Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The mom guilt is strong

I am so glad this school year is almost over.
It's been a rough, rough ride for Ryan and, by extension, James and I as well.

Ryan's speech IEP (Individualized Education Program) came to an end which was great. His speech is age appropriate and mostly on par with his peers.

However, he was still very much falling behind on reading and writing. So, the school did testing and determined Ryan has ADD.
The good news is that makes him eligible to extend his IEP on the grounds of OHI (other health impairment). The bad news is, of course, he has ADD.

The poor kid has been tested and tested, met with counselors, social workers, reading specialists, therapists of all kinds, tutors, etc etc etc.
Truly, the list goes on and on.

He's exhausted.
I'm exhausted.

And, throughout the midst of this, we decided to buy a new house. Timing couldn't have been more awful but, the opportunity was something we didn't want to pass up.

On top of dealing with the ADD and the schoolwork troubles, he's dealing with a ton of anxiety. And, that's been manifesting itself in ways that have taken us by surprise (and him, too, for that matter).

It takes us hours to get his homework done. Writing twelve words on a piece of paper could easily take 30 minutes.

His extensive testing determined no learning disability. He tested average to above average in every category. But, that damn ADD makes homework & reading such a stressful time for us all.
There are tears nearly every night. Not always just from him.

I thank my lucky stars we live in a community that cares to figure this out and put a plan in action to help him be successful.

Now he has a teacher in his class each day who is dedicated to him alone while he learns along with the other kids with the class teacher.
This teacher sits with Ryan to help him stay on task and help him when he doesn't understand what to do.

As his mother, I want to take the stress and anxiety out of his tiny little body and absorb it all so he doesn't have to suffer even for a second. But, it just doesn't work that way.

I want to throw the question out to the universe... why my son? He's a sweet kid. He's kind, he shares, he cares about others. He loves his sister.
But, if not him, then who? Would I wish this on another? At least we have the resources to help him.

So, not only do I feel guilty that Ryan is struggling so much, Hannah feels the brunt of some of this, too.

When I get home from work, it's almost always straight to helping Ryan with his homework, which, as mentioned above, can take hours some nights.

Which means less time with her. Sometimes all I can give her is fifteen minutes before she's off to bed.
So, of course, I worry that I'm neglecting her because Ryan needs so much of me.

The pictures I get from her daycare during the day are priceless. I feel like I see her more through pictures than in person some days, particularly weekdays.

I just hope that I'm not creating emotional problems for her while so much of my focus is on Ryan.

I will wake up at 3AM to use the bathroom and then spend the next hour worrying about him. Thinking about what resources we haven't yet tapped. What we can do better in his routine to make it easier for him.

All this while also trying to pack and move.

I absolutely cannot wait for summer. Just that little break. Which will be shorter for Ryan because he will be attending summer school.

A shout out now to other IEP parents finding it tough to keep it all together. I feel your pain and I send love to you in solidarity.


  1. Hang in there, Mom! There is the eternal guilt of most working moms that we are never fully doing enough. I don't know what the answer is, but know you are not alone in this and that reading your thoughts brings me comfort. We aren't dealing with IEPs but we are dealing with other things that make me relate to your constant feeling of exhaustion. Thanks for sharing! One step at a time... Oh, and Hanna will be fine! I'm sure you are giving her more attention than you realize.

    1. Thank you so much, Kim. It's nice to be reminded we aren't in this alone and motherhood is a struggle for so many parents, even those who don't have special needs children.
      We're all pretty much winging it.