Hello! I'm here because I often don't get a chance to talk at all about how it is to be a single mama to my son. It's the everyday stuff that gets me down. It's not that he's not amazing. He totally is. We have a great time together, especially if there's nothing critical or time-sensitive to do. We ride bikes together. Do science experiments. Play tickle and I'm-gonna-get-you-games. Have family movie night together with popcorn and even maybe a soda or ice cream. It's the "have to do" stuff that's hard. Like getting ready for school in the mornings. And it's dealing with the fall-out from unsuccessful arrangements outside our home. For instance, he started a new after-school program recently, about a month and a half ago, maybe. The teachers are nice but often really rigid and don't really understand the whys of what goes wrong with my son. They think he's manipulative or aggressive or just plain troublemaking. They don't see that he's going through a lot, that there are things going on under their radar, like older kids doing things that may seem small to another child but to him are HUGE. Like name-calling and teasing. Then he gets going on giving them trouble (although he won't admit this part), and then they end up telling on him (or the teachers see him) and it's downhill from there. This week he got suspended from the program. He was "running away"--something would happen, often something that the teachers didn't see or didn't understand in the same way he did, and he's out the door and onto the closed-off playground or a tree and won't come down. Of course this causes a ruckus and is really annoying for the teachers. But suspending him? Really? That's the solution they come up with? It just means that my son gets what he really wants--to not have to go there! And it means all the consequences fall on MY head. I can't go to class or see clients if I don't have childcare! I'm meeting with their "guidance counselor" today. I have no idea what his qualifications are or if he's another one of those "if you just discipline him he'll fall in line" kind of people. I hope he's a little more nuanced and understanding and we can work something out. Unfortunately, this situation is pretty severe for me... I can't find another affordable childcare solution. I'm in grad school AND I've been unemployed since November 2008 (stupid economy!). I'm fighting my own unmedicated ADHD (no more health insurance!) and a huge load of stress, most of it from the nonstop excitement of dealing with these kinds of incidents. I wish I could enjoy my son more and deal with this kind of huge stress less. I imagine that's wishful thinking. Thanks for listening/reading. It's just so freaking hard to bear on my own. It helps to talk to others who "get it."