Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holy Mother of any advice for me?

Oh what a night.  I think I'm stealing that from a song, huh?

Since our move, our son has done much better here overall.  His attitude has improved as have his grades and school relationships.  He has been more cooperative than he was a  year ago.  The progress that we have seen has been pretty terrific.  With the exception of his mouth.

Oh. My. God.  I've been warned about the mouth of teenagers, but I really had no idea until I experienced it myself.  Nonstop arguing.  Everything out of his mouth is smart-alecky and ugly and rude.  And I'm ready to plug my ears with anything for the next three years.

I have never raised a teenager before.  In fact, my only real experience with teenagers is when I WAS a teenager, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  So I don't know how much of this is normal and how much is dealing with a chid who has a variety of different disabilities.  It's hard to navigate the maze of adolescence anyway, I think; but this is a bungled mess.

So take a deep breath, my friend.  Today will pass and tomorrow will come.  Hopefully he will calm down and we can try again.  I learned a long time ago that often, as a parent, you take two steps forward and one step back.  Sometimes you take one step forward and one step back.  Sometimes you do the fucking tango or the electric slide and you're not really sure what direction you're headed in.  But you have faith that at the end of the dance, you're in a better place than where you started.

Here's to hoping for a better dance tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Bitch Session

I've been interviewing for a job over the last several months and have turned a couple down because they didn't fit me well.  I thought I had found one in higher ed that would work for me.  The only snafu was that they wanted to call a reference that I didn't want them to call--someone who I had worked with and whom I had a contentious relationship.  This was during my last several months at my last job and a big part of why I left.  I was on FMLA during most of that time and struggling to balance a very sick child and a terminal diagnosis for my mother, among other things.

Well, I was still offered the job.  I guess for that I should be thankful.  But I was subjected to a lecture about the importance of regular attendance.  I was biting my tongue until it nearly bled, because this is what I wanted to say:

Yes, I missed work.  Yes, I left early.  Those days, primarily, were used to take my child to therapy or to a psychiatrist's office.  There were days I was caring for my other child--an asthmatic with severe allergies--when she was too ill to go to school.  And in all honesty, there were probably some times that I was exhausted from it all.

I'm one woman.  I can only do so much and meet so many needs.  Caring for a child with attachment disorder full time is a huge job.  Getting an IEP written, taking kids to doctors, taking kids to therapy, taking kids to psychiatrists, not to mention medical and psychiatric specialists.  I would love nothing more than the idea that I could dedicate myself 100% to my job.  But that would be a lie.  I can't.  I don't live a typical mom's life some days and some days I never will.  That's the reality.

So the dilemma:  do I tell my new workplace or not?  Do I pretend I'm not the mother of two children who need more care than most?

I don't know what the answer is.  I hope I figure it out.