Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comes with the territory!

I remember when I was pregnant with Skyler and had just made the choice to leave his dad. At only three months pregnant with three other little ones tagging along I was scared to death. I couldn't believe that I was about to start from scratch yet again. It seems to be a pattern in my life...one that I don't like repeating.

When Skyler was born I had pretty much lost touch with his dad. I spoke to him one last time when Sky was about three weeks old. We had to talk about the divorce and taxes and things like that. The conversation was short and I could tell he was mad at me. He made it clear that I was in the wrong and that I should never have left him. The last thing he said to me was "I hope nothing bad happens to him. You made a bad choice and I just hope nothin bad happens to him." I had heard this man say things like this about other people that he was mad at. He on several occasions wished people bad luck or death or he would threaten to put nails in peoples tires. He would voice his ill wishes towards people and the anger that spilled off of his lips was enough to make me hurl. I had heard him talk like this a lot but I had never imagined that he would wish his own son ill will. His words towards our son ring in my ears often.

Skyler has never met his dad. I have sent pictures only to have them returned. I don't have his phone number or address. Skyler is fatherless, and has been since birth.

Life has been really hard for Skyler. His behavior at school shows it. Somehow between birthing him and raising him to five years old I have failed in some way. At least that is how I feel. He is five years and three months old. He can say his ABC's, count over twenty in English and count to about fifteen in Spanish. He knows left and right and can ride a bike without training wheels. These are just a few of the things about him I love...but mostly...he is so loving and constantly tells me "mom...I love you so much." But the problem is he wont sit in time out at school or be still in circle time or story time. He has a fit when they try to put him in time out and I cant figure out what is going on with my kid. Is it because he doesn't have a father? Is it because I have been so distracted with the girls and their issues or getting pregnant and the adoption or finding a job and loosing it just to start another one.....and maybe he fell through the cracks? What is it? What have I done wrong? What could I have done different?

Thoughts run through my head all day long. It makes me mad. I should have still been married and a stay at home mom and then my children would have received all the time and attention they deserved. My son shouldn't be in daycare being cared for by strangers that he cant relate to. I shouldn't be away from my five year old for eleven hours a day. Its not right...its not natural for me...yet...its life. I didn't plan for this. I feel responsible. I feel like I'm being punished for the wrong choices I made although I know in my heart that its really just consequences for bad choices made...but it still don't make it fare for my fatherless child.

I just want to scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The future again seems uncertain. I work at a daycare center but because of Skyler's behavior they lovingly asked me to find another place for him to attend. In compliance and because I adore my job, I did as they asked. He starts at the new center on Friday. I have tomorrow off and I will be loving on my son and spending as much time as I can with him. Come Friday, he will start yet again a new adventure. Because he wont be coming to work with me anymore, his time at the center will be extended about forty minutes because of my travel time. That's eleven hours and forty minutes a day at a daycare center with strangers watching him. I'm so incredibly sad I cant stop crying.

I put on a pretty face and smile big though. Nobody needs a cry baby, and God knows that it isn't fun to deal with a sad person...so down it goes. Sometimes I get so lonely although I'm never alone with my two precious boys. Its such a huge responsibility to raise children with two parents let alone one. Again I lean on God. I lean on his promises that "He will be the father to the Fatherless." My son needs that. I know this season of our lives will pass and we will survive...but the surviving part is excruciating. Sometimes I feel I will break in two and that I'm only being held together by small strings. The joy of the Lord is my strength...the joy of the Lord is my strength. I need your strength Lord.

23 comments:

Faith said...

Oh, hun, I have NO idea how you do it alone. I know what it's like to have your babies with you and still feel alone. ALL moms need ADULT support to do this very hard job. I feel so sad for you that you don't have that right now - and so hopeful that you will have it someday soon.

As for his behavior at school, I have to say that schools aren't always set up for the active 5 year old. They have expectations of kids that aren't developmental appropriate. Just because SOME kids can meet them doesn't mean they are appropriate for ALL kids. Just a thought. It could be PART his behavior and part the school needing to accommodate him.

Hang in there, girl. You are right, you will survive...but that doesn't mean you have to like it.

Kelly said...

Not to be asking anything too personal, but have you ever questioned whether your son had a learning disability such as ADHD? YOU are NOT a horrible parent, I am only asking this because my seven year old went through some of the same things as you describe your son going through now and we had him tested for ADHD. Yes, it was tough to get an exact diagnoses for someone as young as my son was, but it was proven that my six year old did have ADHD. Finding a diagnoses was such a blessing to us because then we could start exploring ways to treat this. The results we saw were almost immediate, we saw a huge turn-around very fast.

