I See you Staring, and It’s Not Okay

Raising a special needs child who’s special needs are not visible can make parenting a challenge. Really that whole sentence is bull crap and the reason I say it is bull crap is because raising a special needs child is challenging regardless of the physical appearance, level of special needs or anything else you want to compare from one special needs child to any other child. Raising children is a challenge. Period. The end.

I am raising three very different children, sure you can pinpoint a similar trait between them all, if you are around them long enough, but overall, at first glance I bet you see that one child … my middle son who happens to be special needs. You do not notice my other two children who are mingling, smiling, laughing and having a grand ole time, you notice that one child of mine who is having a difficult time transitioning from the pool to the car or from the car to the park. You are seeing that child having a hard time and you look at me. You stare. As if I am the worlds worse parent, why? I honestly cannot answer that question. I do not know why you stare.

Clearly you have never had a bad day. Clearly you have never had a difficult time with something. Clearly you simply just do not have much compassion because staring or glaring or even whispering amongst yourselves is what makes you feel good. The thing about your whispers, stares and glares is that you are damn lucky it doesn’t affect my special needs child. My middle child has autism and his difficult times have no boundaries and no limits, meltdowns can be brought on by something minimal like a deviled egg sliding the wrong on his plate to the chair being tilted slightly, to the number of people around him. My middle child has autism and he doesn’t notice a thing that you do, for he doesn’t care. My middle child may be classified as special needs but I consider him lucky, lucky that he will not bare witness to the cruel ways people will look at him when he’s having a hard time. Lucky that, unlike you, he doesn’t give a damn about you, he only cares about himself and what’s going on in his world. You all that stare could take a lesson from my special needs child, because while he was born with some special needs; he is much more than that. My special needs child is the most honest, loyal and devoted child I have ever met.

In other ways, I feel that my son is not lucky. He will form so many close bonds with people who will be cruel and mean to him. My son will suffer some social awkwardness and yes, you will stare then too. You will stare at him as if he has done lost his mind, because after all, the only thing you see is a ‘normal’ young boy, who looks overall healthy, seems fine and has no physical disability or disinformation to his body that screams out ‘special needs’. I feel the pain he doesn’t feel. I have had to learn to be stronger as a parent, because of him. My son’s siblings have learned to be stronger because of him. My son’s siblings have learned to not stare at others differences, nor judge other people for their differences. Because of special needs child with autism, we have learned to have such a deeper level of compassion, patience and love that you, who are staring at my seven year old son … will ever have.

I say to you, those who stare at something that is appearing to be an unruly child, or a mother who doesn’t know how to parent her child, stop staring. Stop glaring. Stop whispering amongst yourselves. If you have a question about my parenting or my son, ask. I would much rather you ask, let me explain or you just stay the hell out of it. Go on with your marry way and not stare. My son wasn’t bothering you by his crying, was he? My son wasn’t bothering you when I had to restrain him as a means to whack him back down to planet Earth, was he? My son did nothing to you, right? Then stop. Have some compassion and maybe, just maybe, instead of staring at me .. lend a hand. Lend me a hug. Reach out to me.

More often than not, I am holding tears back, just below the surface and one wrong transition, one bad move, one every day situation for my autistic son can pretty much put me on the verge of a full meltdown of tears myself. Stop judging others. Stop thinking you are a better parent than me, because I am the last person who would ever say, think or feel that way about you. Ever.

While I hold back how I feel about your stares, I have learned to put that on the back burner, because in that moment all that matters is that I do what has been taught to me to do when my son is having that type of situation. I have been trained on how to handle my son and one of the biggest things that ensure I handle him properly, is to ensure I ignore your stares. I have to suck it up, to be honest, and not worry about that look I can feel you giving me, that burning sensation of your eyeballs glued onto my son and me. I have to ignore it. Meanwhile, I am breaking down inside. I am hurting. I am struggling, because being a parent to a child with special needs is a challenge. Raising kids is a challenge. We all need to have more compassion for others, parenthood is rough stuff people. Love more, judge less. It takes a village.

The end.

 

 

Mental Health, Guns and Sadness

Let me be very clear here, I am in no way educated on all of the school shootings that have been happening. I do not know all of the details nor do I know all of the locations that these have happened at; what I do know is that I know enough to form my own general opinion …

Too many of our youth are being killed at gunpoint in a place where they should be safe from such harm. I also would like to say too many of our youth are being harmed sexually in a place where they should be safe from such harm too.

The society we are living in is heading down a crash course to crazy. The news reporters have to cover far too many sad stories of life taken away far too early, there is no need for this. Do I think guns are the problem? Not really. Do I know what the problem is? Not really, no one does for sure.

