Things were brighter for a couple days…

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday weren’t too bad.  Emotionally speaking I was somewhat stable- though I did nap on both Saturday and Sunday. But today, Monday, it’s back to real-life, which means back to real feelings.  I don’t even really get the difference- except that we had school today.  So maybe it’s getting back into the routine of homeschooling that’s making things so rough.  But little one hit a wall at noon time with Daddy, and Big One is having his fit now.  I am in my room on a very important call and I can hear him screaming through the floor. Anyone who thinks that homeschooling is easy – immediately let that thought out of your head.  But they aren’t even arguing about work- they are arguing about his 20 minute activity with his sister.  It’s a 20 minute span of time where she gets to choose a (from a prior approved and discussed list so that he doesn’t have to play dolls, or dress-up), where she is in control of the activity and gets to make the choices.  This is to 1. give them some time together- supervised because she always wants to play with her big brother and 2. for him to have to learn to play how other people want to play and not always direct the activity/environment. He HATES this.  I am actually glad I am on the phone in my room doing an over the phone meeting, rather than deal with his screaming. Raising children with disabilities is hard. Raising kids period is HARD. So when PollyAnna asks me this week why I wanted to nap I am going to have to be honest and say so that I didn’t have to parent. Yes, that sounds terrible. But it’s true. Somedays I just can’t handle life, and I really can’t handle the hard, so once school is done, I clock out.  And I rest.  Homeschooling is worth it, and its especially evident by seeing that little one hits a wall at noon.  And Big One can’t stay on task for more than 5- MAYBE 10 minutes.

And it might sound awful but I am glad hubby is out of work.  It takes some of the pressure off of me.  We can share the homeschooling.

Big One’s worker told me today that she isn’t going to be able to fulfill all her hours this fall. He’s supposed to get 20 hours a week, she will be able to do 15 max.  I had to make the tough choice- do we find a worker that can do 20 hours, or keep her at 15 and hope that next semester she can do the 20? It’s also in the back of my head that she’s going to get overwhelmed with her schedule and not be able to do that either. We will have to see what happens.  I trust that God has a plan in all of this.

Well, off the important phone meeting now I head down and have a meeting with big one, big one’s worker, the scheduling supervisor and the field supervisor.  Wheee fun. And tomorrow it’s another trip to the big city, this time for fun, but still another 2 hours each way in the car…….

Scraps of Love

A couple blog posts ago I wrote how pathetic I felt, that my desire to be loved I would accept any scraps of love offered to me.

Several people commented that I wasn’t pathetic, and a litany of wonderfully nice comments were left.  But the biggest push was from my husband.  He said that one of the things he admires most about me is my ability to love people despite their flaws.  I thought a lot about this.

It’s not me accepting scraps of love because I am pathetic, it’s me accepting and loving the person where they are, how they are despite their flaws, despite their incapacity to love the same way.  This was a revelation to me last night when I had gotten off the phone with my father.  I said “bye, I love you”.  And when I clicked end call, something clicked in my brain. I meant it.  I love him. Despite the years of abuse.  Despite letting me down time after time.  Despite rejecting me over and over.  I still love him. And this doesn’t make me weak or pathetic, it makes me more like Jesus.  I am following the commands he gave to love my neighbor, to honor my parents.

When I had this revelation about myself, I felt better. I realized that meeting people where they are, not having expectations of people they can’t give, frees me from the pain of unfulfilled expectations, it frees me to love people the way I want, and accept the love they are able to love me.

I did this with my mom several years ago, it was through therapy that I realized I was expecting things from her that she can’t offer.  And when I let go of those expectations our relationship changed immensely.

At this point I don’t know where our relationship stands because of the text and the follow-up email I sent to her. I am really hoping that she will understand where I was coming from in the email, and that we are still in a good place.

She hasn’t replied to the email, but she said she would reply eventually, until then I will be nervous, and pray that her reply is positive.

Until next time.

Mom Guilt

As I sit here with my steaming cup of tea and my comfy sweatshirt and afghan, since it’s starting to get chilly here at night (chilly by my standards it’s 59 degrees F/15 degrees Celsius hubby would say it’s gorgeous), I have been thinking about “Mom Guilt”.  All the women reading this that are moms know what I mean.

It’s that nagging feeling that you are doing everything wrong, that you could be (or should be) doing XY or Z better.  Or when something goes wrong or our kid does something we aren’t proud of we blame ourselves.  When they are falling behind, or can’t master a skill we blame ourselves. Their failures are because of us, and their successes are pure luck it seems.