I am in NO way stating that your son has this, it just breaks my heart that you blame yourself for the way that he sometimes behaves, he is a five year old child and there is NO 'cookie cutter'way that all children will behave. You are a wonderful mother who has sacrificed SO much for ALL her children and one day each of them WILL see that! Being a single mom can be hard and I feel the exact way as you do sometimes. My email address is: Brendankelly27@gmail.com if you ever want to talk.

Reading this gave me assurance that there are other moms who are feeling the exact same way that I do at times. I wish you the best! :)

Love, Kelly f.

Ms. Elaine said...

I wonder if Kelly may be on to something. He may have some ADHD or it may be that some children are just more active than others and Skylar may be one of those kids who is not yet ready to settle down to a "school" environment. You may even consider holding him back and not starting school for him as early as you might have your girls. It seems boys develop in that area slower than girls. Not having a father may have some bearing on the way he acts or it could be that you are not as strict as you should be on him since you feel he is lacking in that area. If I were in your shoes I would make sure he has a good father figure in his life. I would not say that the way he behaves makes you a good or bad mother. There just may be some parenting skills to work on and he may need a very set routine and schedule to deal with his behavior.

Jamie said...

I agree 100% with the last two satemments. I teach Fourth Grade and I have students like this who are now in my classroom. Some have been diagnosed with ADHD and Behavior Disorders and others have not. It has nothing to do with their ability, but they can not focus and can be a huge distraction for the teacher and the other students. Some couldn't even sit in their seat long enough to do their work for any period of time before begin diagnosed. They got meds AND behavior therapy and they are totally different children in a great way!! Other kids want to play with them because they focus on a game, follow directions and get along with others. A classroom is very structured and needs to be for it to run smoothly. That means getting in a straight line or in circle when told to. I also agree with starting him later. Little boys seem to be further behind in maturity as well. I know it is a tough choice, but in the end would be a great one.

Rebekah said...

I'm not a believer of the "God punishes me because of the choices I've made" theory. Sure there are consequences to our actions, but God isn't upstairs ruling with an iron fist, looking for ways to make life harder. It's just not in His makeup.

I think there are all kinds of reasons that good parents have good kids that act poorly. Skyler is not a "bad" kid. He is wonderfully, sweet and loving and tender (so similar to Ty).

I'll be praying that God shows you how to best parent and temper his behavior. I'm sure some of his actions are a combination of the struggles you've faced, kids are smart. They learn how to work the system, quickly! Now that your home is much more peace-filled and you have more time to devote to the boys, I think you'll start seeing some improvement.

I'm really looking forward to our time together in May so that we can talk more in-depth.

Love you. Don't give up.

WP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My name is Heather. said...

I have followed your blog for some time now, since you were pregnant with tyrus. I, too, work in a childcare center. I am a program director. I don't want to step on toes, but your son's story is all too familiar with many children I see on a daily basis. Has your child ever been evaluated for early intervention? Other than ADD, ADHD, there are NUMEROUS reasons a child can't sit still or be able to successfully execute time outs. There are SO SO many things that can be useful to your son that are FREE services. I don't know how your state runs (I live in NY), but our school district runs early interventions. Whether it be OT, PT, Speech, numerous options. They come right to our center and work with the children. Some have sensory issues, others have behavioral issues. Once the services start, these children are completely different. One child cant sit still for the life of her at circle time. She tries so hard. Recently she was fitted for a weighted vest, and it's like NIGHT and DAY! Parents have so many options, they just don't know about them for the most part. Call your school district and ask about early intervention and what you have to do to have your child be evaluated. Worse that can come out of it, you find our he is perfectly fine!!! What is the harm??? I suggest you call and find out. Your pediatrician may know as well. I would start with your school district though. It's a WONDERFUL tool!

If you have any other questions, you can email me at nohimore@yahoo.com.

jodilee0123 said...

Rebekah! I am a stay at home mom and my son has some of the same issues. He is being assessed so we can help him succeed to his potential. It will help us to know how to respond to his behaviors and help him to learn better too. So, even if you stayed at home, you would probably be experiencing the same things. Your son is your son. And you are not a horrible mother. You are providing for your children the best you can and with great effort! You love them so. Our boys are the same age--almost to the tee. I don't like to say that my son is adopted when I talk about him having some special needs because we all know that opens up a can of inappropriate comments from the general public. It is not his birth mommas fault either. It is who he is and we are here to help him be the best person he is capable of. You love your kids unconditionally and that is God's dream. He will help us through the rest. Hang in there. You are not alone in your struggles--remember that.

Rose said...

You sound like you are the only parent out there, that goes through this. Grow up! God put you through this for a reason, but you chose to run away from both of your husband’s because you cannot handle it when it starts to get tough. Yes, I will give you a lot of credit for leaving your second husband for what he did to you oldest daughter, but then again you put her in that position. Has no one ever taught you to never date men you meet online?

