Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What kind of mom am I?

One aspect of my depression is that I often spend way too much time dwelling on every mistake I've ever made. Well, probably not EVERY mistake, I'm sure I've forgotten a few. But as a mom of three kids I'm already doing a job where you worry daily if you are doing it right. I'm sure nearly every parent has wondered after yelling at their child for the one hundredth time if this is going to be what your child is talking about to his psychologist in twenty years.

My 16 year old son has Asperger's syndrome which is a form of high functioning autism. I frequently wonder if his difficult birth deprived him of oxygen at the wrong time. Maybe it was the chemicals that my body was releasing during my pregnancy which coincided with my first deep depression and was never treated. Maybe it was all those darn peanut butter cups that I craved during my pregnancy -- once the morning sickness was over.

My 12 year old daughter has no ambition at all. If she could be paid to watch TV that would be her goal. She is better at sneaking and hiding the things she knows she shouldn't do than both of her siblings combined. I often worry that my depression has caused me to be the worse kind of mother for her. I should be way more on top of things with her. I often know that she is probably doing something she shouldn't, but I'm too tired to deal with it. I let her get away with way too much because she is such a difficult child to parent.

My youngest is a very bright child but very easily distracted. She could be a far better student if I was better at making sure she did her homework and helped her be more organized. She is also very sensitive and easily hurt. Her sister torments her and while I try to protect when my energy allows, I could do so much more.

I allow my depression to take over so much that my house is a pit. I'm honestly embarrassed to have anyone over or to let my kids have anyone over. But it is easier to stay in bed than to deal with it. I'm not teaching my kids the skills they need to keep a house and I'm raising them to be resentful of cleaning. I never take them out on hikes or away from the house to appreciate nature. So nearly every hour they aren't in school they are living in this pit with me.

So what kind of mom am I? Am I failing at this most important task? As a mom with depression who is unable to get any treatment because my health insurance won't pay for it what responsibility to I have? I've heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child, but can't the parents get that support from the village? I need help dealing with my depression so that I can better parent my children. Should I have never had children? Unfortunately I was pregnant with my first child when I suffered my first bout with depression and I didn't have another bout until after I had all three children. I didn't know that I'd be dealing with this.

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