I was thinking about that in terms of little one’s eye issues.  I have spent the past 2 years berating myself that she still wasn’t able to recognize all her upper and lower case letters, couldn’t write them all, couldn’t read.  Some people told me, “she’s still young, give her time”, others urged public school was the answer.  But I listened to my gut, I worked, I tried, I cried, I blamed myself, then I got an OT eval, got the eye referral, and got answers. And surprise surprise it’s not my fault. I don’t have to feel guilty that my almost 7 year old can’t read.  That she struggles with writing and recognizing letters.  This condition also effects behavior, so that’s not all my fault either.

It’s so freeing to know it’s not my fault, that there is nothing I could have done to prevent it, and there is a fix. I feel like one of the elephants have removed themselves from my chest. I feel vindicated, because this issue would not have been picked up at a public school eye screening, most school OT programs, and not even at her regular eye doctor exam.  This was found because I followed my gut that there was something to this, and I persisted. I don’t need to feel guilt, I need to feel success. I need to feel confidence in my abilities and my decisions.  I need to stop letting others opinions on my abilities, my parenting and my decisions make me waver in what I know is best for my children.

Even in my “altered” mental health I still know what’s best for my children, and I love them, and have more stake in their future than any other person- save themselves and their father- in the world.

We moms need to ban together, and ban mom guilt.  It’s the whisper of Satan in our ear.   Our enemy wants us to doubt ourselves.  He wants us to doubt our abilities, our standing as daughters of The King. We need to stand firm in His word and His promises.  He lent us the children we have because we are the best woman to do the job for the children He has sent, we need to remember that, and own that.

***I am feeling a bit of confidence tonight so I decided to write this to remind myself of it the next time I doubt my decisions, my standing in Christ, my abilities, my decisions and when I let Mom Guilt creep in again***

What a LONG day

So little one’s behavior behaved enough to earn Sweet Frog after her eye appointment, but man was it a long day!

It started early with a condensed PT appointment for me at 9am, and boy did she work me hard.  I came home and we started getting ready to head south to littles one’s appointment since we were going to go to the park first and wear her out.

When we got there she was gung ho to play but quickly I noticed her walking the perimeter of the play area alone.  But she wouldn’t tell me what was wrong.  She still hasn’t, I am assuming that someone said “no” to playing with her, she is sensitive about that, like me. It’s yet another reason I am glad she isn’t in public school, I was too sensitive for the politics of school, and she would be too.  As a homeschooled child I can help by controlling the people she encounters “most of the time” and then when we go to the park, swim lessons, and martial arts classes she is exposed to the public.

So we hung out at the park for a while, finally she found a little girl to play with.  Even with her brother trying to play with her she was still “meh” so I think whatever happened really bothered her. Which reminds me I want to speak to her again to see if she will finally open up.

After a while it was time to head to her appointment.  I reminded her what the appointment would probably be like, and what she would be asked to do.  She acted like the little teenager she is (she’s 6 almost 7 you know 😉 ) We got there, checked in and she was quickly called back.  She didn’t want her dad or I to go with her… WHAAAT? My 14 year old still wants me in there.  I had to go in for the first part for family and personal history but then she made me leave.

I waited and waited. My stomach in knots, anxiety leaking from every pore. What was going on in there?  What were they doing? Was she behaving? Was the exam going well?It seemed like we were there for HOURS, when in reality it was only 20 minutes or so.

The doctor came out and took me to another room to explain his findings.  Cue increase of anxiety because there were “findings”.  She can see 20/25 which they will monitor but apparently it’s pretty normal for someone her age.  However, she has convergence insufficiency. The best way I can explain it is that to focus we have to pull our eyes in, when she does that her eyes want to pull back out. Which makes reading difficult at best.

For so long, I have been questioning my ability to teach her, we have tried a million and one reading programs, but still she struggles with recognition of letters, reversals of letters, and struggling with letter sounds.  However, it’s not my fault.  Her eyes are to blame. And had she been in public school. and had I not requested an OT eval from her doctor this wouldn’t have ever been found.

I feel some vindication, especially after the text from the family member saying I am depriving her of a normal life not sending her to public school. She would be a behavior problem student in title 1, or special education.  When in reality it’s her eyes that don’t work. Homeschool isn’t for everyone, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am doing what’s best for MY kids.

For more info on convergence insufficiency see http://www.convergenceinsufficiency.org.

Until next time.

Wish Me Luck

Today I am taking little one to the “behavioral optometrist”, whatever that is…. it was recommended by her occupational therapist.  I am quite nervous, because little one and evaluations DO NOT go well, at all.  I’m thinking I’ll bribe her with a treat to Sweet Frog if she cooperates if I am incredibly desperate Buld a Bear.  Her occupational therapy evaluation was a disaster to say the least.  She threw pencils, scribbled all over the paper, threw things- needless to say it did not go well.  Her 3 sessions since, have been marginally better.  If she can’t control the activity she has an issue.  Her and the therapist have a plan whereby the therapist picks an activity, then little one, then the therapist, then little one…. hubby said last session went ok for about 35 minutes and then she was done.  

