I didn't want to hijack Nomad's thread in WC...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    But I SOOOO identified with this. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    Amen to that. Its hard to care that some Joe-Schmoe's kid only got to play 3 innings of the little league game last night, even tho he's better than Jack-Schmuck's, who played 5, or Jane-Schmane's big care of the day is that the the teacher judged her daughter's essay a little harsh and she got a C instead of her usual A or B when last night you dealt with a difficult child who lit his brother's bed on fire, or chased you around the house with a baseball bat, or killed your dog, or has done enough of these things that you sleep with your eyes open for fear they'll be happening again soon.

    Yeah, you're right, its not fair junior didn't get to play the whole game.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I just went through something like this on a weird easy child scale no less.
    Someone told me about their kid going to law school and getting engaged. I told her about our son getting engaged, having a lead on a job and looking for a scholarship for graduate school (part time). I "thought" I sensed that she didn't think this was in the same league. However, in my mind they are both examples of children doing very well and they are to be commended for their hard work.

    My own therapist once told me about her son who is ADD and had some school (grade/homework) issues. I was taken aback. I didn't think it was in the same league as our difficult child who can make some pretty scarey impulsive moves that could relate in harm to herself.

    I guess, even as I type this, I realize that although it is VERY hard to do, we should avoid making comparisons and that we need to take pride in the little accomplishments of our difficult children. Hopefully, we will have friends that will understand this situation.

    AND it might also be beneficial to have friends in both worlds.

    I know when I am with moms excessively who don't have difficult children (or who deny that they have a difficult child) it can be very annoying almost painful. I absolutely can NOT tolerate a stuck up cruel non-understanding easy child mom or one that speaks excessively of their child's accomplishments. One that "gets it," is okay.

    At the same time, I'm not sure I would want to be exclusively with moms of difficult children. However, I am GREATLY (big time) appreciative of their understanding and likewise I can sympathize and offer my support for their pain.

    Yep...this aspect of the entire business has been one of the more difficult/confusing/conflicting and lonely parts of being the mom of a difficult child.

    Bottom line: I do believe I understand where you are coming from and yep, Stars words resonated with me as well. However, I don't "avoid" moms of easy child kids, I have limited it to a certain extent and pick and chose.
  3. Star*

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

    Just so you know - when I said avoid them - I don't mean on a total block out of my life scale - I should have been more specific and said "I avoid consistent situations in which I am (through no fault of my own) made to feel like "odd Mom out" I even have stood with Mom's of easy child's and had to hear over and over and over and over (going around in our little dice group) how "AWFUL" a day in their kids' lives were and when it got to me I said "Gosh I have NOTHING that compares to all of your sorrows." (THAT sarcastic comment made me realize that when i am not able to be empathetic - I should avoid that situation.)

    -And believe me the friend who KNOWS I have a life like I do glared daggers at me. But then went on to tell about how wonderful her kids' lives were. Some days (not all) but some days it's like salt in an open wound.

    Anymore I am pretty reclusive about my day to days - but I can be very sociable and empathetic - it's just when you get with a bunch of Moms with easy child's who are thriving some days it's just too much to stand there and listen to them whine - and then I think - yeah and I bet with a Mother who has a child that has cancer and fighting for their life - MY OWN life and gripes seem pretty minimal or would gladly be accepted in exchange.

    When it's YOUR pain - it's bigger. You can loose a leg, I can have a toothache and I guarantee MY toothache will hurt worse because it's my pain.

    (Make more sense?) (laughing -this week sense is NO my strong suit) lol :surprise:
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess I took it that way, Star. I don't shut out easy child mom's, either, but I tend to avoid the ones described above, too. When I can. And I'm mostly stuck with them at work.

    Socially, I have great friends and family. At work, I am a total outcast. I work with fairly well paid people. Because of my time off and difficult child's expenses, money I actually ever see is considerably less than the rest of the people around here. I'm not destitue, but I spend my money differently. My newest vehicle is 13 years old. I do my own mechanic work. I shop at Goodwill and on Ebay. I've sewn my 1 pair of work shoes back together 3 times this year.

    There's just not a lot for me to share or identify with around the water cooler here. I have a few people who know the real situation, but most just think I'm odd.

    Nomad, you bring up a good point, tho. I probably need to learn to be more tolerant of easy child only mom's. Its not their fault they've never dealt with anything to teach them otherwise. Lord knows I used to judge harshly when I saw a kid having a fit in public. I avoid these kind of people simply as an act of self-preservation, but its something I probably need to work on learning to tolerate better.

