where wildly different is perfectly normal
It’s the effort
It’s the effort

It’s the effort

I really wanted to put “…stupid” at the end of that title. Heh.

Ok! Question time! Raise your wineglass hand if you have a challenging/complex child or two (and if you have more than one, my hat is off to you). Raise it again if you have ever put off, avoided, or gotten out of something because the mere thought of doing it with the aforementioned offspring was exhausting. And keep it up one more moment if you feel you are missing out on some of the more pleasant and memorable parts of family life because of that.

You may chug your wine lower your hand now.

It’s the effort, isn’t it?

When the little things (oh, like the cherubs getting dressed in a timely manner without intense debate) take up so much mental and emotional energy, you just don’t wanna do more. Sometimes you just can’t. When you do the household chores the kids should be able to do because the effort to get them to do it is more than reasonable, you don’t want to go do fun stuff. And when you read that this is parenting and it’s not supposed to be easy and oh, everyone has these problems, just do what worked for me!, then you just feel like a failure on top of it all.

Just getting through the day with complex kids is hard enough sometimes. Adding a bunch of stuff on top of it gives me the shakes.

All that said, mad props to my husband, who is at this very minute camping overnight with the boys and a bunch of Cub Scouts. He is…oh, how to say gently?…not the camping type. We made the Herculean effort to get them out there, and I only pray it is a positive experience for all involved. I have two very valid reasons for this. First and foremost, if it goes well and everyone has a good time (and no one ends up in the campfire), then I can hope the boys start to learn that mom and dad are not the only ones who expect them to make an effort on their own (and others’) behalf. And, most selfishly, it means I could have more quiet evenings at home with chick flicks and popcorn and my electric throw blanket.

Oh, will I go on a campout? Well, I haven’t gone camping since I was in high school and we went family camping with my brother’s Boy Scout troop. I had nothing to do but watch the Boy Scouts set up the camp, cook, and plan everything. It was awesome. Now?

Nah. Too much effort.


  1. Sarah

    As it is a teensy bit early for the wine… coffee it is. Lots. Of. Coffee…

    At least M’s special ed team loves him (“He is such a complex child…very intelligent but with everything else on top of that you have your hands VERY full with him,”) and they are pushing for an ASD re-eval…Yay!. And A is ruling the school (“she is incredibly smart, incredibly strong-willed, and so very very very busy! You have your VERY hands full with her,”), Then I get, “well girls tend to do things faster than boys.” Uh huh. My 5-almost-6-year-old without-a-doubt-in-my-mind on the Autism spectrum child has the brains of an 8 year old and the maturity and language skills of a 3-year-old is being outstripped in the brains category (and in many other areas) by the 3-year-old who has more energy than half her class combined…. All the while skipping out on “the fun stuff” because I don’t have the energy for a meltdown in one while the other is still running around like a crazy person… And both have a neurological disorder on TOP of everything (which they suspect is connected with the ASD stuff, but are separate as well). Then I get the constant comments of “Wow, you have you plate really full with both of them! How do you do it?”

    And people wonder why I drink….

    (rant over)

    When effort takes every bit of energy, is it really worth it? We shall see….. Do I have a choice? Nope… But, for now I drink way too much coffee and have 2 boxes of wine on my fridge.

  2. Erica

    I used to think that wine came in boxes so that you can drink occasionally throughout the month. Now I know it is because it is too much effort to open 4 bottles of wine in one evening. Just kidding, but after this week, chugging down a box of wine sounds like a good idea.

    The wonderful school has put my 5-yr old into two days of in-school-suspension for her tantrum last Friday. ‘Have to have consequences’ even though punishing a kindergartener days later is ridiculous. My 8-yr old is continuing to have problems with friends and classwork. I managed to get disowned by my sister (she has HD), and to top it off, my 18 month old started throwing huge tantrums this weekend. With her sisters, I thought the tantrums were normal. All toddlers throw tantrums, right? I know better now. And all the books I am reading about explosive children mention the explosive child compared to her siblings, as if it is unusual to have more than one in a family.

    Mornings have dramatically improved ever since we found seamless socks for the 8-yr old.

Whaddya think?

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