I have my own opinion on these matters, such as gun shootings in schools, toy guns and pretend gun play when kids pretend their finger is a gun, and I am about to share it. Please mind your manners if you comment, please have respect. I do not disrespect you for your opinions, so I except the same in return from you.

My father is a hunter, the man I dated in high school and into the earlier adult years was a hunter. I have been around many guns in my life, we don’t live in an area where we see them often out at a store, but guns are around here and there, more so during various hunting seasons. I have seen guns since I was a young child. I respect guns. I was taught guns are not toys. I was also taught that toy guns or using my finger as a gun was pretend and for entertainment or play time, never was I confused about toy gun play versus real gun play. Ever.

Once again, I have no clue the back story to these gun shootings at schools, well no back story that goes deep enough for me to form a valid, educational opinion directly about each shooting, my opinion is simply about this backlash, knee jerk reaction society seems to have when a shooting at a school occurs. We are all saddened, we are all hurt, and we want a solution as well as answers, now. Not later, now. I get it, I have kids, I feel the same way, it’s not easy sending your children off to school with this fear becoming a reality for so many families.

I do not think guns are to be blamed for these shootings. I think that a combination of things are to be blamed, yes, but not guns alone. Our right to bear arms is there for a reason, our history matters, what our Four Fathers created for our Constitution happened for a reason. Clearly, there was a reason for we the people to have a right to bear arms, we never will know the events that took place to put this into affect, but we must respect the Constitution, it’s there for a real valid reason; to protect We The People.

5 Thoughts about School Shootings

Here’s where I think our society goes wrong {in no particular order};

  • We lead very fast paced lives, in which we want things now not later, we hate to wait because technology allots us all that we desire immediately at the click of a keyboard button and so we have formed this mindset that things have to happen quickly, as if done within a snap of the finger. No good solution came overnight for any dilemma.
  • Children are raising themselves, and in some cases their siblings too. More and more parents must work in order to keep up the high cost demands of living. This has created a culture of children being left alone far too soon and far too often. Children raising children is never, ever a good idea, because they won’t learn necessary life skills and lessons that parents were meant to teach their youth.
  • Our children are having far too much screen time; i.e. violent video games, violent films and violent/degrading TV shows. Children who are spending an abundant amount of time in front of such violent and degrading electronic games or shows are being desensitized to the real harm in such violence and degrading behavior. Case in point: they confuse fantasy with reality.
  • Mental Health Awareness is not something many are educated enough on, many look to a disability as a physical impairment, but mental disabilities are just as much a cause for concern as a physical disability is {if not more}. Just ask someone who is bipolar how society treats them; as if they can control their own selves, but no they cannot. Many mental health issues are overlooked or not handled with proper medication and therapy, thus placing our society at risk with mentally disabled youth and adults walking our streets every day confused, bitter, depressed and having no where safe to turn.
  • Parents are not spending enough time raising their children, I mean truly raising them. It is our job, as parents, to teach life lessons, to educate them about various weapons they may see in their lives, to teach them about gun safety, to teach them ways to talk about problems, to teach them to open up, to know who they are and to be confident enough to know who to turn to when they are struggling in life for whatever reason. If parents were raising their kids more often, they may be more aware of their child when things start to go negative and thus get them the help that they need.

I certainly cannot point fingers to parents only, and I can’t blame society as a whole no more than I can blame the physical object of a gun on all of these school shootings. I can only share my insight, the thoughts and opinions that have been racing through my head each time I see another school shooting. I always feel sad, for the victims and for the person who felt the need to grab a gun and shoot some people to solve all of their deep emotional scars. Hurting others will never fix you. Hurting others will only hurt more people and most of all, it will hurt yourself because this is a crime with high consequences.

Real guns are real weapons; a tool to use in time of protection of family, protection of self, war and hunting to get meat for the family.

There is nothing wrong with kids playing pretend cops and robbers with pretend guns, they played such games back in the day and no one ever thought to bring a gun into a school and shoot people up, right? So what has changed in society that has made children think it’s okay to do such a thing? Well …. I made my list of why I think children believe that’s the answer, now you should make your own and let’s work together to solve this issue, one step at a time. There is no one answer to this problem, we need a combination of education, awareness and proactive parenting to really get to the bottom of this devastating issue.

 

Getting Kids Into the Work Force

I think it’s important to teach kids to work for their money, from a young age they can have chores assigned to them and earn some change for their weekly “allowance”. While I am not one to pay kids to do their basic chores, I have on occasion rewarded my children for a week well done. There are so many reasons to instill a hard working mentality into your child; the biggest being we are suppose to raise our children to be responsible, independent adults. Adults who are responsible and independent must have a job in order to succeed in that way of life. Those who don’t get instilled with this work skill from a young age, and have everything given to them, handed over by a parent who can afford to do so, doesn’t teach them a single thing. I do not believe in give, give give nor take, take, take. I firmly believe the world revolves best when there is a bit of both give and take.

