Selfish Parent or Survival Parent


call 911
Hi all,

It seems lately we've had quite an increase in welcoming newbies. I have long been thankful for the security and comfort that I've found here. It truly has been a soft place to land. I sadly and maybe selfishly find security in the numbers of people who post here. It almost seems that the more people who come on board, the more normal I feel about myself as a parent or person. I find comfort in the responses that are posted whether they are to my own post or someone else who has a similar problem. I try not to lurk too much on posts, and offer advice, a shoulder or at least a "here's a hug" to let the poster know I was there and they were in my thoughts at that time.

Most of you don't know me. You don't know my son. I'm semi-guarded about telling the story of our tragic beginning for varied reasons. Mostly now because we've been in counseling for behavior therapy for so long, I'm just tired of telling it. Some days I'm almost frightened that if I even speak about some things it will open the door so-to-speak, so I keep the door shut and try to survive. Someday maybe I'll write the book I keep telling myself I'm going to write and that will offset the costs of raising a child on my own without any welfare, or child support.

What I do want to bring to the table tonight from years of life experience for parents who are struggling with difficult child's is a simple message. It's fantastic that you found us, that you are arming yourself with knowledge to be a better advocate for your child(ren), it is monumental that you are educating yourself on the types of therapy, medicines, behavior modules, diets, parenting techniques, and counseling for them. BUT.......don't ever think that taking time each day for yourself is a selfish thing. Regardless of how simple it seems. Even just shutting the door on a bathroom for 15 minutes and letting the world escape it. Don't forget to take care of yourself first. THis is not an airplane, the mask isn't going to fall down for you to get oxygen before you help your child. You are just going to have to seek out self-preservation activities and remember you have to come first.

Remember : If Momma ain't happy? Ain't no body going to be happy.....holds more merit than you think when it comes to living in a household with a difficult child. And if you are 'da Momma...and you ain't happy? How do you think you can possibly be a good parent? Deep though. You can't be good to's unlikely you can be great for someone else or set a good example.

It's not SELFISH parent. IT IS SURVIVAL Parent. Work it in somewhere. You won't regret it. Neither will your kids.

Hugs and Thoughts...

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
What a great post. I couldn't agree with you more about how important it is to take time for yourself. It is far from selfish-as you said it is necessary for survival.I know I am so much more ready to deal with difficult child if I have taken some time for myself.

I also agree with what you said about this board. It is a soft place to land. For me this place has been a lifesaver. I'm so thankful for Fran, the moderators and everyone here.

Thanks for reminding us how important it is to take care of ourselves. Hugs.


Well-Known Member
Good advice Star. I, too, realized that if I didn't start taking time for me, just me, I wouldn't make it. It seems like for 18 years I never had a moment alone---even in the bathroom---they (the kids) would come looking for me, or the phone would ring, or husband would find me---

When I first came here I was so glad to learn that I was not alone. No one but my immediate family (me, husband, pcdaughter, pcson, and difficult child) knows about the incident that brought me here. Here I was able to share and vent without stigma, without judgement, without fear or humiliation. The anonymity saved me. I certainly couldn't discuss difficult child's problems with anyone I knew---not even my best friend---it was just too enormous. But here, among strangers I found sympathy and empathy and so much support.


Active Member
I totally agree Starb - this is a lesson that has taken me many years to develop. I must preserve ME before I can give to anyone else!


New Member
Your wisdom and nonsense approach are wonderful. I can't wait to read the book. Thanks for caring enough about us to remind us to take time for ourself.


Well-Known Member
Great post Star.
Here's a little secret I'm going to let you all in on:
I'm a better mother when I feel good: about me, my marriage, Duckie, Church, volunteering, even groceries and cleaning.
I have more perspective about parenting a challenging child when I take care of me.
Besides, I've come to accept that even though there are many people who love me greatly, no one will be able to make me happy but me.


Active Member
so true, I know I loved my long walks, long baths, reading books, and my time on the computer. my escapes never hurt anyone and helped to make me realize there was more in the world than all my focus on ant.