Who Wrote Your Rules?
Growing up in an alcohol-effected home, I followed the rules of silence and enabling to keep myself safe and everyone else happy, or if not happy at least not dangerous. When I left all that, I changed my name and address. I'm still working on changing my role. I’m the Mom now. I should be making the rules instead of following everyone else’s.
Mom Guilt Is Tough When You Have A Special Needs Child
Our beautiful son came to us via Russian orphanage. At 13 months old, he weighed only 15 pounds. He was at risk for growth failure, and EVERY time I take him to the doctor, I get a lecture on how he doesn’t weigh enough. I feel guilty about that. But I didn't cause it.
When he was a baby, I fed him teething biscuits to fatten him up. Today, he eats tablespoons of peanut butter and slices of cheese for snacks. He has lots of nuts and unlimited ice cream, yet he’s still in the 3rd percentile for weight based on his height. I feel guilty about that.
Side Effects Make It Worse
My son also suffers from severe ADHD. Sometimes this condition requires medicine; and he’s one of those cases.He’s been on meds since he was four. Unfortunately, the meds that help him focus obliterate his appetite. The “simple” solution of not giving him the meds is cruel; those medications let him make it through the day, successful and independent. I feel guilty about the loss of appetite.
The Sugar Rules
The American Heart Association (AHA) now recommends children and teens consume less than 6 teaspoons of “added sugars” per day. The brown sugar and cinnamon tart I gave my son this morning, because I overslept and couldn't make a healthy omelette, has 17 grams of added sugar. Since one teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams, he’s one serving of ketchup away from reaching his sugar limit for day. I feel guilty about this.
God, Grant Me the Serenity to Buy Groceries…
This is a lot of mom guilt to carry. Add a Co-dependent, and rule-following to the mix, and you’ll find me, paralyzed by anxiety, crying in the grocery store. That’s really happened. Then my husband has to talk me off of the ledge. He loves those phone calls, “Honey, I can’t do this anymore. Can you please meet me in the freezer section?”
I dreamed of being a competent, confident kind of mom, but dreams of parenthood are often far from reality. My reality is: I love my son and want the best for him. And no one can tell me what's right. I have to do the best I can. I try to find foods that increase his weight without adding too much sugar or being too dramatic to make sense.
Thanks to recovery, I’ve been able to resume grocery shopping. I’ve learned to trust my higher power and to ask my husband for help. But I’m not all better. To face my son's lunchbox every morning, I need my recovery reminders:
- Easy does it. New habits aren’t made overnight
- I have to do what works for me
- How important is it?
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Pam Carver