Sometimes Being a Mom is Hard.

So during my oldest son’s year in the 7th grade he was bullied several times. This happens apparently when you start your kid in Kindergarten at the age of 5 because he’s bored and other parents sons don’t start until the age of 6. Being a year younger than his peers he had not yet hit his growth spurt (thank goodness that appears to be kicking in now).

Usually I am of the belief that bullies are not getting the attention and or discipline they should be getting from home. When it’s my kid on the receiving end I don’t give a shit why they are doing it I just want them to stop. After an incident where my son was pinned against a wall (thank goodness for security cameras in school I guess) I showed him three ways to defend himself. With this knowledge I also advised him that he should NEVER be the aggressor nor should he defend himself physically if it’s a verbal altercation.

There was one incident that stood out more than others last year though. One that I never thought I would have to deal with, especially with all the violence in schools these days you’d think I would be prepared. I was not. A student my son knew well enough to have conversations with threatened him with a knife. Thankfully threats were as far as it went.

The school took quick action and police were involved but I don’t think any mother can really be prepared for this type of situation. Kids going through puberty are not that smart, they make bad choices because their frontal lobe is still developing and hormones… good grief the hormones. Months later I am getting letters and calls from law enforcement regarding the situation, the charges and the process.

My kids should be enjoying summer, playing in pools, hanging out with friends, goofing off and driving me crazy but not thinking about victim statements and court orders of no contact. So today, after another reminder of this event I find being a mom difficult, but I am sure the mom of the kid who made bad choices is also finding being a mom difficult and that is what I am trying to remember.

Manicured Sons

I love my sons, they each have such different personalities and tastes. My oldest is very active and enjoys parkour, video games, reading and writing. My youngest is very empathetic and enjoys low key video games, reading, animals and legos.

My youngest ask for nail polish like mine a while ago and I figured it is harmless, if it makes him happy and it doesn’t hurt anyone I would do it. He proudly sported blue nail polish until it wore off though he was frantic at the thought of going to school and having particular people notice because he said they were mean and would make fun of him.

I used that fear to make a teaching moment that I wish I had when I was younger, also at the age of 7. If it makes you happy and feel good about yourself, it does not matter what other people think. You want a temp mohawk with blue gel, awesome, just don’t complain when I have to wash your hair, nail polish, cool what color buddy?

Long ago, should be the days we tells boys and girls they can’t do something because it is for the other gender only. I was a tom boy when I was growing up and my dad taught me how to work on cars and build things. Those skills have been mostly forgotten since MS has wreaked havoc on my brain but I am glad I had them.

I would much rather let my son learn to love himself at a young age and explore things now while he is young than wait until his a teenager and start rebelling because he doesn’t feel accepted as he is at home.

What do you think, should we let our kids be kids and love themselves or make them feel weird for behaving “outside the norm”?

Nerve Pain, MS and Parenting

They don’t tell you to prepare for the unbearable nerve pain that comes with MS. Apparently it is not one of the “more common” side effects of the disease so count yourself as lucky if you do not get this.

I take Amitriptyline for my dysesthesias, it is an “off label” use for this issue but it has been working for me, more or less. Though the last few days I have had increasing nerve pain that started in my legs only at night and progressively moved to my full body and all day. Yesterday was the worst, it got so bad I was ready to go to the emergency room, and I HATE emergency rooms. I have spent too much of my life in hospitals to go there unless it’s the last resort.

It felt like someone was stabbing every part of my body with little needles, and not just my skin (that’s what happens when my core body temp increases to much, another fun thing with MS) all of my organs too. It is hard to properly describe what it feels like to have your entire body being pricked with needles and how you can feel it in your organs, but it is not hard to explain that this pain changed my level of patience with people, my pets and my kids.

Driving home with my children, I was in so much pain my body was moving in response. My oldest told my husband later that it looked like I was trying to use the force on cars in front of us with my hands while they were still on the steering wheel. I felt my upper body contorting to try and relieve the discomfort, it did not work. The normal bickering of brothers drove me mad and when children tried to hug me goodnight I cringed and had to tell them to stop. My husband held my hand as long as I could stand it while we were watching a show and I finally had to pull away because the sweet, loving gesture of rubbing his thumb on the top of my hand was causing me pain.

I ended up taking an extra pill of Amitriptyline, I normally take 2 but the doctor said I could go up to 3 so I knew that was ok. I also took a Vicodin that I had for my migraines and back/hip pain. Then I put ice packs on my body so I could numb the sensation a bit and finally got to sleep. This morning I am in less pain so I will be increasing my dose temporarily and speaking with my doctor but I have staved off another trip to the ER for today.

It’s hard to explain to children why you are extra snappy on certain days and what the sensation you experience feels like so they can understand. It is also heartbreaking for me to have to tell my kids they can’t touch me because it causes me pain.