Stressed X 10 and my mom is making it worse!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    So I work at a high school and I'm back to work after a two month summer vacation. The first two weeks of school is always very stressful. I have to call all of the parents of the students who did not show up for the first day of school and try and locate them all. I have the principals breathing down my neck constantly so we can get a total number on how many kids are actually attending this year. I always dread these first two weeks. I am not good on the phone and phone calls stress me out to no end. So far I've made about a hundred. I have more to go. Both difficult children starting middle school and high school this year only adds to the stress. difficult child 2 isn't sleeping well and so neither am I. Well today my mom came to work and picked me up so we could go to lunch. BIG mistake. I should have known I would get yet another lecture on how I'm doing everything wrong as a parent and how I have no control over my kids.

    She blamed my son's autistic temper tantrums on me. She told me that if I would have laid down the law many moons ago then I would not have any problems with him. She blamed my daughter's lack of hygiene on me. difficult child 1 has really bad acne and refuses to wash her face. She also has a special cream she puts on at night and complains and sometimes even flat out refuses to some nights. Getting her to wash her hair is also a struggle. Up until last year, I used to catch her in the bath and wash her hair for her since she would refuse to do it herself. Well this year she is in high school and I refuse to do it for her. She is going to school with stringy, oily hair and I have decided it's time she suffers the natural consequences of her actions, as in let kids make fun of her and then maybe she'll care. My mom thinks my strategy is wrong. I don't know how she expects me to force her to take care of herself, but again she blames me having lack of control for her hygiene issues. She went on and on and on today at lunch about how difficult child is going to grow up with acne scars on her face, and then difficult child will blame me for not enforcing her skin care routine. She also says that both difficult children will probably start hanging around bad kids and even sneaking off at nights and not coming home. She says that it's obvious that since I have no control of the kids now, that they will do whatever they please and their lives are going to be ruined for it.

    The most hurtful thing she said to me is that maybe the kids are better off at their dad's. She knows damn well that my kids hate it at their dad's and they are emotionally abused by their stepmother. Also, my kids' dad is not involved in their education AT ALL. He has never been to one single IEP meeting or parent/teacher conference. He does not believe in difficult child 2's autism or ADHD at all. He thinks the neuropsychologist, teachers, and even me are all full of **** when it comes to his diagnosis. He has not bothered to research a damn thing about autism or difficult child 1's bipolar at all. My kids are NOT better off without him. The last straw today was when my mom broke down and cried and told me she would be better off living out of state and then maybe she wouldn't care about my kids' welfare so much. She even asked me if I would prefer that she lives out of state. I was so upset at her that the only answer I gave her was "I don't know." My mom is so helpful in so many ways. She took me everywhere this summer when I lost my license and couldn't drive. I don't know how I would have managed without her help. Still, in some ways I think it would be easier if she wasn't around so much. She's just so darn controlling and I already have low self esteem when it comes to my parenting skills. I am constantly second guessing myself and she isn't helping.

    My mom just completely ruined my day. Tomorrow the kids go to their dad's for the weekend and now I am worried about difficult child 1 washing her hair tonight before she goes. Her dad also blames me for her lack of hygiene. I am worried that difficult child 2 will stay up all night. If his dad finds out about him staying awake all night, I'll get blamed for that too. I can't even relax and enjoy the prospect of a kid-free weekend. Saturday my mom is taking me to lunch for my birthday. To tell the truth, I don't even want to go. I don't want to hear more of the same of what I got today. I am considering cancelling even though I know my mom will give me a huge guilt trip if I do. Seems like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Right now I don't know where else to turn.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If it's d***ed if you do and d***ed if you don't, then... what d*** difference does it make, except that... if you choose it your way, at least you get a break?

    (just my 2 cents)
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    And I'm just praying difficult child 2 doesn't have homework tonight. Luckily difficult child 1 doesn't have homework at her new school so I don't have to fight the homework battles with her anymore. Unfortunately difficult child 2 is totally mainstreamed and will be having homework every night. I am hoping since it's only the second day of school that maybe all of his teachers are holding off on homework. I feel yucky. I don't feel like homework tonight. I just want to go home, shower, and go to bed. I don't even feel like eating.
  4. cammie

    cammie New Member

    Personal opinion? Explain (as calmly as possible) to your mother that her opinions are valid, but you are doing your best right now with what you have. difficult child 1 is 14 and it is her responsibility to take care of her own hygiene; she is not incapable, just unwilling. difficult child 2 is autistic. Any amount of laying down the law is a great idea, but, ultimately, futile. If she would like to try, she's welcome to (this usually works with my mother and mother in law; they never quite realize what they're getting themselves in to).
    Also, from one mother to another, you're doing your best. And, I admire you. You're a single parent with two special needs children. That's an amazing feat of strength! I've been lucky enough to have a husband through all of this, and when he was gone for three weeks at the beginning of the summer, I thought I was going to explode. You are amazing! Don't let anyone tell you any differently!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm an older mom (59) and I get very irate at parents who treat their kids who are raising difficult child's like they don't know what they are doing. If I treated my grown kids that way, I would expect them to run for the hills. YOu don't need to listen to that sort of verbal abuse. Maybe detach from Mom because she certainly doesn't have any good advice nor soothing words and you don't need her as an extra stressor. I'm sure you've tried explaining things to her, but she isn't listening.

