Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not Cut Out To Be a Mom

I generally am pretty good about putting a smile on my face and telling others that I'm doing well. What other's don't know sometimes is behind that smile, I'm hurting. I would like to think that I see the glass half full most of the time. I feel like if I do get down, I have others telling me how good I have it and how much worse it could be. I don't want to hear that today, because it's not going to put things into perspective or make me feel better. I don't want to hear about other's problems that are "worse" than mine. Maybe my challenge is just as hard as a different challenge is to someone. Today, I'm definitely feeling totally defeated and at a bit of a loss. I need to get it off my chest. As you know, Rowan has had some developmental delays which I talked about last month. Today we went in for his well child visit and it couldn't have gone worse. At first, it wasn't too bad. He was ok getting weighed, measured, bp taken. Once the nurse stepped out and the Dr. stepped in, it seemed that everything went downhill. He was laying up on the exam table eating a granola bar and became unruly. It had chocolate on it, and he wiped his chocolatey hand on the wall. I told him no, wiped it off and he did it again. This happened a few more times before I got him off the table. Once on the floor, he started thrashing. Our ped, trying to help got a wet wipe and asked Rowan if he could wipe off his hands. He screamed, tried to scratch the Dr. and finally got his hands wiped down. I tried to pick him up and he started thrashing and hitting me. At this point, I'm trying to have a conversation with our ped while trying to manage Rowan. I put Rowan in a naughty spot in the corner and it only made things worse. He screamed, threw himself backwards and kept trying to hit me. I almost didn't recognize this child.
The ped started asking me a bunch of questions about his behavior, vocabulary and asked if he had regressed from his 3 year well child. I think he's about the same with a bit more vocabulary. He then began to ask me about ADD, and if there was any family history of mental problems, asperger's, etc. We talked for quite a while, this whole time Rowan basically failed to use any sort of communication with me or the ped and was aggressive. He does have bouts of this, but it's not usually this bad. Chandler was laying on the chair at this time, and was down on the floor. The ped got after him and asked me some questions about Chandler as well. After chatting with him for about 10 minutes, he also suggested that maybe there is some sort of pervasive development disorder or which is on the mild spectrum of autism. He told me he wanted to refer him to a child psychiatrist for a second opinion. He said at least if we meet with a child psychiatrist, we could rule out certain things, or pinpoint the problem. He also said that it would probably be a month or so before they would contact us since they are pretty booked out. He wants to see Rowan back in a month. This whole conversation, I was fighting back tears.
Once I got in the car, it all came out.

I cried the entire way home.

Today I feel like life is unfair and I'm not cut out to be a mom. I have already had so much guilt about school, but once school is over, I'm still wanting to work part time. I need that outlet in my life, but it means that my kids are in some sort of childcare. I see over and over how stay at home moms are grateful to stay at home with their kids, but I want to work a couple days a week. I look at some families with 5 kids and they are able to manage better than I can with 2. I see how they behave sometimes and wonder what I am doing wrong. Yes, tell me not to compare, but today I'm going to compare. I'm going to compare because I'm feeling bitter.
I'm also confused at this referral from the ped. He spent 10 minutes with Rowan, asked me 50 questions and sent out a referral. Is his 10 minute evaluation and referral justified when I am his mom and am with him a lot of the time? I told him I did have some testing done and he is getting help through the school district, but I almost feel in a way that he dismissed that. Part of me doesn't want to go through with the referral because I feel that we need to go forward with his special preschool for a bit, but I don't want our ped to think I'm not advocating or being neglectful of my child. He kept telling me that it probably came somewhere genetically and I'm just so darn frustrated I want to scream. What do I do?

I seriously love my boys, so much, but sometimes I wonder if I could ever handle any more kids. Marshall and I have discussed when to maybe have another child, but days like today I almost feel like we should be done. I can't handle it, I'm not cut out for it, and I feel like I'm not doing a good job.

Now excuse me while I go take some Aleve with a Coke, my head is throbbing and I think I'm dehydrated.


Desiree Eaglin said...

Don't beat yourself up, you are a very good mom. You have to give yourself a break, we're human we can't always be "perfect", especially when it comes to momming. xoxo

Janaca said...