I am a balance sort of chick. I like balance in my world and I believe that’s the best possible way for all to thrive!

I have slacked in the ways of teaching responsibility with my two sons, to be honest, I think every parent gets busy with life and fun that we lean off track for a bit, but we can get back on track at any moment we realize we are off track. This is my plan; to get back on track with my kids to ensure all three learn to work for a living and each strengthen their individual skills to pursue careers that make sense for them. My ideal mission is to ensure my children are able to work in some field that they love, therefore they never feel as if they have to work a day in their life; when you do what you love, you are a happier person.

With that being said, I will not raise my kids to only take on jobs that they love, sometimes we have to pick up odd and end jobs to push forward to our end goal of a job we love.

I started working at the ripe old age of 13 years old; my first job was in the pit area of a local race track. I worked in the food stands, where we made the food and served those coming in from the pit area at the race track. I honestly thought that was a great job to start with, plus back then I worked with my best friend at the time. It’s always great to be able to work at a place with friends!

As my oldest is now the age that allows her to take this local babysitting course and be a babysitting, I am saving money to pay for this class so that she can start babysitting for extra cash. At this time, my daughter mostly makes extra cash from just the sales of our book we wrote together, but that isn’t anything to live on for sure!

I plan to work each child into the job field as soon as possible, even if that means as teenagers I hire them to work for me and my websites. Whatever I can do to get these kids to start working as soon as they are old enough, I will do, it’s important to me and I feel it’s part of my Mom Job to do so.

Working from Home – Keeping Kids Busy

I have started a new job from home that requires me to work 2 hours a day five days a week. My current schedule entails me working 9-11am Tues thru Friday and Saturdays from 10am – 12pm. I am excited to be able to earn a weekly paycheck while still being at home. Summer is coming after all, so taking a job outside of the home wouldn’t be feasible. I also wanted to ensure I could continue with my business of making money online with all the other client obligations I have. This job is the perfect match for me and I am excited to be a part of a sweet¬† bunch of ladies!

Setting up Kids So You Can Work From Home

With that being said, I mentioned Summer break is on it’s way. This means kids home just about 24/7 and me having to still work the hours I am scheduled to work. This is no problem for my multitasking personality but it may be an issue keeping three kids busy, preoccupied while I work.

I decided to test out my preparations for work this past Saturday when the kids were home for my first Saturday of work. I took out all of the construction paper, markers and other crafty items to set up the kids with a craft area. I set it up on the dining room table, alongside my laptop where I would work from.

The kids were also allowed to have the game console on and play games during my two hour work period; again all in the same area of where I am working so I could still have one eye on them.

It was a totally awesome idea, or so I thought.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the time when the man of the house came home from work .. sigh.

I had not prepared my kids for that interruption, honestly it’s an interruption that has been causing much turmoil to me and I feel very scattered with my current living situation, but I am trying to work with it.

So the kids went haywire .. the youngest no longer had his brothers full attention because his brother wanted the big man to play a game on the game system with him, not his baby brother. It was a nightmare full of me yelling, me getting very upset and me crying eventually.

I hated this scenario and how it played out, but the kids and I made up for it by spending the remainder of the day, after my work was done together, outside of the home having fun.

One tip I have for all you work at home moms is this; prepare your kids for all things to happen during your work time and be working in the general area where your kids will be so you are easily accessed by them. But seriously, remember try to prepare them for ALL things, such as another person coming over at a specific time that may fall in between your working hours and totally shift the routine all around.

I have to master this scheduling of keeping kids preoccupied during my two hour work days for the full Summer, I think Saturdays will be my only big issue day, for now.

Be Sure not to Confuse “This Doesn’t Work” with “Difficult” #dating #blendedfamily

So you met the person of your dreams. You spend a year or maybe less sulking up the love, affection and happiness that comes with most new relationships. Then it happens. Your kids and their kids have to meet at some point, they all get along great. The kids adore each other. The two adults adore each other. Parenting techniques were discussed beforehand and things were seeming to blend together well.

Then it happens.

Things don’t seem so easy anymore. The situation appears to be something that you didn’t realize it was.

Blended families are difficult. You are essentially combining two different families together under one roof. Two parents, who probably don’t parent the same exact way, and two sets of children who were parented differently. Something has to give and communication has to become stronger than ever before.

The key to any relationship, especially a blended family one, is communication as well as respect, trust and honesty.