    And just the same, I wouldn't think of going to a pediatric oncology ward and griping about my kid's temper tantrum last night, no matter HOW bad it was!
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You know what is funny? Sometimes when I am around these perfect kids... they act worse than my kids...
    In a bratty kind of parental fault kind of way!!! Which makes me laugh... yet they think their kids are so perfect.
    I am so isolated at times... but by choice as well...
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Star, I understand.
    When you just said ""I avoid consistent situations in which I am (through no fault of my own) made to feel like "odd Mom out"
    YIKES...this reminds me TOTALLY of my book club situation. Month after month I got to hear of how wonderful each and every child was doing. At the beginning, they asked about my kids and then they stopped. This was no better. No once ever even had a kid who forgot to take out the trash or forgot to do their homework. I was coming home depressed and EVERYONE (folks here as well) was telling me to stop going. So, now I only go to a few meetings a year...when the book is of great interest to me.

    Self preservation is a GOOD THING!!!! I need to learn how to do more of this. I think finding some moms who have pcs who truly understand is actually difficult...few and far between. I guess I"m hoping not to miss out on the so-called normal/regular aspects of life and so I'm "trying" to keep my eyes open in case I meet some of these people. LOL! :faint::surprise::laugh:

    When I subbed in "gifted" classes I met PLENTY of so called easy child's that were little "you know whats," that were potential difficult children with ATTITUDE. Scarey, if you ask me.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Toto - That's the closest most folks I work with come to understanding my life...when they're little parental-induced spoiled child who got a new '09 Mustang at their sweet 16 finally wants something they can't afford and throw a fit over it.

    Nomad, I have one of those friends! My best friend, L, only has easy child's. Her hubby was a little league coach when difficult child 1 was playing. He took difficult child 1 under wing a bit thinking his problems were of "parental nature". He eventually learned otherwise and they have become great friends. L tolerates difficult child 1, but that's about it. But that's ok, she admits it, and she doesn't make an issue of it, and neither do I. They don't entirely understand how it really is to live this day in and day out, but they understand that its not like their life, and that it was somewhat a roll of the dice, and they're open about it. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing in her life and her easy child's as they've grown up, and I KNOW how lucky I am to have her.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    You are very lucky to have a friend like this. I do as well. We've been close for many years. She knew difficult child before she got so noticeably difficult child. AND she recognizes her "kind" heart, which is something that touches my heart. My only "problem," is that she moved to a city about 45-60 mins away and we hardly see each other...plus her husband travels to another country for work related business (they live there in the summer). I miss her. I had another friend with seven adopted kids...a few were difficult children. She moved to another state. Still, another friend, has one easy child and one typical teen/difficult child. She also understands, we are not super close though...but I'll take what I can get. My "new" friend has two difficult children...interestingly, we bonded immediately. I guess it isn't a total surprise.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It's been my experience that most homes have something. It may not be a difficult child but it's something. I seldom meet with real intolerance from other mother's. Everyone is just struggling to do the best job they can. Every once in a while, I would run into someone who spoke as if Special Education was for kids who should be warehoused but not often.
    I don't always have a lot in common with mother's who's kids don't have the same struggles as mine but it doesn't mean you can't relate to their ups and downs of everyday life.
    It would be an awful world if every famly had difficult child's. Judgments are usually based on ignorance. If they haven't been exposed to a difficult child lifestyle how can we expect them to understand our lives? Especially if we not give their lives any validity or worth because they don't walk in our shoes.
    Folks who dismiss your son's success Nomad are being rude and stupid. Raising kids is not a competition. Every success is such a gift to those of us who get little of those. Enjoy your son and let people who can't appreciate it go. No one has to think great things about my kids for me to be thrilled in their steps forward even the small one.

    When I hear of someone's child doing something wonderful, I'm thrilled for the child and I'm happy for the parent. I don't feel bitter because my difficult child wasn't even tying his shoes. It's simply not a competition. Anyhow, just a thought.
  10. Star*

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


    I think you said it better than I did. It's not that I ever minimize anyone's struggle - it's just my brain is dealing with 1000 things a day and when you hear someone say "I just don't know what I am going to do with this teenager of mine - DO YOU BELIEVE she actually took Honors Spanish OVER college 2 calculus? =I just can't even believe it - she's SO headstrong - she's my "problem" child" - THAT is what I'm subjected to. Or was rather. In that circumstance I tried to remain up beat and positive by saying "It sounds like you are really angry about your daughters choices." and I got "She is RUINING her life and chance to get into a GREAT college like (said name) not some lower form of college like (mine)." At that point you realize it's futile and keep away.

