Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bad Mom Day

Hey, moms...ever have those days when you just feel like you're not doing enough for your kids? I've felt like that for the last week or so. I couldn't tell you exactly what I could be doing better, or why I feel like I'm walking around with a big FAIL stamp on my forehead, but I just feel like I'm being a crappy mom.

Maybe some of it comes from the fact that the Boy is having all kinds of trouble at school, and has been put in both a special "social development" program (meetings a couple of times a week with other students and some staff to talk about behavioral stuff) and counseling sessions. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but if my kid is a "problem child" to that extent, there must be something. Have I not spent enough quality time with him? Have I somehow inadvertently taught him terrible behavior? Have I fed him the wrong stuff, or not enough, or too much, or something? I can't even begin to describe the terrible feeling that happened when I got a letter from his teacher last week telling me that I need to "make sure he has enough food in the future" because he was apparently "still hungry after lunch." I had sent him a sandwich, some carrot sticks, an apple, some yogurt, a cheesestring, a couple of cookies and a juice box-I thought that was a big enough lunch. But the school says it's not. You want to talk about "triggering?" Hoo, boy. I've been a wreck since then.

I know that no parent is perfect, and in some ways I've probably screwed up more than most. Of course, in some ways I've also done better than most, so I was kind of hoping it would balance out. But now I'm dealing with all this shit hitting the fan, and being told by the nice people at the school that since he's out of his "formative years," the problems he's having are serious and not just developmentally normal childhood brattiness.

Oh, good. Whatever is wrong with him, it's something I caused in his "formative years" which is now going to take years of therapy to fix, if it even can be fixed at all. Having gotten to the point where I've finally realized how messed up my mom was and how messed up I am because of what she did, I'm more terrified than ever of the same thing happening with my son. I mean, I had finally pretty much forgiven myself for not being perfect for the first six or so years-I was doing the best I could with what I had, and doing a hell of a lot better than most women in the same situation would have. I figured that even if our lives were a little wacky and unstable at times, he knew that I loved him, he was always fed and clothed, and I did my damndest to shelter him from the shit that was constantly going on in my life. All the rest can be dealt with, right? Well, maybe not. According to the form his teacher filled out, even the fact that his dad and I aren't together is a "family problem" that needs to be addressed by the counselor. His dad and I broke up when he was an infant. He has never lived with the two of us together-this is normal for him. If that's a "problem," what would they say if they found out that we've been homeless? That I'm so heavily medicated? What's going to happen when he gets older and remembers that my ex beat the crap out of me and I was too scared to leave for months? How much is he going to hate me? How much have I damaged him?

I just don't know how to fix this.

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