something I simply didnt know how to do. I didnt know what bipolar was. I had reached out several times about feeling depressed or having anxiety and was brushed off. I also feel some guilt over the whole genetic thing. Did I pass this whole thing down to them? But then I think...well I may have passed down MI genes but I also passed down some good genes too. My boys are incredibly smart kids. They both will tell anyone that they hope their kids get MY And do trust me with the whole lot of them...I am the leader of the pack...lmao.

    My advice is to slow down some. Take one problem at a time and get a plan in place and just follow through on it. Get some organization going. It takes it with more than one kid. Set schedules and stick to them. You cant solve everything in one day or one week. Eat the elephant in small bites.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jen, you're seriously adding to your load here.

    "What ifs" get you nowhere. And you DON'T know if it would have been any better. It might have been worse. We're financially worse off (and emotionally) because of my disability. What if I'd never been injured and we could have afforded a lot more? But there is a flip side - because I've been forced to be a stay-at-home mum, I've been on the spot to recognise the problems much earlier. I'm also on the spot to provide a lot more one-on-one intensive intervention, even if it is from a totally novice point of view. I've been inventing it as I go. It also means I've been able to put him in correspondence school (a form of home schooling) which seems to work really well for him. If I were working, I'd be spending a lot of that extra income on after-school-care facilities and the extra therapy needed to deal with the emotional fallout of the severe bullying that went on.

    My good friend when I was growing up was the second-eldest child in a large but poor family. They lived in run-down rental premises. My friend's older sister was mostly blind, so my friend had the task of babysitting the other kids. Because the parents were determined to get out of the poverty trap and buy their own home, they were working long hours to earn enough to put down a deposit. I used to visit in summer. My friend often couldn't visit me, because she had to mind her siblings. At her house we had to keep the kids quiet so their mother could sleep - she was a nurse who had just come off one night duty and was about to go back to another. The kids were nice kids, but a bit wild due to lack of adult supervision.
    By the time she was 14, my friend was seeking attention of the wrong sort, from boys. Her parents were too busy (or tired) to appreciate her, my friend was tired of adult responsibilities and became very promiscuous.
    Her parents were good people who tried to do a good thing for their kids, by buying them a better life. But in the process, they were too busy to be there for their kids, in ways they needed.
    My friend was a mother at 16. About that time I lost touch with her - she was increasingly bad news. I heard about her from another friend, until her parents finally stopped looking for her and we heard no more.

    Forget the "what ifs".

    And dump the guilt.

    Also, don't compare. NEVER say, "I really can't complain, I haven't got anywhere near the problems that some of you have," because you just don't know. We don't have a scale here, to measure how bad each of our troubles are. There's nothing like a "1 = kid with mild ADD; 10 = kid who is serious juvenile offender who has sexually molested everyone in the family, including the cat".
    We just can't compare. Who knows? You might manage brilliantly in my situation; I might fail terribly in yours.

    All we can do is get on with our own tasks, each of us, and lean on each other for support.

    While you're beating yourself up, you're wasting energy that you could be using to go read a book; to take a walk; to have a candle-lit bath; to sit and read to your kids; whatever you do to recharge your batteries.

    If I stopped too often to think back and consider the "what ifs" I'd be a blubbering wreck. So I switch off those thoughts before they cripple me.

    There are good moments, even in the bad. difficult child 3 is so very much "heart on the sleeve" that we have joyful moments in the day as well as worrying ones. If nothing else, the stress of the day makes the silences after he's gone to bed, all the more delicious.

    That said, feel free to vent. It is one of the things this site is so very good for.

    I hope you are feeling a bit better tonight. Be good to yourself. You owe it to your kids.

  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    serious words of wisdom thank you both of you.

    ok i will stop beating me up. you are correct it does take alot of organization and a plan when it's more than one child. i'm realizing that now.

    i took sometime today with a very good friend of mine and tried to look at things differently. i met with my therapist this weekend i sent the little difficult child with dad adn kept older one home she's sick with-mono we think.

    she wants me to go to albany with a bunch of parent advocate's their trying to change legislation for families with special needs kids. i told her i'll think about it.

    also i came up wtih a plan for older one.

    thanks so much

    you are all correct, and i appreciate you taking the time to share with me so that i can have a better understanding of what you are saying.

    thank you again