Raising a Blended Family

Hard words to hear.

on September 19, 2011

Hello Everyone, Shorty here, Amazon mentioned in an earlier post about me blogging. This is hard for me to blog about because it puts all my insecurities and fears out for all of blog land to know. Also, there’s something about keeping them inside and keeping your guard up, that makes you feel safe, but here I go anyway.

Thing One is biologically my daughter (which I’m pretty sure everyone already knew).  She does have a father who plays a big role in her life. She worships every step he makes and he can do no wrong in her eyes. This is really hard for me to deal with, because he doesn’t help, he’s inconsistent in paying his child support, or he just doesn’t pay at all most of the time. He does take her every other weekend but that’s only after I call him and say “so you coming to get her”, then I get “ho hum I guess” in response. When he has her he lets her stay up late, watch TV all day and night, and do pretty much whatever she wants. He’s the “fun” parent.

Now normally this does not bother me. I try and for the most part succeed in not talking negatively about him or arguing with him when she’s around. This past Thursday, however, was a tough day.

Thing One came home from school and asked to watch TV.  I made her do her homework first, and then let her watch a show while I finished picking up the house. I needed to go to the store to pick up a few things so I told Thing One to turn off the TV and get her shoes… which is when all hell broke loose. She started screaming and stomping and throwing a fit, throwing a tantrum about not wanting to go to the store, wanting to watch tv, etc. I then told her to get her shoes and that she wasn’t watching TV the rest of the day.  She continued to yell at me, and then she said something that was like a punch to the gut:

“I don’t like my mommies, I don’t want to live here, I want to live with my daddy.”

Now this isn’t the first time she has said something like this, but this time it really bothered me.

On top of my child having an emotional breakdown, I also got a letter from her school saying they were going to start giving her extra help with her reading. Now I haven’t talked to the teacher (yet) so I don’t know exactly what she is struggling in. We read to her just about every night, she reads to us. I thought we were doing everything right, so I’m lost as to what else to do. I started thinking, what kind of mother am I if my kid doesn’t even wanna live with me, and is in the 1st grade and already needs help in school. Then, not knowing the kind of day I was having at home, Amazon called on a break from her EMT class and immediately wanted to start talking about us having a kid- and I kinda panicked. For as long as I can remember everyone has told me there isn’t a maternal bone in my body, and somewhere somehow I’m doing something wrong.

Amazon of course says I’m a good mom, and is looking forward to having a child with me and raising it “from scratch.”  I want to have a baby with her, and oddly enough it’s reassuring for me that there won’t be anything genetically attached to me about this baby.  It’s also reassuring that Amazon will be there, from the beginning, because doing it the last time with T1’s dad was and is hard.

I hope Thing One doesn’t grow up angry at me and hating me, and will see that it was Amazon and I that were there for her and provided for her. I do not want Thing One to grow up resentful and angry. A mentioned the possibility of putting T1 into counseling, so that someone who is trained can help T1 understand and work through any issues she might have.  I know that amazon had nothing but good intentions when mentioning this, but it was just another thing that made me feel like a failure as a parent, my 6 yr old needs therapy.

…Maybe I should have just stuck with my fish tank.  Fish are easy.  Sigh.


5 responses to “Hard words to hear.

  1. Sounds like a fairly typical six-year-old tantrum to me. And as long as these tantrums are happening at home and not, say, in school I’d say you’re doing okay. Home is where she can (sort of) get away with this behaviour.

    Also, try to be positive about any extra help she is getting at school and look at it as a positive. She’s going to be getting additional small group or individual attention. That’s awesome, really! If you haven’t noticed any issues with her reading I’m sure there’s nothing significant. Kids progress at such different rates anyway. I’ve had kids in my kindergarten class who are advanced readers in September but make little progress through the year, others who don’t even know letter sounds at the beginning of the year and are reading by the end, and pretty much any other combination you can think of. (No one who’s regressed though, thankfully.)

    Fish may be easy, but they don’t give hugs.

    Here’s to a better days ahead.

  2. X says:

    Sorry to read about the struggle. Won’t weigh in on whether therapy is necessary or not but I will say it does not equal failure. Sometimes the best thing kids can have is that neutral person who can whelp them sort out their feelings since the feelings get too big when they try to sort them out with you.

  3. prettyisa says:

    It also seems that if it’s ok to rail at you and say she hates you and wants to live with her ‘fun’ parent, it’s because you’re safe. It’s safe to say that to you because you won’t leave or abandon her. She’s probably aware (as much as you try to hide it) that her dad doesn’t really take care of her the way he should, so she’d never say that to him because he really might leave. It’s not easy to be the safe one, but it’s so important for T1 to have that stability, you know?

  4. Hope Coaster says:

    It takes a village to raise a child, no one person can be everything T1 needs in her life. The role of others in her life is a benefit, not a negative reflection on you as her mom. I am sure it is easier said than done, but lighten up on yourself knowing every decision you make in regard to her is made with the best of intentions and that is the best gift a mom can give her child.

  5. I’m *so* behind the times, but I’m still trying to catch up on all my blogs. 🙂
    Anyway, I’m sure it’s hard to hear your child say she’d rather live with her (not-exactly-deadbeat-but-not-stellar-either) dad. Buuutttt… my guess would be that she’s just testing her limits. And she knows that she’s safe with you, so she’s safe pushing you because she knows you’ll always be there for her. I reportedly (I swear I don’t remember this, but I can’t deny it either) once told my mother I hoped a house fell on her, and I love my mother dearly. It happens. (I’m not looking forward to it, but I know I’ll probably experience it too.) T1 probably doesn’t tell her dad that she doesn’t want to live with him because she’s afraid it will come true.

    As for the “maternal bone” issue, it’s obviously BS, because you already have a child, and from all I can tell are doing a bang-up job of raising her. You don’t have to be the warm-and-fuzzy-I-just-made-you-fresh-cookies type to be a good mother. (Not saying that you aren’t that type; for all I know you make a mean chocolate chip cookie. Just that one doesn’t have to fit certain stereotypes to be a good parent.)

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