    And like others to a point - people have stopped asking - but I never do. I figure I try to treat others like I'd like to be treated.
  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Star, I had a mom say that a 4.0 GPA was the "middle" (not true)of the class ranking that her child would probably not get accepted to a college. I looked at her like she was crazy. It was so over the top. I felt sorrier for the kid.
    Some people are crazy. No doubt.
    I just try to remember everyone has a suffering of some kind. Maybe being over the top about her kids is the only pleasure she has.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thinking "out loud," hope this is okay...

    Star and Fran....Those were the type of things I was almost "forced" to listen to at the book club. Perhaps they thought of me as the "odd man out." (Actually, I'm sure some of them were sure I was the odd man out). What's really interesting TO ME Star, is that most of these moms had such TREMENDOUS power over their children. Sooo....if mom wanted their kid to take Calculus 3 over Spanish and then apply to a certain university, even if there was much gnashing of teeth, mom got her way. I have no idea what this means down the road. It is a weird kind of tragedy when someone finds themselves graduating from medication School and has no idea how they got there. However, one might guess that a person who graduates medication school would have some options. Perhaps they could work their way through art school! LOL! :tongue:

    Ya know, my good friend is from the Domican Republic. She use to avoid speaking in Spanish whenever I was in the group and still, for the most part does (although others almost insist upon it in recent years.) If she is getting family or some other kind of pressure, she'll speak in English first and then immediately translate.

    Sooo....what I'm thinking is I wonder if we are in "mixed company," if we should refrain from overly discussing difficult child business and these folks should refrain from overly discussing ultra easy child business. Just like the Spanish example. Just like we would refrain from mentioning our great worries with our difficult children, if we knew a parent in our midst had a child suffering from a terminal illness.
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Nomad, what an incredible insight.

    I think that, the same way so many of us need to detach from our difficult children and let them find their own path, learn things the hard way and be forced into becoming responsible, that parents of PCs need to do the same thing.

    I think the bratty tendencies we see in other people's PCs exist in some cases because they have never had either the freedom or the responsibility to choose what they want to work towards and earn it. A sense of entitlement can give the best-hearted child a nasty attitude.

    Just my $0.02
  14. Like many of the parents on this Board, I have a foot in both worlds - easy child and difficult child. This has been a personal struggle for me on many levels. For years, before difficult child was diagnosed, and before he was in his accident, I came down pretty hard on him. I'm definitely not proud of that fact. I often "let" myself feel bad when the parents of his peers would , and rightfully so, brag about their children. I just knew that somehow, someway I was a failure as a parent. And, trust me, people around me in my life at that time were quick to point out my shortcomings.

    I'm working on making my peace with this situation, and it will be a work in progress for some time . One thing I am sure of now, though. difficult child is an incredible hero in my book! Not that he can do no wrong, but his accomplishments are different. When he makes a "C" in a class and he's really learned something in the process, I celebrate his accomplishment. He has so many layers of issues to work through his "C" is equivalent to someone else's A+++++.

    Wherever he goes in life and whatever he accomplishes , I will be enormously proud of his never failing efforts. And you know what, I am proud to share those with everyone in my social circle. Not in an "in your face" way, but in a simple declarational way.
  15. Star*

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


    I'm not sure what to tell you. It's a judgment call at the least. I do know that if I'm not happy or comfortable in a group that I have 2 legs and I can excuse myself and leave. This is what I have done recently with no regrets.

    I like speaking with people who are high achievers because it is stimulating to me. I enjoy sharing knowledge, I love to learn. However; I'm nearly as comfortable with almost anyone because I'd like to think I'm more interested in a persons character and heart than anything else.

    With your group - the only thing I can suggest is to maybe keep abreast of current events, and if someone seems like they are leaning towards going on and on about Jr. - during a break spout off about "Did you see the New Russian President? or HOW about that bill to make Polar Bears endangered because of global warming." That seemed to divert the Kid talk alltogether.

    Sometimes you can set up rules of the group. No kid talk. No husband bashing. No chocolate dove covered ice cream bars.....stuff like that so everyone feels welcome and can get with any conversation.

    You have keen insight - and you sound like an organizer. All you can do is suggest this.