The title of your post is exactly how I feel today too. It's one of those days I'm just feeling down and like I have no idea how to raise my kids. You ARE a good mom though! I know you are. That seems pretty rash of the ped to diagnose something like that after 10 minutes. I think you should do what YOU feel is best, and let the doctor think what he will. Good luck with everything! I'm sure it will all work out. I'll be thinking about you! :)

Trish said...

Aw, Tiff, hugs!! I see you with your kids and I've seen them not at their best and you do an awesome job at it. I feel frustrated with my youngest just when he tries to crawl all over us and just act like a normal 18 month old. I think I would have cracked long ago. You do an amazing job and it is not your fault! A child's development issues has nothing to do with how you parent! I think you should trust your gut feelings and do what is best for you and your family. The doctor does only see 10 minutes of your life and it is hard when your mommy instincts tell you to do something different. But like you said, you live with them and know them better than a 10 minute visit. If you want to meet with the referral, just to see what they say, then go for it. Maybe it is nothing. Sometimes there is peace is knowing that it is nothing major like the doctor said. I know when Kaylee wasn't walking everyone kept saying, "oh it could be this" or "it could be that" but I felt like she just was going at her own pace and would do it when she was ready. We met with Kids on the Move and they said exactly what I thought. They did give us some tips, but basically said she'd just do it when she was ready. Then when anyone starting to bring it up I could tell them "I've had her evaluated and they said she's just taking her time" and that made them shut their mouths, and it gave me the peace of mind knowing that nothing was wrong. Big hugs and know that you aren't alone! And remember that this is nothing you have done! It's not your fault at all!

shayla said...

Tiff, that just broke my heart reading your pain! I'm so sorry you are dealing with this! I know your kids mean the world I you as mine do to me and I understand your need to work because I feel the same way. Don't let that bring you down. I hope things go well and that your smile will return soon. You were defiantly cut out to be a mom and were especially chosen for those little ones, He knows how much you can handle. I hope you enjoyed that Diet Coke. That always works for me too ;)

Britney said...

Tiff, have a discussion with your Early Intervention team at the school district. They should be able to help guide you in what to do about what the doctor said. I work on the other end of it... I'm part of the Early Intervention Program for my school district. And we have doctor referrals like this all the time... and my opinion is, sometimes doctors cut to the chase. And yes, they only spend a few minutes with the child and make assumptions. So if it were me, I'd contact Rowan's teacher and the School Psychologist. Where he just went through the screening process, there would have been red flags. Every child is different. Hang in there! You're a great mom! Hope this helps and hope you feel better soon!

Britney said...

One more thing I just thought of, the testing that the psychiatrist would do will be super expensive, unless your boys are medicaid eligible. So, I really would start this process of sorting things out at the school district. They really should be able to help you! And a lot of the behaviors could be due to the fact that his communication skills are delayed. I see this with my own daughter. A lot of her fits happen because she isn't able to tell me what it is she wants. So take that into consideration too. Just be an advocate for your child. You're awesome!

Katie S said...

Tiffany - just to echo what everyone says - you are a great mom. Don't doubt yourself. It's hard when you are feeling like your parenting skills are being attacked, but as you said, you know your children better than a dr who has seen him for 10 minutes. And I totally hear you on the working bit. I worked full time for four years. I feel like I missed out on a lot, but it was what I needed to make me a good mom at the time. Don't feel bad at all. Do what you can and take it one day at a time. I'll bring you Diet Coke. :)

The McClellan Family said...

OH, Tiff, you've voiced what I've felt so many times. I feel so lost some days, I don't know what to do. I just keep plugging along. Hang in there!! You are amazing!!

Jeralee said...

No worries. Yes, it could always be worse, but it could always be better. It annoys the HELL out of me when people hear my situation and have to one up it with a horror story, or tell me that it could be worse. You know what? I already KNOW that. It makes it feel like you don't matter as a person and that your needs are not important. So here goes, your problems are yours, they are difficult for you at this time, and no matter what else anyone else is going through, your problems are still your problems. Your needs DO matter.

The pediatrician. Had to laugh especially about him inquiring about the "mental issues" in the family. I laughed out loud at that one! The Dr. is only seeing a small glimpse of your life and likely has seen it all in his office already. he is there to serve you and your child, not the other way around, so don't worry.

The child psychiatrist? They are incredibly hard to get into and most don't take new patients. Having said that, after some waiting, I am taking my Charlise in next week for her anxiety. I had to pull some strings in that area.

