What About Mom's Feelings...?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Good Morning Everyone--

    First and foremost, I have to thank everyone who recommended "The Explosive Child". I have been reading this weekend...and if that's not a book about my family...I don't know what is!

    After having a few "lightbulb" moments after perusing the insights in the book--I am left feeling hopeful...and yet strangely ANGRY.

    My difficult child's issues have long been diagnosed as "poor parenting". The professional finger has been pointed at me for as long as I can remember. Every guidance counselor, social worker, therapist, psychiatrist (not to mention relatives!) ...everyone has been so sure that difficult child acts the way she does because Mom was either too strict...or not strict enough...or not spending enough time...or being overly involved...or too emotional...or not emotional enough...etc etc

    You name it...and I have been accused of doing it/not doing it/ or doing it wrong. (And why was husband off the hook?...because he had a job that keep him on the road all the time. Luckily, that has changed now and he comes home every day.)

    So when, if ever, does Mom get an apology...or an acknowledgment...or maybe even some sympathy?

    Has anyone ever come back to you later and apologized for making you feel like a bad parent...?

    Do share--
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I used this analogy once: most outpatient mental health profs are like mechanics doing an oil change on an American made car. Parents of difficult children are like people who need the engine overhauled on an import.

    Sadly, I wouldn't hold my breath for that apology. But most of us, if not all, here understand compeltely how you feel.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    The only time I've ever heard anything remotely similar to an apology is from people who have taken care of wee difficult child for a period of time. And it was never an "I'm sorry I judged you". It was more of an exasperated "I had no idea".

    Which worked for me.

    A bit of irony? People I know, who are, according to some in my circle, raising the ever-so-perfect child, babysat for wee difficult child for a few hours when he was a mere 5 months old. They have all this advice now, but they couldn't even handle him then...I beleive that was the fastest any babysitter has ever thrown him back at me.

    Most people don't recall it and I don't bring it up, but personally, I think its funny.
  4. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I used to wish it was bad parenting, because that would be one thing I could change. Unfortunately I'm not that lucky.

    I once followed one particularly annoying nagging woman's advice. Not that I thought it would work, but because I wanted to shut her up. I t worked. Shutting up the woman that is, the child behaved as expected. But no apology. Just satisfaction knowing I'm doing my best.
  5. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    This is such a thankless existance for us parents. Yeah, it doesn't help our stress levels (which are already sky high) but holding out for a pat on the back or an actual apology just isn't in the program. That's why we have this community!
  6. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Daiseyface: People do not make others feel. Feeling is means for guiding us in contact with the environment we are in. Could it be what you are needing from the environment is HELP! and what you are getting is ....social recrimination for having needs?
    When my adhd son was little one mother said to me something like 'what we need to grieve is the loss of our supportive relationships...the aunts and sisters and in-laws and cousins who our anscestors had around them. We are left doing the job of an entire family clan and tribe...and we may not have even one other person who WE can rely on.'
    Experts and snakeoil saleman are not knocking on my door offering to teach my child anything. Instead i am wrestiling with the techknowlogical frenzy
    and doing my best to fill my needs in anonamous cyber communication. And what do I find here? Women who are being ridiculed in some way for dealing with the process of learning that has been with our kind since the beginning of time.
    Honestly I feel alot of what we hear from others is about a habit of speach that has nothing to do with weither or not we are doing a herculian effort
    to accomplish what it is that our public will so snin
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Never got an apology from anyone who insinuated my kids issues were due to my parenting or husband's (although his previously unmedicated style did more to mess things up than help).

    But I would not stay one second longer with a provider that pointed blame rather than helping me identify solutions, nor would I stay with anyone who could not admit they were wrong about a diagnosis when they were.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Amazing statement.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    You are quite right--no one is responsible for my feelings except me. In fact, that's why I started this particular thread...I recognize that I am having a hard time letting go of feeling...um...not sure exactly what I am feeling. Looking for some kind of validation, I guess.