We are going to head down early and go to the park, and wear her out – so that hopefully she will be a little more cooperative.  I’m hoping that if her eyesight has anything to do with her behavior I want to make sure it’s treated.  If you pray say a little prayer that all goes well.  

Advice from PollyAnna….

Today was a day I had been dreading for almost a week, processing the text from the family member, and how I should handle it.  It was a tough discussion. She wouldn’t spoon feed me the answers, heck she wouldn’t even tell me what to do.  But she made me flesh it out on my own.

It was determined that;

  1.  I needed to tell my mom. Keeping it from her was causing her to have a  consequence and not know why.
  2. I needed to respond to the text.  I needed to place clear boundaries in this text.

So when I got home I wrote a long email to my mother, including a screenshot of every text, along with my feelings etc.  I also replied to the text and set clear boundaries about what was up for discussion and what wasn’t.

However, after I hit send to my mom, I realized her birthday is tomorrow and that it might ruin her day.  I felt incredibly guilty so I called her and asked her not to read the email until Saturday she promised she wouldn’t- but I texted her later- after my sister said mom would totally read it. And she had. She said not knowing would have ruined her day.

I don’t know how this will all play out.  I hope it doesn’t ruin any relationships, because I will feel guilty – even though my therapist tells me that if it does ruin any relationships it’s on them and it’s not my fault.  I wasn’t the one who sent a completely out of line text, I was the one that was hurt.

I am feeling horrible about the whole thing.  I thought I would feel better if I told my mom, and sent the text, but I guess with my mom not responding right away (she said she will respond at some point), there’s no resolution and that’s what I am looking for.

PollyAnna asked what resolution would look like- good question- I think to me it would be no unomfortableness when we are together, that my children would never find out this person’s feelings, and that no relationships are hurt beyond repair. I don’t know- maybe I am being too PollyAnna in my view of how this will turn out. Unfortunately, my OCD cyclical thinking is not letting me think of anything else, but all the different ways this could turn out.  I do know resolution would include my mother telling me I am a good mom.

That is one thing I have to give my father credit about- he has ALWAYS praised my parenting.  Telling me how good of a mother I am, that not many moms would do all the things I do.  That my kids are getting a better education from me than they could at public school.

I am not sure why there are so many people in my life that think homeschooling is an inferior form of schooling.  We belong to a huge homeschooling community – out co op alone has 57 children in it. And we do field trips, we study the required subjects as well as the ability to study things that the children are interested in. We also get to control who they spend their time with, and keep bullying at bay. Then they take martial arts, music lessons…. they are not deprived.

I don’t get it.  Well at least for the last paragraph I stopped thinking about what is running through my mom’s mind… but I am back at it…..

Fathers…

I have been thinking a lot about fathers.  Both father figures in my life have done nothing but disappoint me, and misuse me, in one way or another. It makes me feel very insecure  about relationships, especially with men, even my poor husband- and we have been together for 22 years.  I have issues with men in general, doctors, men in authority positions, I am very uncomfortable around them.

But it also affects my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It’s hard to imagine that there is a Father that loves me, no matter what I do, say, look like; no matter what mistakes I make.  I work hard to follow that little voice inside of the Holy Spirit so that I can always be in His will.

But I have been thinking about the text from last weekend, and maybe God is 1. Reminding me that no earthly father will ever compare to Him, and that I need to put more trust into Him, and to spend more time with Him. So I have restarted my Quiet Time first thing in the morning.

I have also been thinking that maybe God is pointing me back to unresolved issues with my biological father.  That while my step father is a father figure, I need to learn to forgive better, and learn how to have a relationship with my biological father, even though we have had the tumultuous relationship we have had, despite the fact that he continues to misuse me- maybe it’s through that relationship that I will find my voice.

I don’t know.  These are all thoughts that are just jumbled in my brain right now, and I am going to work through this texting debacle with PollyAnna on Thursday.  I did talk to Mary Poppins about it yesterday and she assured me, that first there is not one grain of truth in the text.  That it was way over the top, crossed so many lines and was lies though she doesn’t believe they were malicious intent simply ignorant and coming from the mind of someone who spends 24/7 on marijuana.  She is not a Dr against pot, but she also doesn’t feel it’s a 1 size fits all the way this person does.

Anyway, I obviously still have a lot to process, and to work through.  And I still need to decide if I am going to 1. reply to him and 2. tell my mom.