Right now I should be one of those annoyingly over-proud mums boasting about their child’s achievements at the school athletics carnival all over Facebook, complete with photos.
Instead I get to be the mum that comes home in tears. Why? Because I have a child with a disability.
To look at him, he looks perfectly normal. Two legs, two arms all working just fine, but he’s not ‘normal’. He’s different, and on days like today he just doesn’t cope.
So I’ll say it… what every mum is just not supposed to say. I’m embarrassed by him. It hurts to even write it, but right now it’s true. I just witnessed him attack a teacher and then attack myself because things didn’t go his way.
He knows he’s not like the other boys and the pressure is just too much, so he lashed out. He threw a monumental tantrum, which for a boy of almost 9 is just not fun to witness. And there were witnesses. Lots of them. Mums and dads of ‘normal’ kids all staring and wondering why I don’t control my kid.
I love him of course, he’s my firstborn and he can be funny and loving and amazing. But I’ll admit, sometimes I just don’t like him very much. I hear the gasps and see the pointing fingers from here… of course if I think this way about him then he is bound to misbehave! But I try, I try so hard every day to be positive, to give incentives and rewards and encouragement. There are consequences for inappropriate behaviour, and there is lots of love and fun and laughter too.
It’s just that it’s not working, and I don’t know what else to do.
I’m tired. My other kids are tired. His teachers are tired. The kids at school are tired. We all suffer because he can’t control his behaviour. The worst thing is he suffers too.
He’s bright, very bright and if I may say so a pretty good-looking kid too. Apparently I shouldn’t complain as so many other parents have it so much worse. It’s not cancer, ADHD isn’t life threatening, but it is life altering and it certainly does exist. It has changed our lives forever.
Today I’m not enjoying the celebrations with the other proud mums. I’m not enjoying my twins’ very first athletics carnival with them. Instead I had to come home with tears running down my face and my ears burning as I listened to the sighs and grumbles of the teachers who don’t want to deal with him ruining their day and the comments from the other parents wondering what on earth is ‘wrong with that kid’.
Today my son is not enjoying his athletics carnival. He is not allowed to join in with the remainder of the activities because he couldn’t control his own behaviour. It worries me. What will become of him if he never learns how to react in different situations? Most of all it makes me sad, because I don’t know that he ever will.
The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous.
Have you ever felt embarrassed by your children?