Last week I had the INFINITE (insert sarcasm here) pleasure of having an IEP progress meeting for my oldest son. I had asked for his therapist to be there, but, as she was unable to attend, she spoke with the learning support teacher the day before. An advocate was not able to be assigned, so I had to do the meeting by myself. Now, normally, doing these things by myself induces a bit of anxiety, but not a whole lot, as I have done it a couple of times before. This time, it was different. A few of the teachers turned it into less of a progress discussion and more of a "your son is not doing any of his work and is totally unfocused and I can't take it anymore" session. Now, I understand that he is a handful, and I suppose letting me know that there is a huge disconnect between home and school is important, but there are better ways to go about this. Where I run in to difficulty is being talked to like I am a 12 year old.
Just because I am a solo parent does not mean I am a moron.
Just because I do not have a partner to back me up does not mean you can bully me.
Just because I do this all by myself does not mean you can do a better job of it than me.
Just because I am sensitive does not mean I am not an effective parent.
Just because I am alone does not mean I need to have a man here to fight my battles for me.
Having to deal with a kid with special needs all on my own is a daily battle in and of itself, but there are sooooo many more things that suck about being a solo parent. There are so many logistics issues when you don't have a second pair of hands to help you out when you get caught in a timing issue. Like when both of your kids are in different activities and both of them have to be in 2 different places at the same time and you are stuck in traffic and you are not going to get either of them anywhere, let alone get healthy food in their faces and get homework done at a reasonable hour. Or when you have a super early job or a late class that runs beyond the capabilities of your child care. Or when one of them is having a particularly difficult time and you need to focus on them for the time being and feel neglectful that you are leaving the other to fend for themselves for the moment. Or when you feel selfish because you are trying to go to school to better yourself for the good of your new little family and little things are falling my the wayside....like housework, checking homework, making daily dinners, keeping up on seasonal clothing changes, and keeping the fridge stocked full for 2 quickly growing boys who eat more than a small army.
So, props to all of you solo moms and dads out there who are making it work! Any suggestions to keep this harried mom from losing her mind??