    This support group has already done wonders for me! It is wonderful to connect with others who truly understand life with these children...
  10. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I had the most incredible pediatrician with my first two but I had my difficult child evaluated at the school by a neurologist for ADHD. I then took that diagnosis to my pediatrician and asked for a prescription saying that if he feels it is a parenting thing I would take courses but that it wasn't...I was quite direct, so was he, he said he felt it was. I went back serveral months later to show him the changes in my son's report card and standardized test scores and he kinda shrugged and said he was surprised, that he never showed anything in the office. He never gave me any problem writing the prescriptions and even tried to get me to take on a patient with schizoid personally disorder when he knew I was going to adopt. I savored that shrug for a long, long time...it was about 14 years ago.
  11. tunaq

    tunaq New Member

    i, just like you and all the others, am still waiting on my apology that i highly doubt will ever come in regards to my very difficult stepson. i am fortunate enough to have a sister in law who sees what am i going through and sees me trying. she has always been my support system when i hit rock bottom and has tossed me many fabulous ideas that unfortunately failed. for Christmas though rather than an apology, she sent me the biggest thank you ever! she sent me a pair of diamond hoop earrings and when i called to thank her the response i received was " no, you deserve it for all you tolerate, do and put up with, so thank you!" when it comes to things with my stepson, everybody treats it differently than they do with my daughter. i can get criticized to death about my daughter but i get the "you're a good mom" compliment as well. it is the exact opposite with my stepson though. i don't get the compliment or the apology. i learned to take the compliments i do get and focus on them and know i am trying my best with my stepson and one day, somebody will thank me. it does not matter if it is for all i do for him, for all my efforts, or if it is just a thanks for letting me know i am not alone with a child like this. this place has become my thank you and my sanity lately. until that day, i just thank God and myself for each day i get through and i thank the ones who help me through it.
  12. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    I've come to realize we lucked out in the wonderful therapist and psychiatrist we had. I did, however, hear this kind of thing from just about everyone else, school principals especially. When we finally got our diagnosis from the psychiatrist, she said to me that we'd done a good job with difficult child, we'd been good parents, and he was a wonderful boy with good morals (and a couple other good comments on his character that I forget now, I was so shocked and happy at the first half of what she said LOL). I hadn't even mentioned anything like this, such as questioning what we'd done wrong, so she was saying this from her own thoughts, tho' maybe it's a question she gets from a lot of parents LOL. I very much felt like going to the principal he had at the time, the worst one for comments about it being a family problem, and waving the diagnosis in her face and saying SEE it's not just because we're rotten parents nah-nah-nah-nah-boo-boo. I didn't, and I knew there'd be no sorry from her anyway, but it felt good to do it in my head anyway. I really think that one bit of validation from a professional was enough to make me feel better about my parenting skills than anything else.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  13. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    I just updated my signature and erased the part where my mom thought my difficult child was a easy child for a long time, and when she got it, and the awakening wasn't a pretty sight.

    For years, N* would complain to my mother, who would tell me it wasn't what I was saying, but it was the TONE in which I was saying it that could be improved.

    N* is chronically late, and at her worst in the mornings when it is time to leave for school. When early gentle reminders didn't work, I tried yelling. Every morning - I'd try a calm pleasant voice - "we need to leave in 30 minutes, 15 minutes, now." If she wasn't in the car when it was time to leave, I'd yell - I'm leaving NOW! Go to the garage, start the car, and leave. If she was in the car, great. If not, I'd call the school, tell them to give her an unexcused absence, and go on to work. She'd call later, crying, telling me her stomach hurt, she had diarrhea, etc.

    I had my mother stay with N* on the first business trip I ever took when she was about 14. After four days with N*, she told me the following - "You don't have to leave town again anytime soon, do you? Oh, and you're right - if something happens to you, you should have your best friend and her husband raise her with their children. I'll just visit her like I do now." That was the closest to an apology I got.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Daisyface, I am so sorry people treat you like that.
    I have been very lucky. So far, I have only had two people say things to me, and neither one overtly said I was a bad parent. One sister just insisted that my son was "just a boy," and a friend said, "He's going to end up in jail."
    Anyway, I don't talk to them about my difficult child any more. And you know what? They don't ask.
    Fine by me.
  15. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I have been relatively lucky in that I haven't really had professionals question anything. Probably though, because since we adopted difficult child out of foster care, he came with a diagnosis already. Family and friends however.....that was a different story. I got a lot of comments from my parents....too strict, not strict enough, boys will be boys, I need to ease up, I need to buckle down, etc. It's been long enough now though that even though they still may not understand, they now know it's not me. But, probably the best thing any therapist or doctor has ever said to me was when a new to us counselor (after only a couple of sessions) said to me that it must be hard living the way we have to when I told him how our household operates. (locking things up, not buying new things, and just dealing with some of difficult child's "finer" moments). Honestly, when he said that, I almost cried. This was our 7th counselor in 8 years at that point and he was the FIRST person to really acknowledge that. I made a point of thanking him and telling him how much that meant to me as a parent to have our (for lack of a better word) sacrifices acknowledged.

