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.