Monday, March 11, 2013

Of Judgement and Genetics

This gorgeous child is really struggling.

Her behaviour is really testing me.  The anxiety, the sore tummies, the tantrums, the not eating - I'm in over my head.

Once again it has been interesting to see people's reactions.  Some people are very sympathetic and understanding but then there are others who are downright judgemental.  This post is aimed squarely at them.


It is so easy to assume when a child is struggling that it must be because the parents are doing something wrong. In reality it is more likely that the parents are doing the best job they can with the resources they have available to them.

I am doing the best job I can with the resources I have available.  Judging me isn't going to help - all  it's going to do is add to my sense of isolation.  I know this is way more ranty than I usually get but I have a bee in my bonnet about this at the moment because those who are quick to judge seem to not realise that there is no logic to their argument.

Look at my other two kids.  Look at Ashlea - she is thriving.  We do everything possible to keep her well and happy - and she is both of those things.  Now take a look at Audrey.  Not only is Audrey very low maintenance she is also lovely, sweet, obedient and easy going.  She is the model child.

How can I be doing such a bad job with one child but such a stellar job with my others???

There has got to be more to the story.  Genetics and temperament have to come into the equation.  Perhaps even birth order and the increased sense of responsibility that comes with being the eldest?  All my children have had the same parenting experience and yet Emma's behaviour is wildly different to her sister's - surely that alone shows that there are other factors involved.

I know I'm not the perfect parent.  I have plenty of areas that I could improve - we all do.

But I am doing the best I can with the resources I have available.

* In reality the judgers are in the minority
** I have many awesome friends who are anything BUT judgemental
*** Yes this is a good reminder to myself as well to not judge other parents
**** And yes it is a bit narky but it is anniversary month and I am feeling narky about lots of things....stay tuned...there may be more rants to come...


Heda said...

I'm so sorry Emma is having a hard time. She is a wonderful, talented kid who does not deserve that at all.
And there is absolutely no doubt that you are a great Mum. Your family is blessed to have you.
Thank God you are Emma's Mum. Scary to think of her being with someone who might not accept and understand the significance of what she is going through right now.
Besides who is perfect? Kids, adults, abled, disabled, happy, sad, health, unhealthy - we are all human beings. That's life, Not only that, it's what makes our lives rich.

The Trousdell Five said...

You have every right to rant about it if you are feeling judged. You are an amazing mum that your children are beyond lucky to have, and anyone with a shred of sense knows that. xo

ferfischer said...

As you know, my oldest has mood issues, and my typical twin has a whole different set of issues. It is very difficult managing 3 or 4 different kids with 3 or 4 unique needs. I sometimes wonder how we do it! But like you said, we just do our best. And try to do right by all of our kids and our family, and to be honest - screw everyone else.

Sandra said...

the 'experts' never go away.
I just tried to focus on leading by example - being positive about others and their kids, trying to have conversations which reflect your values.
When I was feeling vulnerable I would avoid the playground and church gossip sessions. If I had to be there I would look for someone who looked like they weren't 'in the group'and go and talk to them.
Your perseverance and trust in God through what are very challenging issues is very encouraging.
The perception of being judged can be so damaging. God loves Emma as she is and is hurting with you over her difficulties and pain.
Two of my children have learning problems. Over the years I have been incredibly frustrated by teachers, health professionals who have not listened to what I was telling them or not looked just a little bit out of the box. But keep hanging in there and advocating for her. She will love you and appreciate it, even though she won't always show it at the time.

Anonymous said...

Your latest entry has made me comment for the first time ever on any blog or website. You are a wonderful mom! Please try not to let those who are critical shake your confidence in yourself. One possibility is that Emma is just so aware of and sensitive to all the challenges your family faces (her sister Ashlea, her father, and you) that she is having a hard time coping and, like the rest if us, is doing the best she can. Of course no one knows Emma as well as you do. We can't know how difficult things are for all of you. You are doing an unbelievably good job of parenting. It shows in your writing. The strength you show in everything you do sets a good example for your children. If it helps at all to rant - go ahead and do it! None of your readers who have come to care about your family will mind at all. I wish there was some way for us to make your life easier. Try to remember that you are one strong positive encouraging mom.


Deb said...

Hang in there! Other people can be incredibly stupid sometimes, even when they mean well. If I opened my oven door halfway through cooking a cake, it'd probably look pretty ordinary. Doesn't mean the oven is failing. It just needs to keep doing what it's doing for a bit longer. Just because a kid goes through a patch of strife doesn't mean they aren't going to emerge at the other end as a robust and gorgeous human being.

And you're very entitled to the occasional bit of ranty-ness. :) Praying for you.

Missy said...

Alison, like I said to you...You are doing an awesome job of this parenting business.

Thank GOd your children have you as their Mummy.

Dont worry, dont give up and remember I think you are amazing xxx

p.s Sorry that your gorgeous girl is finding things a little bit tough x

Ali said...

Hi Alison,

I feel like I should reveal myself. I did meet you at the EQUIP conference last year, with Michelle Philp, and we talked about blogs ... I have been reading along since. I don't have any children, so I endeavour to keep my mouth shut on anything to do with parenting, but I just can't believe that anyone looking at your situation would consider your parenting the issue. (And I actually wouldn't be at all surprised if someone in your family suffered from anxiety, but that is a very long way from your fault.) I will now shut my mouth again, but take heart and carry on. Praying for you!