Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Why Mommy Guilt

Another previous posting from my former site. This one is important as it gives some background into the concept of mommy guilt and a peek into my everyday world. Please feel free to leave me feedback. Enjoy. I'm off to the dentist now...GRRRRR

by mommyguilt at 02:55PM (CDT) on April 4, 2005

Many people (men ::giggle::) do not understand what makes up this crazy thing we call Mommy Guilt. Well pooh-pooh on them. Here is just a little background on why I started the site - to write about the Mommy Guilt:

I WISH that I had the ability to stay home and help alleviate some of my Mommy Guilt. As a mother of three, I am plagued with that horrible feeling on a daily basis. Since the time that my second child was born, I stayed home and ran a daycare out of my home. Then, about three years ago, I became a divorced single mom and had to go back out into the corporate world. Never having had the opportunity to complete my college degree, I had to take a job where there was no opportunity for advancement, the pay was just above minimum, and the job was relatively demeaning, as I was always treated as the lowest rung on the totem pole. There was no option. I dealt with the guilt and the terrible job by considering it as something that I just had to do. Period. End of story. It was ok, it kept food on the table and paid the bills. I missed my children terribly.

Shortly after stepping back into the working world, I received word that my son, then in preschool, was having difficulties and the parochial school he was attending wanted me to have him evaluated to check for learning disabilities…which I did through the public school system. He came through all of his testings with flying colors. The only thing that the schools could reccomend was 1/2 hr of speech/week to help him with the /th/ sound. He came through kindergarten just fine. He was teaching all of the other kids how to do the computer programs and learning how to do all the things a child does in kindergarten. He was ahead of his class in reading and writing. I thought all was well. In first grade we began to notice things about him, in second grade, his lack of organization and social skills became more prominent. I currently work as an office manager for a center that works specifically with students with learning disabilities and had begun to recognize some of the same signs in my son. I have not had him formally diagnosed yet, that is coming up next month, but I suspect Asperger’s Sydrome paired with ADD. MORE MOMMY GUILT!!!!!! Now the desire to work from home is even stronger, because I know that SmallBoy is going to need me and my guidance even more than before. The guilt is larger because my current job requires that we do not take vacations in the summer (which is the best time for the children, since there is no school), that we work on July 4 (again, which is good for the kids, especially when it falls on a long weekend like this year), and that I occasionally have to work longer hours than expected (which happens with most jobs).

I began writing after my divorce - beginning to chronicle the experience, but was never able to go anywhere with it, because I devote almost all of my “spare” time to SmallBoy, and whatever is left from that is divided between LargeBoy, Girl, and Prince Charming. Every once in a while, I can sneak in a moment for me - I work out on my way home from work almost every day and I sing in a band (more time away from children = more Mommy Guilt). For me, however, I truly believe that the only way to relieve myself of this Mommy Guilt is to find a way to work from home and help my son. Unfortunately, I cannot just up and leave my current job - I may need it for SmallBoy, plus, we have bills to pay. It’s hard to take a drastic cut in income and assume that the at-home job will immediately make up the difference. But it will all work out. Who knows, maybe some day my singing career will take off or I'll have enough material between my blog site and my divorce notes to actually fill a book or two.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mommy,

I have been where you are. I have had my son tested twice for what appeared to be ADD or ADHD. We explored all sorts of dignoses including Tourette's Syndrome. Whatever! I feel very strongly that he has Asperger's or something else int he autism spectrum but despite the tests, we have yet to get an official diagnosis. Our family therapist said something that I cling to... "remember, you're his mom and no one knows him better than you." What does that mean for me? I don't need a test to validate my feelings. In the mean time, we use visual cues and charts with great success at home. Some years I actually get a teacher who will go along with our little system. Those are good school years.

Don't lose faith, Mommy. And don't succumb to the guilt. You need a life, too, and doing things for yourself renews you and makes it possible to give to your kids.

Another Mom

mommyguilt said...

Thanks A.M. -

I truly appreciate your comments. I think I have stock in now, as I have purchased just about every AS book on the market. I am educating myself, my family and friends, and the school. In my heart, as you said, no one knows him better than I. I don't necessarily want the testing for a label or dx, as I'm begininning with charts, visual and language cues, but I am looking for that as a way in to OT & PT. Hopefully with a dx and a recommendation for OT & PT, insurance will be more inclined to help out with the cost (Ha! Right?).

Thanks again, so much for taking the time to add your support. Know that you always have mine.