    I know there have been several threads along this line over the years. Someone with more board savvy than I have could give you some links. Some of them had some really good come back comments for situations like this.

    Sending hugs. WE know it's not you!
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Family tend to be the ones who hurt us the most. Part of it is that family feel free to tell us what they think, and part of it is tat family really do love us but would rather beleive that we are incompetent, than that there could really be anything seriously wrong.

    You will be most unlikely to get an apology, for the same reason they feel free to tell us in the first place. The closest you will get, is a change in direction once thewy realise that there IS a problem and you didn't cause it.

    When it's therapists or specialists who have been saying these things ("It's YOUR fault,") why do we stay with them? Often for very good reasons.

    1) If you changed who you deal with every time one of them accused you of being the cause of the trouble, then you would spend all your time hopping from place to place and always running as soon as the finger gets pointed in your direction. That's how you can end up with a Munchhausen's by proxy diagnosis. Because that is what a genuine Munchhausens's would do. So to prove your point, you stand your ground, you do what they suggest knowing it will fail, because only then can you stop running and finally deal with someone who HAS to beleive you because you called theire bluff.

    2) You stay and don't run, because you've either been told tat this person is the best there is (and you wouldn't want to fiind out what the worst is like!) or it's taken you so much time and effort to find this particular expert, that you don't wantto waste even more time just to salve your own ego. So you put your own feelings aside (because as Warrior Parents, we're bigger than that) and work through the process of getting them to REALLY listen to us.

    When you have someone you have finally succeeded in convincing, then you have a good advocate. The process of convincing them often includes a lot of disbelief, a lot of insults, a lot of frustration. You show willing even when you know their ideas will fail, because sometimes it's the only way. The end result, after you go through this process, is not just to the benefit of your child, it can also benefit those who come after you, with similar problems. Eventually parents will be listened to first.

    We fought similar battles along the way, at a time when we really couldn't tell husband's parents much about it because we had to deal with psychologists and psychiatrists, and their generation never took to such professions. So our biggest support base was not only not there, but we had to struggle to keep secrets. A big strain. husband's father never knew that there was anything wrong with his youngest grandson. I feel bad because towards the end, he kept asking to see me, or to see difficult child 3, and I couldn't risk it because difficult child 3's behaviour in the hospital environment was very disruptive, very noisy, very inappropriate. He would run away and not come when called, he was not responding to his name, he didn't seem to know anybody other than easy child but wouldn't even come when she called. father in law would have noticed, plus difficult child 3's behaviour always upset the nursing staff who kept asking us to take him out of the ward. SO when I was in the area, I generally was outside the ward whil husband visited his father with our other children. The only way I could visit, was if husband took over the child-minding, but I was only daughter in law, not daughter. It was more important for father in law to have his son there, not me.

    We make these decisions as parents, because we ARE parents and we love our kids. It's what we do. Getting the blame - it's part of parenting. It hurts, especially if it comes from people we trust and respect. But it's easier for people to blame an adult, who can change, rather than a vulnerable child, who cannot.

    Doctors blame patients. It's a common thing. It's not just as parents we get blamed.
    Example: I'm currently seeing yet another liver specialist because blood tests showed my liver is in bad shape. The blood tests were done during a hospital visit (ER) when I had a neurological incident (I get them now and again). The liver enzymes were the worst tey have ever been. And of course, the first reaction of hospital doctors is always to insist that I am either an alcoholic or a drug taker. Usually it's the alcohol they blame. But I don't drink - I never drank to excess and I stopped all alcohol when my liver enzymes first were shown to be abnormal. Back then it was pain medications I'd been put on that caused the trouble.
    But weight gain is another facet of my health problems. SO we get chicken or the egg situation - I beleive the weight gain has been caused by a poorly functioning liver, added to past attempts to lose weight leading to a slower metabolism.
    Liver specialists don't agree - "Lose weight!" they said. The last one to say this was quite insistent that is was possible, all I had to do was cut back on calories sufficiently, and the weight would come off. He listened to me enough to put me on diet pills to help, for which I'm grateful. And I cut back on calories to a ridiculous level (I knew I would have to) and the weight has come off, slowly. I'm happy that I now look good, but my liver? It's as bad as ever.

