Feeling like a terrible parent!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Val64, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. Val64

    Val64 New Member

    I'm really feeling guilty lately about my limited participation in my children's activities. Actually, they are teenagers. My son just turned 18 and my daughter is 15. I had always been very active with them. For years I took them to gymnastics & meets, tennis lessons & tournaments, piano lessons, voice lessons, dance lessons etc. Last week my daughter had dance team tryouts for school, a tennis invitational and a dance competition. I managed to get through the tennis invitational that left me sitting in the truck from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Because it was 34 degrees outside and my truck seats are heated.) I got out and walked around but mostly stayed in the truck. The following day she had a dance competition that lasted from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (we got home by 9:15p.m.)
    That was Saturday & Sunday. By Monday morning I could barely move. And she had another tennis match after school that was
    again an hour away. I just couldn't do it. So, my husband cancelled his team's tennis practice and went to her match. I've always been able to be there for my children. They know
    about my fibromyalgia and say "it's o.k if you don't feel like it mom." But I still feel like I'm letting them down.
    It makes me feel like a horrible parent. Anyone else feel this way? How do I get past it?
  2. ForeverFlaring

    ForeverFlaring New Member

    It is not the time for you to be supermom Val. If you children are in their teens then you have given them so much already. I know you feel guilty because you cant give them what they need right now, but they do tell you it's ok.

    The way it looks, your children are supportive of your illness. They are mature enough to understand. You have to remember that although devotion to your kids events is admirable, it is also something that can knock you into bed for days on end.

    I feel your pain, I really do. My children are only 9 and 8 years old and I cant do a single thing like what you were able to do due to this DD and due to no $$ because of this DD.

    Count your blessings Val, it is obvious you have done a great job. It is time to take care of yourself though.
  3. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    I count my blessings that I have a wonderful supportive spouse, family, extended family, and friends. Thank God that I have a FM/CFS Specialists who is my best advocate, and is working his tail off to improve my symptoms. There are so many here--without that kind of support system, who are truly all alone.

    I know these disorders totally rattle our self esteem, but we are still contributing significantly to our family and homes. I think that these disorders can help give us a perspective of whats really valid in life, and what brings about happiness. It's not a clean house, and how many errands we can run.

    Lately, I have found myself really devoting time to the relationships around me---having one of my grandchildren sitting on my lap, and truly listening without interuption to their entire day, or whatever else is on their mind, or spending time with my 12 year old daughter, letting her endlessly put make up on me, style my hair, and accessorize, when in the past, the daily duties would have prevented this. We have a blast together, and I communicate much more with the two children I have still living at home. We spend quality time TOGETHER. My 15 year old son and I discuss for hours world events, moral issues, everything under the sun. He never hears, just a minute, honey, I am busy. I now sit down with my elderly in-laws who are hurting from Degenerative Disc Disease, and have time just to hear anything they want to talk about.
    I think I have found a blessing in all of this, that helps take away from the pain of disablement. I have discovered what is "real" and important in life.

    I have a 24, 22, 15, and 12 year old. I missed so much with my two oldest, keeping up with the house, my work, and all the tasks, when I was well. Now I have a chance to make a real impact in my teenagers (15 and 12)and in my grandchildren's lives--who are 6,5,4, and 2. Their parents are caught up in the usual running around tasks, and jobs, that I used to do. My grandkiddos can sit on my lap, and read books for hours if they want. Curl my hair, paint my toes---or we just talk and cuddle the hours away---and every 5 minutes or so, I tell them how much I love them, and what special people they are. You know I have seen such a change in them---they even like "taking care of grandma"...lol, it doesn't matter that they spilled half of my tea while bringing it to me, the look of satisfaction in their precious faces, of being the strong one, and being needed, makes the spill---nothing. Now this is quality of life. If I asked my two grown children, what they remembered about their childhood, it wouldn't be that I ran them 5 nites a week to taekwondo, to gymnastics, to out of town football games, or dance lessons. It would be the times together one on one...they would look back on fondly.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/12/2003]
  4. goingslowlycrazy

