Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pity Party

If whiny, ungrateful people tend to annoy you and you don't want to feel that way about me, I recommend you don't read any further. I try not to go down the "poor me" path too often, but today I'm granting myself this little indulgence of releasing all the bitter thoughts swirling through my mind.

The NYC trip is off.

I know I was nervous and reluctant to buy my ticket, but once I did, I was excited. Really excited. The modeling-my-oh-so-perfect-new-clothes, crossing-the-days-off-my-calendar, creating-the-perfect-iPod-playlist-for-the-flight kind of excited. And now I can't go and I'm stomp-around-the-house, sigh-loudly, glare-at-happy-people disappointed. Oh, except I can't actually display that kind of disappointment because I have two kids to take care of and they don't deserve a mom who acts that way (see why I warned you about whiny & ungrateful behavior?).

Maybe another day I will write about the events leading up to this decision in detail, I'm not in the mood right now. I'll just say that as the result of some issues we are having again with Buddy, Chris & I & Buddy's therapist agree that its not a good time for me to be away for an entire weekend. Before any well-meaning people post "oh go anyway! give yourself a break!", we did consider that. The problem is doing that would almost certainly lead to intense anxiety issues with Buddy. Not only would that impact his adjustment to school (which he is handling so well and is currently our primary focus), but would also create that unbearable environment we had at the beginning of summer. A few days away is not enough of reward for me suffer through that situation for an unknown length of time. So I'm not going.

We made the decision a few days ago and at first I was okay with it. I wished the situation was different, but I knew as sucky as it was, I was making the best decision for our family. Doesn't that sound so level-headed and adult of me? Well, all that level-headedness wore off and quickly was replaced with bitter "life is so unfair" thoughts.

I hate that I have to keep giving stuff up so that Buddy doesn't spiral out of control. I know that's a selfish, awful thing to say, but its the truth. I went into parenthood with a pretty realistic view of what it would be like. I knew things were going to drastically change and no longer be all about me. Those regular challenges of parenthood - lack of sleep, dirty diapers, toys scattered throughout the house - can be annoying, but not in a way that really frustrates me. Parenting a child with emotional issues has gone way beyond that.

Of course I love both my children in a fierce, all-consuming way that means I will do absolutely whatever it takes to make sure they are happy and healthy. When you have a child with special needs, that kind of love can be exhausting. Its terrifying to me how much energy and sacrifice it takes just to keep our heads above water. I do the best I can to find balance, to have dinner with friends & date nights with Chris, to take solo trips to the grocery store & read books instead of clean the bathrooms during naptime. Still, the reality is 98% of my time is spent being a mom and I find myself feeling so resentful when a nice night with Chris ends with a child crying hysterically for 3 hours because we went out without him and when I have to postpone indefinitely a trip I was looking forward to taking.

I'm really worried about the person I'm in danger of becoming. How many more ruined date nights and canceled trips will it take until whiny and bitter is no longer an indulgant mood but a permanent lifestyle? That's not the kind of mother, wife and friend I want to be. But how do I give myself the space and the breaks I need when those very things intensify the issues we are working so hard to overcome?

I know in the world of special needs Buddy's problems are minor. I know there are parents struggling with much more severe and frightening issues. I know that Buddy has come so far over the last 3 years. I know with time and hard work he will continue to improve. It will not always be this hard. I know that. But right now it feels like too much work to put on a happy face.

*Sorry for any typos & misspellings. I hate whiny, ungrateful people so there's no way I re-reading this to proof it.


  1. I'm so sorry. I hope that your staying home this time helps him move in the direction he needs to move and that his progress will lead to you being able to take an amazing trip one day in the future.

  2. I'm so sorry things are rough right now. I think it's okay to sulk sometimes. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but hang in there and take things one day at a time if you have to.

    Take care.

  3. Oh Kristen,

    That sucks, but I know that it's not just the missed trip that has you down, but the whole "chained-to-your-life" feeling.

    I'm really sorry this is your reality right now, and I hope your sacrifice now pays off later...I know it will because it's Buddy and Buddy is totally worth it.

    My suggestion is to find a way to pamper yourself. If that means taking a weekend trip somewhere close with the family using your NYC money or going out for an afternoon (if Buddy will be okay with it) and get a massage or pedicure or buy something fun for your house or something.

    Thinking of you.

  4. You are really kind of stuck. You clearly need some time off, but you're right that when you come home the break wouldn't have been worth the fallout. I'm so sorry...feeling stuck is not a fun place to be. But you have to trust that you're doing the right thing and it will pay off big time in the end.
    I hope you get a respite soon and the Buddy continues to flourish with school.

  5. Thanks for sharing Kristin...I'm sorry you had to cancel your trip. I see how hard you're trying to do the right thing and be patient and put your child and family first and it is inspiring. Hang in there...praying for you and Buddy!

  6. Sorry you had to cancel your trip.

    As for Buddy's problems being minor compared to others - that is irrelevant. A problem is a problem and it's severity is not important.

    I'm sorry you feel so stuck - try and get some "me" time everyday if you can, even if it's only 20 minutes, some is better than none!

    Thankyou for stopping by my blog btw!

    Rock on!!


  7. I'm so sorry that you have to cancel your trip. I completely understand why you would prioritize your child first and then why it might make you feel "why me" for a short time. This is a rough patch. The school transition is a transition. Buddy needs some extra care right now. At the same time, that does mean that you have just lost something that you care about. I'm so sorry.

  8. I'm sorry, I so know what you mean... one of the reasons I'm not blogging much myself. I've totally given up all me time to help our son... and now we are eating through our savings while looking for a paycheck again. Hey, wanna meet up for a big hot fudge sundae someday... maybe at Mc-D's while the Dads and kids play in the playland. Oh... I love being a Mommy, but I'd also like to play with my friends some time!

  9. Hi there. Stopping by from ICLW. I am glad you whined out loud because even mommies are allowed to have selfish thoughts. I read further and really enjoyed your sweet Unexpected post. :-)

  10. It totally stinks when mommy-hood trumps our personal lives. It's completely ok to vent - whether on your blog or yelling frantically out the window during a car ride. Being human doesn't make any of us less of a mom. We are all better mothers for trying to balance it all.
    Hope it all gets better soon.

  11. I'm sure you will have another opportunity to go away. I certainly hope so.
    Things don't seem too rosy but having your eyes opened about the situation, you will see solutions, take opportunities, find ways to be more than 2% woman and less than 98% mommy. :)
    Hang in there !

    ICLW #106

  12. Sending lots of hugs - I have never walked in your shoes so I have no advice just lots of support.

    ICLW #115

  13. awww, i'm so sorry, kristen! but you are totally entitled to whine...i know you know you are absolutely do the best thing for your family, but it *is* a bit unfair and not fun at times! hang in there!

  14. Kristen,

    I so admire all the sacrifices you make to keep things running smoothly at home and for Buddy. Although I've not walked in your shoes, I imagine it cannot be easy. You are completely entitled to your feeligs, and they are totally valid. You are a great mother, wife and friend, and I know you and Buddy will get through this. Hang in there, and if you want to meet for a drink (after the kids are in bed) I'm totally up for it. Even on a school night!