I think when times get tough, people just walk away. Since so many talk about marriages failing because people give up too soon, often times couples will beat their relationship to death and in turn dislike each other for it. When a relationship hits difficult times you need to take into consideration a lot of variables; specifically what your long term goals are as a couple and individual.

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what your own personal goals are as a parent and human being. This will play a key role in whether or not the relationship troubles are simply difficult times or most certainly, without a doubt something that isn’t going to work in the long haul.

Stay true to yourself. Do not allow any relationship to make you lose who you are. There is always room for negotiation on some subjects and scenarios, but never should you have to negotiate to a point of being broken.

Be aware of the other person’s responses to parenthood trials and tribulations, as well as your own. Do they match up? Are you on a simlar page or are you two so far apart that a light has shined down saying “this isn’t going to work?”.

No one else can tell you what is right for you and your relationship, you are the only person living in those walls with this other adult and their child(ren). The decision comes down to you knowing yourself inside and out.

If you have weighed all variables and found they are not playing a factor in this feeling of difficult times and really truly feel that this person’s parenting style or lack there of are not a good fit for both you and your children’s future, then you need to leave.

Relationships are difficult, but not all relationships we get into were meant to be. Take each failed relationship as a new learning curve in life. Learn from the experiences and never be afraid to be a single parent for as long as it takes to be the parent your children need. Your kids well being is dependent upon your well being both emotionally and physically.

If you don’t take care of yourself and make big boy or big girl decisions that matter, then how will ever expect your children to lead a fully happy life both as children and adults? You are the example to those little ones and they can pick up when things are not working out for their parent.

As a recap – Difficult means communication and realistic negotiations can mend the situation for the long haul in love and life. This doesn’t work means no amount of communication and realistic negotiations can work to rectify things.

Listen. Speak. Discuss.

Make a decision.

Move on.

Learn from the experience.

Sometimes You Just Have to …. LET IT GO

So many parents live in this fear of losing their child or children. I get it. I have anxiety that I cope and fight with often. I used to fear the world as it pertained to my children. I then woke up. I realized that if I fear the world then they are going to fear the world. Now what parent wants that for their child? Not me.

I have had some awful things happen to me; how my virginity was lost or almost lost is still a blur to me, but it was a scenario that made me more aware about the fact that bad things happen to good people. I was also made aware, looking back, of how lost I was as a child and in turn wanted to parent my children in a way that never left them feeling that empty. So empty that you would be okay and accept the love of a man who was way older than you. That happened to me more often than I can recall, but I often found myself being hit on and sexualized by older men from about age 13 or maybe 12 and forward. Never was it my parents, nor any blood relative, but it was people who I did trust or thought I could trust. Let’s just keep it at that.

You see, I could live my life as a parent in fear that the same things that happened to me would happen to my own children, I don’t wish to live that way. I much prefer teaching my children to have high self esteem, to have better decision making skills and to be able to have skills in conflict resolution. I also prefer to teach my children skills on trusting their gut; that whole “good touch vs bad touch” concept they teach in schools, I discussed with my kids long before the schools addressed it. I let my kids know that if a touch makes alarms go off in their head or even a person’s character makes an alarm, sick gut feeling happen within their own self that they need to listen to that.

Instilling fear into my children wouldn’t allow them to experience the world as fully as I want them to. Sure there are bad people out there and in all honesty, some are those we entrust with our children. That was me, I was entrusted with someone or at least to be around this someone and well, sadly it worked out that shit happened. Had I been more self confident, felt more loved and whole I bet that wouldn’t have happened. Who knows though, hindsight is always 20/20.

I have raised, specifically my oldest at this point in time, that if she feels a touch hurts, is bad or is unacceptable then it may just be that. It doesn’t matter if it’s a caregiver or a family member, we do not have to ever put ourselves into a situation that we are not comfortable with. I also encourage my children to overcome their anxious feelings with new situations and to learn what is a gut feeling versus hormones or anxiety. These concepts are not easy to teach through words, you have to lead by example when it comes to the kids.

I live my life free spirited, confident and happy. I live this way because I know I am giving my children a good role model to look up to. Note: I never said perfect role model. I prefer to be a real life human role model that leads her life for complete happiness within. I can only hope and pray these lessons are taught to my children through my example.

I think parenting is difficult, it isn’t easy to let go, knowing that there are so many harmful people in this world, believe me, I am aware of just how harmful people can be. I went through a lot that no family member knows about, because I didn’t have anyone to turn to back then, but as an adult, I have forgiven and moved on to better myself. Harmful people can hurt others but they cannot break them forever.¬† I just hope my children grow up to realize that bad things may happen to them, but if they keep their heart free of bitterness and open to faith and love then they can overcome any bad that happens to them, so as long as they want to move forward.