My vote is that you still try and find a developmental pediatrician over a child psych. first. The develop peds. I worked with were so much more knowledgable than the regular ped.

parenting in general is way hard, even if you kid doesn't have issues. They all will at some time. I am having some issues with my middle schooler, and she is considered "normal." Hormones complicate everything. LOL

O.K. that's enough for now... one day at a time, that is really all that you can do. The future is always uncertain, but you can usually count on today.

Tomorrow will be better :-)

Jeralee said...

Wanted to add... DON'T feel guilty about school or working. You have no idea just how important that is. You NEED that to fall back on. There are so many scenarios out there that could happen in the next 40 years. Illness, layoffs, death, disability... I am NOT saying that any of this stuff will happen to you, but after going through my own marriage falling apart and not having any skills that can land me a full time job making more than $2 above minimum wage, I have seen how important it is for the wife to have a real career to fall back on - just in case.
Music is great, I love teaching/performing, but it is a niche... LOL

O.K. there is my .02

L Cook said...

Tiff, I was once at a stake conf adult session when the authority who was speaking open the meeting up to discussion. One tearful mom asked the authority. "How do I know when as a mom I am being overprotective or if it is the spirit telling me what to do with my kids? ( for instance to not let my kid go to someone's house, when to take my kid to the dr, etc) the authority said " There is no difference, as mothers u have such a connection with your children and special spirit in your hearts for your children. If u don't feel comfortable with doing something. You listen to you heart!"
It's hard to be a mom, but I know u love and care about your boys. U listen to your heart and u will know what to do. Thoughts and prayers your way!

Sara Birch said...

Never feel like you aren't a good mom! I think most of us feel like failures at one time or another. Parenting is hard work and some days it can leave you feeling worn out and discouraged. You love your boys and want what's best for them, and that is the heart of a good parent.

As you know,I tend to err on the side of caution,so if it was me, I would follow through on the referral. If the doctor knew Rowan's background, and that he was struggling at his well child visit last year, his behavior today might have thrown up some red flags. The doctor sees lots of kids and knows what kinds of behaviors might signal a problem. In my opinion, I don't think they would hand out a referral just because of frustrating behavior at a visit. I hope that makes sense and I hope it doesn't offend you.

I know your heart is tender about the whole situation with Rowan and I can't even imagine going through what you are. You are an amazing mother, and Rowan is a sweet little guy! In my opinion, the doctor just had your best interest at heart.

Camille said...

Wipe those tears away and fan those red spots. You are an AMAZING mother and don't believe for a second that you aren't. You love your kids, you take wonderful care of them, you would do anything for them. They are lucky to have you.

You'll get through this!

On a side note, I was driving yesterday and 500 miles came on. I had flashbacks to going to stake dances in your Buick with its dangly mirrors. And Shelli's sunburned car. Gosh we had fun. Love ya.

Laura Howe said...

That so stinks!! That makes me kind of angry at the doctor. IT doesn't seem like he was being very patient with the kids. He's a little boy and and kids throw fits. He just happened to do it front of the doctor. Sometimes I think doctors are dumb. :) You are his Mom and you know what is best for him, I think you are doing what is best for your kids. You're kids were sent to you for a reason, not the doctor. Good luck. It is hard sometimes. You drink your coke. Go ahead and get some chocolate cake too.

Emilee said...

I have those days too; more often than not. You are not a bad mom. I think the church puts expectations on us as mothers that make us feel like we need to compare but honestly I think motherhood has different degrees of ease for different people. I honestly don’t really enjoy being a mother. I try really hard and look for different ways to improve but really I would love to have a job to get away for awhile. Also, I think we are done at 2 kids, I don’t think it is fair that the world makes us feel like we should have more. That decision is between you, your husband and the Lord and I don’t think the Lord would ask you to do more than you can handle. If you do test your kids, and if they do come back with some sort of mild genetic thing then it is not your fault you couldn’t have done or do anything different to change genetics, your kids are what the Lord gave you and wanted you to have.

Ashley Hancock said...

I'm sorry! I think we have all had these sort of doctor or dentist trips...where you end up crying in the end. I personally think the doc acted to quickly. I would give him some time through school, and ask his teachers if they see progress. Go with your gut...your the mom! And you know your kid better than any doctor.
Also, I wanted to thank you for inspiring me to go back to school :)