31 August 2007

Parent Hacks admin: The Fall

933811710 6B52Bcfeea MFall approaches, and, here in Portland, the school doors open next week. For many of you, the school year is already underway -- a reluctant transition for some, a relief for others. I know for me "back to school" brings recollections of my own childhood mixed with the practical realities of getting two kids ready for a big change. And the sweet promise of some time to myself, which I'm sorely missing.

It has been a difficult summer, as you might have surmised by the inconsistent posting at Parent Hacks and my abysmal response time. Some of it has been due to technical difficulties, but mostly it's because I'm in an extremely tough place parenting-wise. Without putting too fine a point on it: when your child is struggling, everything else fades into the background.

Parent Hacks -- the blog, but more, the community that has grown around it -- means too much to me to falter because of the ups and downs in my life. I'm constantly inspired by your intelligence and creativity and generosity. I'm so grateful for everything you bring to this site, and I'm sorry I haven't held up my end of the bargain in recent months. I trust this particular phase will be temporary and I'll be back on the blogging horse, so to speak, once school gets underway. I also have thoughts about adding community features to the site -- I'll write those up in a separate post.

We've all had difficult days (months! years!) as parents. I know I have -- that's what inspired Parent Hacks in the first place: the vague notion that someone had the answers I didn't. The hack I'm trying to remember right now is something my Mom told me the other day: It'll get better. It always does.

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"when your child is struggling, everything else fades into the background."

Too true. When my son was in the NICU, and later when he was dx'd with Sotos syndrome, my overwhelming thoughts were, "Why is my heart still beating? Why is the world still turning on its axis? Don't they know my baby is sick?"

Hoping it all goes well for all of you.

Sending positive thoughts your way, Asha! Hope school starting helps things calm down a bit.

We do miss you and we're here to help however we can. Can anyone else help with posts? Maybe an open forum to offer homework tips would be an easy opening to let everyone chat.

I'm sorry to hear that you're having difficulties. I think these sorts of problems are the worst, because when anything happens with our children it hurts as much or more as if it were ourselves. And then add on top of that the fear we all have as parents of being less-than-adequate, and the 'why didn't I..' 'maybe if I'd...' that goes along with the whole endeavor, even during the best of times.

I'm considering a consultation with my son's pediatrician. And we're actually at a good place in the parenting cycle now...but I see behaviors that don't seem 'normal,' and I don't want to stigmatize him, but I don't want to ignore them either.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way to say that you're not alone. Everyone on this site knows that you're a terrific parent, and please take comfort in the fact that we are all pulling for things to get better soon.

I hear ya - having had the health crises (child stops growing almost at all... um, problem! and then another one does the same thing! But at least by then we knew what the problem WAS, rather than spending another year and a half tracking down the diagnosis with multiple visits to multiple specialists, ARGH!), and the developmental crises (feeding, sensory, speech, physiology, yadda yadda), and the behavioral (related to the health and developmental, but a whole other layer of HARD on top of it all), and the just plain usual cycles of dysregulation (which in our family happen all at the same time as they're all on the 'half-year-horrors' at once... three share the same birthday, the other is only two weeks off from that, they ALL get to the 'dysregulation' phase at once, ARGH)...

Well, it can really suck one under. I don't run a blog for this very reason - I have never been able to start one up and get it to where it has its own life and value during all these phases of disruption of life. I'm thoroughly impressed that you HAVE maintained any kind of function while also struggling through with a child with 'any issues at all'. It is HARD. It eats the brain, the life, time, energy, resources, and interest.

Hang in there.

Hang in there, Asha!

Your family is very lucky to have you on its team.

I hope the new school year brings your family less stress and every success.

We'll still be here, feed readers baited and ready, for when you have more time.

All the best,
CLKL

I cannot say I know what you are going through but I know you are amazing and pray you can get through this with no scars...

I'm looking forward to leaving work to be a stay at home Dad with twins. Each day work gets a little more hectic, and each day my wife's ready to hold our identical twin girls.

One of us had to stay home, and she makes more moolah and wants to go back, while I want to be spat up on and cried at. Works out well.

Plus, I've had to switch schedules since doing the preschool runs, had to cut back to half our lunches to leave on time. C'mon twins!

Everyone needs a break, especially from blogging!

"when your child is struggling, everything else fades into the background."

I'm a parent AND I teach third grade. Check out the book "Mommy Mantras" from the library and find your own mantra to help you get through this struggle. "it will get better" is good, and the book suggests several more that are will help you focus on specifics. Good luck!

Asha -
Oh, I'm with you about the struggling child. We've had a busy summer full of testing, diagnoses, research into diagnoses, tutoring, frustrating meetings with old school, frantic application to new school ("There may be an opening if you can pick up the application today and return it tomorrow"), relief over acceptance to new school, "helpful" comments from well-meaning friends and relatives, and actual helpful advice from others.
Somehow I actually still found time to do laundry, buy groceries, and even pay a little attention to the other child. But my blog has not been updated in at least a month!
I thought this summer might kill me but now that my daughter is actually excited about going to school for the first time since preschool, it was all worth it. Here's hoping for the best for you too.

Asha, I don't think there's a reader her who doesn't sympathize (if not empathize) with you. And you're right -- sometimes, the extra stuff does need to fall by the wayside while you deal with the core of your life - healthy, family, and basic needs.

I'm with Jill -- is there a way we can help? If so, give a shout. If not, we'll be patient until you have a little more spare time.

(BWHAHAHAHAHA... "spare time." I crack myself up.

I'm facing possible consultations for my toddler as well. I keep going back and forth between "who says he has to follow someone else's developmental schedule, he is his own person, he'll do it, like everything else in his own time" and "maybe he really does have a problem and I don't want to face it, so I must be a lousy mom." Not a fun place to be. So I hear you.

When I'm having one of those days, my dad's response is always, "This too shall pass." I hope that helps you like it does me.

Hang in there, Asha. While we all love this place, your family is most important.

Coming from the Midwest as I do, we always drop by dishes and other things to help out friends in a bind. It's just how things go around here. That's the one thing I miss about online communities... it's hard to relieve in some tangible way... the daily pressures like getting food on the table when extraordinary pressures have your attentions at the moment.

We'd love to have a meal delivered sometime. Barring that, don't feel the daily pressure to attend to your community here. It's healthy and happy and sending you good thoughts until you can return in full.

Good luck.

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