    I see my liver specialist next week. I have to get more blood tests done this week and judging by how I feel, I suspect my liver is still not good. The doctor blames me for this, but I have not gained back any weight at all so he can't say it's my diet that is responsible. Not any more.

    So after a year of being willing to cooperate even if I disagree, and after proving to him that I DO have willpower (or how else could I have done this?) I am at last going to be able to say, "OK, I have made my point, I believe. NOW will you consider another possible cause?"

    ANother quick point (it's sort of related) - when you get blamed for one thing, they're likely to blame you for more. When you stand up to them and show that

    1) you're willing to try their ideas even if you disagree; and

    2) You're willing to keep looking for answers and things that will work

    you undermine and eliminate their arguments.

    But until then, not only will your parenting be blamed for your child's problems, but any health problems the child has will also be laid at your door, the problems of the neighbours will be your fault and eventually you will even be blamed for global warming.

    We did discuss some good comebacks a couple of months ago, when people suggest "give me your child for a week". The best responses seemed to be, "what time should I drop him off? I can have him ready in fifteen minutes," to "after three days you will be erecting a monument in my honour."

    Have faith in yourself as a parent. That's one thing the book gave to me. When we began to really use "Explosive Child" methods, we found even more rsitance from family and friends, but I shrugged it all off and let them watch. It didn't take long, for most of them. The really fun stuff began when they continued trying to handle him their way, while my way worked, because what happens with "Explosive Child" is that the adults NOT on the same page are the ones who will suddenly find themselves the focus of all remaining opposition. Then you walk in and can calm things down in a flash, by comparison.

    It's a matter of remembering the principles and keeping your ultimate goals in focus - you want this child to function, you want this child to eventually be independent, productive, functioning, happy. Punishment will only work if it teaches something positive, and so often it doens't do that with a difficult child. Too often the difficult child sees punishment as revenge (often, it is!) and the lesson is lost. Life is full of natural consequences. And the natural consequence of telling me it's my fault, is you get to show me how your methods work so much better - and ten you get egg on your face.

    I love it. After that, I don't need an apology.

  17. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    DaisyFace: I am sorry I had to log off and COPE with the now....What I want to share with you about is that what "they" say is about them. Eventually in time it has been amazing to me where people I thought were critical of me in some way
    came to reflect a very differant opinion than what I 'felt' from them.

    I do feel it is important that when we are feeling something to get what it is we are 'feeling' as need. Mostly for me I need SO MUCH and what I am coping with is much less than that. At some point I have to decide not to wear myself out with thinking about 'it'...whatever it is. I do things that feel like I am satisfying my needs. One of my biggest is my creative urge. This week I found some white cotton sheets and I stitched a cover for this former sleeping bag that I use as a blanket when it SOO COLd. The sheets cost $2. Then my siccors were just so out of wack I had to buy new ones...$2.99 plus tax. Laid out together the sheets LOOKED like it was going to be GREAT but after I hand stitiched and then turned it and then top stitched pulling the edges up inch at a time with my needle. When I put the slimmy bag inside...oh noo the color showed through the single layers. I was crushed. My son pointed out that it didn't matter it was the slimey feel I was trying to improve....and after I put it under the spread it was fine. Befor it acted like a repelant of covers. And people. It was like anti-comfort.
    Here is what I think. When someone says things that are hurtful I can deflect by sharing my opion. For example a niit wit who happened to have me in her clutches for a couple weeks described her thooughts by saying she felt that what I was doing "was cruel". I said "I can see how you might come to that conclusion. I see the matter differantly than you." I do not care one way or another what she thinks about. I know she is living in her own head. And I do not have to know one way or another what she is thinking. What impresses me is that I am defending myself IN MY HEAD. (What? I am not cruel...!and if pressed I CAN
    back up MY choices..) What I do know is that having other competative women who want to be put down artists at my expense are not what I want around me or in my life. And you can be a relative or some one who appears to be a perminant fixture in my world and this is what is true....I can find an alternative.
    Especially when it involves my family. I will not tolerate people who are deminishing me in anyway around my family. Toxicifying my world? No...ugh ugh.
    TEachers can be generalizers...and they will leap behind the sheer volume of their classrooms . They took the job. They streatch to meet the needs they come to the profession to provide. In fact it is the challenges that come into a classroom that gives the educator the motivation to dig into their
    skills and do what it is they have trained to do. And as a parental authority over the care of our children we bring expert knowledge and it behooves US to learn what all we can to present the teachers with the insights that we bring to the discussion.
    Chances are if you take the time to say to someone who says something that feels bad to you to hear what will come out is not what you were thinking anyway.
    Yet if there is something that another sees that you are doing that may not serve your family I suggest that you take time to get clear what they see.
    It is very hard to understand what someone may have to offer if what they are saying is "you are bad and wrong". If you can tease out what they want you to know..."ie. what works for me is:.... or when my freind had a similar situation what she did was..." you know...is it news you can use?
    Here is another practical idea...restate what is said to confirm you heard correctly...." Did you just say you think my children behave that way because of how I parent? Interesting. What do you suggest?" ( I hope you will buy my book:
    my techniques for teaching kids to pick their noses and play with food.)
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ya know, I was thinking about this last night.

