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?