Caught in the Act of Bad Parenting

My neighborhood heard me yelling at my daughter and was appalled.

My neighbor’s wife had a baby five months prior and he still has that new parent glow and enamored with everything his child does. He has yet to find unfinished math homework hidden under the bed or discover that his kid runs opposite of the ball in soccer.

I was my neighbor once.

Now I’m a single mom who feels emotionally and financially tapped out raising a kid with a rare medical condition. Adding to the stress, my child has ADHD and ODD, which can’t be solved with a pill, and my ex believes he deserves “Father of the Year” because he paid $152.01 on a $1,500 medical bill. (The .01 is because he calculated his percentage down to the exact penny.)

In self-defense, I wanted to share the back-story of my life with my judgy neighbor, along with how I arrived home from work on Tuesday to discover Savannah used the money I had given her to buy dog food to order pizza for her and a friend. Then, when confronted, swore – “on her life” – I never gave her the money. How this was after I dropped a few hundred dollars on back-to-school stuff.

Part of me also wanted to disclose to my neighbor that my daughter has an issue with lying and stealing, despite my spending countless dollars on books and therapists to fix the problem. That when she came home from camp I dreaded opening her suitcase out of fear of the extra “gifts” I might find. And, how now, in desperation, I’m now working with a therapist who trained with a world-renowned child psychologist at Yale who specializes in ADHD and ODD; however, I have seen minuscule improvement.

Yet, ashamed of my own behavior, I didn’t say a word.

Also, how can I possibly convince a new father parenting is anything but glorious?


4 responses to “Caught in the Act of Bad Parenting

  1. Thanks for being so real here. May God give you Grace & Strength…and glimmers of Hope when you most need them. I don’t know if parents without special needs kids will ever really “get” what all of us in the (typically unchosen by us but Chosen by God) club of Special Needs Parenting have learned, what pretty much goes without saying. There aren’t really enough words to come close to articulating the loss, despair, terror, anger, confusion, frustration, triumphs, hopes, dreams, persevereance, faith, and even Joy in the Midst of Sorrow that seem ubiquitous to our experience.

    I have many times found comfort, encouragement, and inspiration in the writings and stories of other special needs families…here’s one place where I have personally found such special sustenance again & again…

    Please Hang in There–You are NOT Alone! Blessings, Valerie Curren

    I just realized the date you originally posted this, 9/11–the 15th Anniversary of that tragic turning point of a day. Not everyone outside of NYC has forgotten (some of us Never will!)…my special son in particular is very mindful of the tragedy of that brutal assault of a day. We continue to Remember, Reflect, and Revisit those events so that we can honor the memories of the lost, exalt (and hope to emulate) the heroism of the brave, and continue to pray for Comfort, Peace, and Closure (if that’s even possible) for the bitter, bereaved, and broken…in Christ, Valerie Curren


  2. Pingback: Commenting on “Caught in the Act of Bad Parenting” | Special Connections

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