    My difficult child 1 wrote me the most amazing letter from boot camp. His grandparents said that some day he would thank me for sticking with him (I didn't have to). I figured he'd be 40, if ever. But I get a letter from boot in which HE thanked me for sticking with him, for beleiving in him enough to push him, and for being the parent he otherwise didn't have.

    He's not out of the woods. But he's making it for now, and every day he makes it is a day I breathe a little bit easier. But regardless of anything else, for at least a few hours on a Sunday afternoon back in 2007, my difficult child 1, my son, thanked me for my effort, and that made all the bs from everyone else suddenly worth it.
  19. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think if in your heart you know what you're doing with your child and that you're raising your child the best way for him/her, then you need to grow a thicker skin, let the unspoken and spoken recriminations roll off your back. In some cases, I think you need to speak up and let the DR/Therapist/School counselor - or whoever - know how they've insulted you and straighten them out.

    We had a child psychiatrist who was married but childless. She had a lot to say about all the different aspects of raising children. She spoke to me as if I too were only 10 years old. I found it insulting and hurtful and at times really wanted to take her condescending attitude and shove it up her...oops...anyway...

    She was a good DR for difficult child. I can recognize that now. A little over a year later she had her first baby. I can only hope that she learns better. re."

    Instead of looking at her patients and parents as 'subjects' in her own personal study, she needed to begin looking at them as people. Just like her and her H, and just like her baby.

    Very often, I think that many of these DR's we all see look at their patients, their parents, and their families as another 'case study' and forget that we're people, we have human feelings and we think and we breathe, eat and sleep our worries just like everyone else. When we go home we're filled with hours of simply getting through another day, whether it's making dinner, doing laundry, reading a story to our kiddos, or sewing a torn jacket.

    Even my niece, who is 28 and a psychologist at Yale and difficult child's cousin, remains very detached when she's discussing anything having to do with mental disorders, her patients or difficult child. I find it so disconcerting that a person who is dealing with people in varying degrees of emotional distress every day can remain so detached like that. The person becomes a patient number, an issue, a disorder and nothing more. Rare is it that you find a DR who will stop and ask the mom/dad, "So, how are you doing in all of this?"

    After my daughter was sexually assaulted, the counselor she had at the time asked me if I would like to schedule a meeting for myself. I almost came undone, I was so excited and relieved. I took him up on the offer and H and I went - it was wonderful!

    I have to say, I am so glad we're not involved with Dr's anymore. Well, except the family physician anyway. No more psychiatric doctors - thank God!

    Best of luck and many gentle hugs.
  20. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Actually, that's a great comeback.

    "Don't I wish it were bad parenting!"

    Nobody has ever said anything directly about my parenting the difficult children. I do know that when Daughter started therapy I was very clear with the therapist that she had better not make this an issue of my parenting.

    My mother in law once said to me when I happen to share about Daughter and everything we had been through: "Oh, you just expect your children to be perfect!"

    HUH??? :confused:

    "Well, Mom, your right if that means my child doesn't nearly die at birth, get diagnosed with Leukemia at 13 months, and try to beat my face in when she's three". :mad:

    I have gotten a lot of "I don't know how you do it!" comments from various people.