Therefore, now your children have to be fatherless, again and all live in separate homes. Boo hoo for you. You are not the one suffering; it is your children who are suffering because of your selfish mistakes. The kids are the one I pray for day and night. They are the one's that are going to need all the help, not you.

Stop whining and take what you have brought upon yourself.

My name is Heather. said...

wow rose. i met my husband online, married him and have a wonderful family. i think you need to pray for yourself. because apparently you like to pass judgement instead of be helpful. God judges the same as you judge. ouch. would hate to be there when that judgement is passed down!

KC said...

Wow, that was so uneccesary! Don't let people like Rose get to you. Many out here support you and want to see you successful in making your life, and you children's lives better. Mean comments like that are not helpful to anyone!
They say much more about the commenter than it does about you!

Hugs!

Susanne said...

I think it's important to remember that some children, with good non-divorced parents, struggle. Do the very best you can, and turn the rest over to God.

Life Happens said...

First, I would like to say that I am so sorry that you are hurting the way that you are right now. I am so sorry that your son is having such a difficult time at school. I don't think that you should feel like you "deserve" these times because of choices you have made in your life. I am with the other Rebekah on this. God just doesn't work that way. You have probably read Romans 8:28, but please read it again. Hold strong to your faith.

Just to reassure you that children of stay at home moms have problems too, I will share a little of my story. I have been a stay at home mom for the majority of my two sons lives. I have been married to their dad for almost 18 years and we have a pretty good marriage. I studied child development and have taken care of many children in my lifetime. My first son was a breeze. My second son has been a challenge from a very early age. He has been diagnosed with ADD and ODD. There are times when our life feels like an absolute living hell, but my husband and I would both go to the ends of the earth for our son. Our life lately has been rough with our son. If you would like more information, feel free to contact me.

You are NOT alone with the problems that you are having. We are having some tough times and I was looking for some encouragement tonight and I found it. It might not apply specifically to your situation, but it might help. I know that we want things in our time, but God's plans and our plans don't always line up. Here is the link I found tonight. http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/the-pace-of-faith. One of my favorite parts is this: That God is God, and is always at work for those who trust him. The site above has many great sermons and articles that I have found to be helpful to me.

I will pray for you and your children tonight. I pray that you feel the arms of our Loving God around you as you walk through this difficult time. He will never leave or forsake you.

God Bless,

Evonne

Ann said...

I agree with many of the readers. Discuss the problems with his peditrician. I have a 2 boys one is 7 and the other is 4 and my oldes we thought was just wild and crazy, full of energy, and super smart. But in school he was always behind. His handwriting was horrible. We know he could do the work. Finally after discussing with the peditrician and the peditrician follwoing up with the teachers we have an ADHD diagnoses. As I was reading your entry it sounds exactly like it. Its not an easy process to go through. We have the diagnosis adn finding out how to treat it the best way is hard. We have been going through trial and error since October now and still do not have it completely under control, its better but not great. He is on medicine and sees a bahavioral councelor once a week. We are on a waiting list with a childrens hospital that has a center devoted jsut towards this. Now my 4 year old is showing the signs....

Its something to definelty look into.

LisaAnne said...

Seriously. Rose needs to find a new focus for her energies. I believe Jesus had a few things to say about people like Rose.

But let's not give her that credit.

I completely agree with the other comments here. Each child is different. The behaviors you are talking about are not ones that would normally be associated with lack of parental role model. He sounds classic ADHD. And 100% boy.

I am raising 4 boys of my own and each one is completely different. Polar extreme different.

The two youngest have the same father. Grew up in the same home. Have had the benefit of the exact same experiences. And they are the two children who are LEAST like each other.

My youngest is so much like your Skyler. He exhausts me.

His brother who is just 2 years older is an angel.

Nothing different. Except that they are just two different people.

We are too quick to blame ourselves for parenting failure when we are divorced moms. Sometimes, it is just the child. I have plenty of friends at church who struggle with their children and they are Godly families, both parents in the home, and the mom stays home with the kids.

A line I use alot is "I don't take credit for Landon being a great kid, because if I did that, then I would have to take responsibility for Dalton's antics, and I sure don't want to do that!"

Of course, I only say that to close friends. And I say it in jest. But there is some truth to it.

Chin up. Hang in there. We will live through this.

Listen to Rebekah. This is not punishment. God wants only the best for you. Yes, we do have to live with consequences of our actions, but God loves you more than we can imagine and He wants only the best for you.

I will add one more thing. My son has had the best experiences at school when he has teachers who appreciate all of the great personality traits he does have, instead of focusing on the negative. I am realizing that if I do the same with him, he behaves better. He is a busy little guy who thinks he is older than he is (which is 10). So I treat him like an older kid. He helps me cook. I talk to him like a big kid. At school, he is the helper of a child who has developmental delays, which brings out his great compassionate side. His teacher thinks he is an awesome kid. In return, he fullfills her expectations. (In 1st grade he had a teacher who pushed his desk against the wall and isolated him from the class - imagine how that turned out...)

