Am I a Horrible Mother?

Okay – so I’m frustrated.  As I’m gathering information for my presentation on ASD for my psych. class I keep running across the same stuff.

It’s the same old thing, where these parents saw these AMAZING results from their treatment plans instigated on their ASD children. I’m not talking the hour and 1/2 a week that Emma gets of therapy, I’m talking about the parents that give their children 40 HOURS A WEEK of ABA or whatever else therapies.  Apparently their children have hardly any autistic characteristics now at all, and you just wouldn’t believe it’s the same child.

What I’m having a really hard time with is the fact that I CAN’T DO THAT.  I could quit school,  default my student loans, and my husband and I declare bankruptcy (because my loans are helping to keep us afloat), and then give 40 hours a week to her therapy and care.  ????

What is going on here?  Is that the only way?  Am I facing a more impaired-future for my daughter because of my inability to offer her that?  Don’t some children turn out the same amount of better WITHOUT that kind of commitment?

It’s a horrible self-induced guilt trip that makes me so angry…

And perhaps a little bit jealous.

Some people can do that for their kids, I guess, and some people have the time and funds to make it happen. It’s such a conflicting bag of emotions. Am I doing the wrong thing by not forfeiting my life to try this approach??? It may be easy for you people not raising a DD child to exclaim, “OMG, of course you shouldn’t do that!”  But listen, when you are in this position, you feel that the entire world of your child’s life is resting on these decisions.  Perhaps her future to attend school successfully, to have friends, to marry, to live on her own, to have a job.  Those variables are completely unknown at this point.  Wouldn’t you try? Or at least beat yourself up a little for not being able to?


11 thoughts on “Am I a Horrible Mother?

  1. John

    You are a wonderful mother. If you weren’t in school, you would be working. That’s the only way you could “survive” in this world of ours at least from a financial perspective. School or work = no time for 40 hours of therapy a week. Beating oneself up happens regardless of whether or not you have a DD child. Finding the balance of what is best for everyone in your family is the ultimate goal. The thing we have to remember is that your beautiful daughter is not the only person in your family. That is something we had to come to terms with concerning my insane daughter. Where we could have continually neglected my “normal” daughter and son and put them in harms way in order to help her, it didn’t make sense. Another thing that is easy to forget as a parent is that you are human, too. You have needs. Bob has needs. Your son has needs. And perhaps I am a bad parent/person for saying that. I no longer care what others perspectives are on my parenting. You have to do what is best for EVERYONE involved. Then again, what do I know.
    See you Tuesday,


  2. From what I have read on your blog, you are most definitely NOT a bad mother! Many of us out there wish that we had the time and/or money to provide our children with as many services as possible. You are doing the best thing that you can for your family. Just as John stated, if you weren’t going to school then you’d be working. It’s not as if you’re spending your money or your time for selfish behaviors. You are actually teaching your daughter about consistency and routine. These are life experiences that she’s going to have to learn and you’re doing that now.

    I believe that you are doing everything in your power to help your child. I think that we all go through that same feeling. I’m always wondering if I’m doing enough to help my son.
    Don’t berate yourself hun. Just keep loving your beautiful family and know that you are the best one to care for your family!

    PS… Thanks for adding me to your blog roll. I have added your blog to my “Blogs I like” page.


    1. Thank you, and thank you, and thanks… 🙂 I just need to hear these things sometimes – self talk gets old. I’ll refer to these comments of yours and John’s when the going gets tough. Keep writing, friend!


  3. Techman

    Spot on. Remember also (and always) that she does depend on you a lot… she depends on you to show her continued happiness and new things, no matter how they come. Youre painting her life with everything you experience with her. The best course for her may actually depend more on your own well being than you know.
    Keep a bright, positive heart light on that desire for improved therapy. The universe will bring you to it guaranteed.. all it takes is patience, focus and love along the way.
    U r the best mom this little girl could possibly have. Youre the perfect one to give her exactly what she needs.


  4. your biggest responsibility, as i have soap boxed for years….is to love a child as much as you possibly can. unconditionally. no one in her life is ever going to love her as much as her mother does. no one. you are the perfect example of motherhood. you can’t know everything. do everything, be everything. what you can do is be her loving mother.
    i love u


  5. Erin Lakai

    Ditto Techman.

    And, I beat myself up daily. I know how you feel. This valley also does funny things to add to how much we might be depriving our children. Yes, there are many wonderful things we offer them by living in this rural setting, but the educational weaknesses wear on me (as I know they do on you).
    Many cliche sayings come to mind about doing the best we can, but it’s really true.
    I think you rock, and so does Emma.


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