So today was one of those days with Michael that started rough and continued that way after school. And I, with good intentions but not too clued in to Michael’s red flags, did not pick up on any of the warning signs that he was about to erupt, not one, but two times due to my poor timing of bringing certain things up at the wrong time. Sigh. I also didn’t pick up on my red flags of exhaustion and stress of all the unpredictable things that have been happening lately in our family, from electrical problems in the house, to Michael’s challenging behaviors due in part, to him getting up earlier in the morning as well as other issues he is facing. It was a tough afternoon for both of us. I lost control and threw a book at him. Not a proud Mommy moment. When Michael and I had both calmed down, Michael asked me if what I had was right. Of course, I told him no. I was wrong. I told Michael that Mommy was angry and tired and forgot to do her deep breathing. I tried to help Michael focus on deep breathing when he first started losing control, but it was too late. He was too far gone and my “help” only served to make him angrier.
It was only when Michael had calmed down and was cleaning up the tornado of scattered toys in his room, that I had good long cry and let out my own frustrations of how badly I had handled things. I cried for my own exhaustion from several nights of burning the midnight oil for my business. I enjoy that night time for myself, but as a Mom, when Michael has hard days I pay the price as well. I also cried for not making time for myself to exercise today. The two days I did exercise gave me a bigger energy reserve to handle unpredictability like this. Finally I cried, because my life today felt like walking on a tightrope, juggling the needs of an aging house, with the needs of a demanding child, with the needs of my business. Where do I fit in? When do I get a chance to just breathe in and out and exhale and not worry that the ground will cave beneath me? I don’t. No special needs parent has that option. And of course, today when talking on the phone, I made the mistake of telling the Psycho Educator we are working with that things are getting better. Moms and Dads out there, this is the kiss of death with our kids, right? We say those words, and automatically you have a crappy day or night or both.
Walking on a tightrope is how I live my life these days. I curse it on days like today, when I feel so powerless and don’t know what to do to restore my balance. On days like today I want a “DO OVER” button, but life doesn’t work that way. We make the best of the situation, learn and move on.
What hard lessons have your Exceptional Children taught you about life, Exceptional Parents? What do you take away from your exchanges with them, good and bad? Know you are never alone. It doesn’t remove the problem, but at least you know there is help out there for you, for your child, and that with enough belief in the two of you, you can accomplish anything. Tomorrow is another day. Until next time.