    goingslowlycrazy New Member

    I know just how you feel and it sucks!
    I have recently been diagnosed but have suffered symptoms for the past two years - so my kids have seen me gradually decline.
    When I got the diagnosis of CFS, I discovered soon after that my 14 year old daughter has been scratching her arms and drinking in her room. OMG I can't tell you how that made me feel....I have arranged for her to see a counsellor at school.
    I also have worries for my 12 year old son as he has been showing CFS symptoms for the past six months...
    The kids started the Easter holidays yesterday...so I sat them down and said 'Look - I need help with this...' and it took such a lot for me to say that - but I can no longer ignore my house falling apart around me....mess everywhere, no washing getting done, rooms a tip etc.
    So I explained to them that if they would help me over the next two weeks, together we can get the house cleared to a level where I can (hopefully) maintain it.
    And you know what? The BIG surprise is that they are really excited about it! I guess it's cos I am including them for the first time, instead of 'soldiering on' - very unsuccessfully.
    So, for the next two weeks, mornings are 'work' time and afternoons are 'play time' - and I have promised to watch all the videos/tv they like (so I get to rest - but we will also be sharing time).
    I hope it goes as well as it has started..............
    hope this helps...
    Mary x
  5. 2girls

    2girls New Member

    Val, we must'nt think of ourselves as terrible parents, although I do understand the guilts of not being able to do the things we once did. There are still so many things we CAN do with our kids, as Layinglow beautifully described. I have two girls age 5 & soon to be 11. I do miss some of the things we did together - bike riding, rollerblading, theatres, soccor. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful husband willing to do the things I cannot with them. On the other side of the coin, I have never been more connected with my kids as I have been since being sick. We talk about so many things. My girls love to rush home after school to tell me about all the days events and we have a tea party. We do alot of arts and crafts together, watch movies, play video games, board games, cards, etc. Sleep overs are big with my kids.
    So you can't make each and every sporting event. Letting go of the past is the best way to get over the guilts. There are limitations on what we can do now, but certainly there are so many other possibilities. Do you see what I'm saying? It IS true that kids remember the times we spend with them, not necessarily the activity itself. I hope you can get past this because you sound like a wonderful mother, and I bet your kids feel the same way!

    Good luck,
  6. Val64

    Val64 New Member

    Good Morning everyone! I couldn't believe how many responses I
    received in just a few hours. (By the way why is everyone up on the middle of the night? Pain & insomnia like me?) You are right. I have done a grest job. My kids have done everything they've ever asked to do & I've been there. Now I'll just have to be there when I can. I have a great support system my husband, friends, kids, my youngest brother,his wife & my mom. I am blessed! FMS is not fatal or degenerative so we're better off than some. (Remind me of this in the future when I'm feeling bad again!!!)
    I wanted to tell you all that tonight is PROM NIGHT! My son is a senior and my brother took him to get fitted for his tux.
    My daughter wasn't suppose to go because she's a freshman and I thought she should wait until she was a junior. But her brother has a friend (handsome, tall, dark curly hair, very intelligent who isn't into sports)who needed a date. He didn't go last year because he didn't have a date. So when Stephen asked if Kimberly could go to the prom with his friend I couldn't say no. My best friend who is a hair stylist is coming over today to do my daughter's hair & her friends too. (She comes here to cut my hair if I'm feeling really bad & can't go to her! Another blessing!!!!)
    My sister-in-law went with my daughter and I to look for a prom dress a few weeks ago. (She is 25 and my daughter and I do not agree on what is appropriate for a 15 year old to wear!!!!!!! She's the buffer!) We found the perfect dress!
    She looks like a princess! A teenaged princess!!!!
    I think it's really sweet that my son and daughter will be going to the prom together(in the same vehicle) and out to dinner with their dates. I did something right!!!!!!
    Thanks everyone. You made my day!