His energy and passion for trying new things should be an example to all of us. He is a risk taker and lives life without boundaries. I often tell him that we just need to use his powers for good and not evil. :)

Thinking of you and sending much love. I will pray for you and your endurance. I know how exhausting it is.

~Katie said...

My husband travels A LOT for work and I often feel like a single parent. You love your kids and do everything right. Us mom's need to stick together. Single, married, black, white, 1 kids, 5 kids, money, none...IT'S HARD! And no one loves our kids more than we do. We all want the best for them and we put so much pressure on ourselves. I for one am proud of you! Whatever sweet Sky is going through I know you will deal with with love and the best of intentions.
BTW - That Rose lady should have been named THORN. She's just plain MEAN!
Hang in there R- You've got a lot of great people cheering you on!:)

~Katie said...

Ohhhh, and I also met my husband online way back in 2003... We have 2 WONDERFFUL adopted children and couldn't have hand picked a more beautiful life. So here's to finding love wherever God leads you! :) And here's to all the struggles that he hands us along the way! :)

loveyoualready said...

Oh, Rose, don't be so silly - you are only hurting yourself with comments like that. Your comment is whiny.

Rebekah, you are doing the very best you can. You could be having the same issues (or worse) if you were married so don't beat yourself up about that.

Just keep fighting for your children and be the best advocate you can be. Seek out professional support, talk to whomever will listen, and keep loving your kids. You have lots of people routing for you! ;)

K said...

Hmmm... is this mysterious "Rose", Brianne Gibson of the "Gibson Twins" blog? One has to wonder. The ridiculous venom and the utter lack of self-awareness is the same.

I think you should have Skye tested to see what you can find out. FWIW, I have a very happy Christian family, with a wonderful husband who is an awesome dad, and our oldest son is a big challenge because of his diagnosis. Getting help for him has made a lot of difference.

I will say though, that boys without fathers DO need a male figure in their lives, to show them healthy male behavior, or in their teens years they'll learn it from peers, which is often not good. Do you have a dad or brother or trustworthy male friend that could take him under his wing?

Willy's Auntie said...

Rebekah,

Early Intervention (Part C) is for children ages 0-3 years old. However, a doctor can diagnose him with ADHD or ADD, etc. You can also request an evaluation through the school district, if he is behind and qualifies to be put on an IEP, then he can receive services at school. Call your Child Find Coordinator at your school district. I work in the field in your state and social skills are critical for a young child to learn early on. I think it is VERY sad that a church based organization such as, the one you work for, told you to find another place for him. THEY (the professionals) should be able to work with him and help him. Also, I can't recall who said it, but sometimes these programs require inappropriate expectations of our kids i.e. 3 year olds sitting through a 30 minute circle time - very inappropriate!

Midwest Mom said...

Am always rooting for you Rebekah!! Don't have much time to be on line anymore but you can bet that I am always anxious to hear about you!! Pls.don't beat yourself up..you (like all of us) are doing the best you can...AND you care, which is huge.

Rose is a looser. Sorry. Anyone who takes the time to be on-line here bashing others is a total low life.

Scram Rose!! Go find another hobby, meaney!!

~Midwest Mom from TLOL site

momof2monsters said...

We have been in the same boat with my 7 year old. She is very smart and tends to want to dominate discussions in class, fidgets constantly, and just seems that she cant sit still. We had talked about having her evaluated but have not gotten that far yet. We did some research on line and found a natural remedy found at the health food store called "Focus for Children" its a chewable pill that she takes 2 of each morning and it has seemed to made a world of difference for her. I am not totally into the whole medicating your child thing but with this and omega 3, a multi vitamin, and probiotics each day, she seems better able to focus on her daily work at home and school. Hang in there Rebekah, you are doing a great job, even if you dont feel it. Ignore people like Rose who seem to feel better by tearing others down. Everything will work out.
Jen

Wsbirthmom said...

I was directed to your blog, as you are someone who I'm looking to connect with. I'm parenting an 8 year old daughter and placed my son March 5th of this year.

I've connected with a couple of others like 'us' (older, and parenting older children) and would like to connect with you.

You are obviously much further along in your jouney than I am in mine, and I just watched the videos from your Live with R&R session. I can't say I'm there, yet. I mean my adoptive parents are fabulous (pics every 3 days via cell, 3 hr phone calls and we are going for our first visit 5 days in their home in 20 days), but the grief, the guilt are unexplainable. And then I see other parenting even more children than I am and I think to myself - how do they do it when I feel so overwhelmed with just one....then I feel weak.

I look forward to connecting with you.

Thanks.