    Detach, detach, is hard enough to raise difficult child's without unhelpful parents tossing on unnecessary guilt. Unfortunately, sometimes our own family members are our worst critics and we need to put them at arm's length.

    As for ex, you are no longer married to him. If he starts to blame you for everything, including earthquakes in Japan, say, "Oh! Someone's at the door. I have to go" and hang up the phone. There is no reason for you to take that kind of crapola from anybody, be it Mom or ex. If he calls back and starts again, why, you have a cake in the oven and you have to get off. Then get off without another word. This is one way I deal with toxic people who call me...learned about it in therapy. It has really cut down on how much garbage I have to listen to from people who want to lay a guilt trip on me. It's very calming to take back your power and decide what you will and will not listen to and then to put it into effect. Nobody can tell you what you're doing wrong, if you won't listen to it.

    I recommend your getting your own therapist. That therapist will be your advocate and "go to" person to talk to, and he/she won't tell you off.

  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well guess what? Kids' dad just texted me and cancelled for this weekend. Said he has something to do for work (I'm not buying it) and he can't take the kids. My boyfriend and I were going to spend the whole weekend together for my birthday. Now my whole weekend is ruined. Happy birthday to me. : (
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I have been listening to my mom's constant criticism of EVERYTHING I do being wrong, especially raising my kids. Over a year ago, I finally had enough and told her that she can think what she wants but that I don't have to listen to it and I quit talking to her for over 4 months. The only reason I started talking to her at all was because difficult child 1 ended up in the psychiatric hospital for the first time and my sister convinced me to at least tell my mom what was going on. THAT is when my mom finally realized that there was nothing I could have done differently and she started treating me with at least a little respect. I still limit my contact with her but I have the line drawn when it comes to my parenting. The minute she crosses that line, and she has, I either hang up or leave, depending on if it's phone or in-person contact. It's taken a lot of courage for me to do that but I am very proud of myself for finally growing a backbone. Mother or not, she did her job raising me and now it's MY turn to raise MY kids.

    I know it's hard and many exes will ALWAYS blame "imperfections" on the other parent. That way they don't have to accept responsibility and they can also deny that their "genetic contribution" may have been "faulty". I really hope you are able to find a good therapist for yourself. I have been where you are (minus the ex which my mom more than made up for) and it is VERY hard, especially when they have a good side too.

    Sorry your week-end plans got ruined. Hopefully you can find SOME time for yourself in there somewhere. {{{{HUGS}}}}
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh gosh I'm so sorry you got dumped on. Yes ...I think its time to set limits with mom. Write it out if you need to keep on track. Explain that you value her support and encouragement but you have too much on your plate to deal with unsolicited "advice ". Let her know you have the same concerns for your kids but will be handling it as recommended by her team of professionals and in a way that works for your family. The reality is your daughter is too big to force the issue. She may respond to a reward temporarily but as with most of our kids when the novelty of that wears off they often still won't do the preferred behavior unless it's meaningful to them (having an issue with retainers here, sigh ) . Wish I could pipe music to your ears when conversations take that kind of turn. Maybe you can work out a signal with your mom that will remind her to stop. Is she still attending school meetings etc ( she did that right? ) it's maybe time to end all of that. It's kind of a mixed message to have her be involved to that degree but then not give other opinions. Most of us could do it but she seems too enmeshed. She might actually grow to enjoy a new role as a grandma and not so much of a mommy role. So hard to change long established patterns so I know it is easier to say. Hugs ....
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thank you ladies for your support. Just wanted to let you all know that I am currently looking for another therapist. I absolutely adored my last one but he moved fifty miles away. That was six months ago. I haven't seen anybody since then and I really need to. I hope I find another good one. I have bad luck when it comes to finding good therapy. I so totally need it right now it's not even funny. I have my boyfriend to talk to but he just doesn't get it. I really need some outside help. Wish me luck.
  10. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    The boy friend might love you but he is probably not a trained therapist and it really makes a difference. You might also add a marriage therapist to the mix with mom. I know you are not really married to her, but the personal relationship which her is important. You don't really want to exclude her and her support can be valuable, but you can't just keep taking it. It would be very difficult to overcome the issues without some support or guidance.

    Many of us get blamed for our kids issues. Not fair but part of being their mother. You know that you are doing everything you can, and that is the only opinion that matters.