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Failing as a parent (kinda long)
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Failing as a parent (kinda long)

First let me apologize in advance for how long this is & how jumbled around m thoughts are...

I have an adorable, intelligent son who just turned 4 yesterday. He has been my pride & joy from the moment he entered my life & I adore the hell outta him. The problem is that lately I know in my heart that I have been failing as a parent. I lost the strong bond that I once had with my son & have been trying to get it back. I don't know what happened to be honest. I used to play with my child all the time & wanna be around him constantly. He plays by himself most of the time & seems content, however I know as a mother I should be playing right alongside him. I'm currently 24 weeks pregnant & have been working to get that bond back before my 2nd son is born cause I don't want him to feel like he has been replaced or resent me. I don't know what's wrong with me I cry about it sometimes, because I can't fathom why I can't be the mother I used to be. Not only does this affect me but my son has been throwing the worst tantrums lately & has refused to listen to anything his father or I say. I feel like it's my fault he has been acting out because I don't give him the attention he deserves. Everyone I know constantly tells me what a wonderful mother I am & it makes me feel guilty. One of my friends said that seeing me with my son makes her want to have children of her own. Another person even said he could tell I was a good mom just by seeing the “glow” on my face when I look at my son & when he looks at me. How is it that others can see these things but I can’t? I tell my son all the time that I love him, I discipline him so he knows the things he can/can't do, I've instilled manners in him, I got him a speech therapist when he was diagnosed with a 25% speech delay, & I show him constant affection. It breaks my heart & upsets me to see how my sweet lil boy acts when he gets upset. I feel so bad because he isn't doing some of the things other kids do (reading, writing) & when I tried to get him to do that he wasn't interested. However, is he very intelligent...he easily memorizes store signs after seeing them one time, knows a lil bit about car parts, & even mentions things he remembers from when he was 2. He isn't currently enrolled in school (due to a financial setback) & I'm worried that once he starts school he'll have issues in the classroom. I'm also worried that he'll become frustrated if he isn't ahead like other kids. To make matters worse he doesn't have friends his own age & the lil girl who comes over & plays with him sometimes can be really mean to him at times. Even tho they don't have many issues playing 2gether, she sometimes picks on him & even made fun of his (slight) speech delay. Before we moved to a new city this month I could never find kids in our neighborhood his own age & none of my friends had kids. He has a female cousin who is 2 months older than him & he adores playing with her when he sees her but she treats him like he's lower than her. Due to that behavior from her I don't always like them playing 2gether but I don't wanna take that away from him. I've looked up tips & read so much info on how to be a better parent & I've been applying them as much as I can but I still feel like I'm failing. I don't want my son to think his mother is a failure & I don't want him to be stunted because of my mistakes. I just wish I knew what I could do to help him & to help myself. I’ve considered taking a parenting course to get back that bond with my son. I know my son adores me despite my mistakes I just wish I knew what to do. Sorry this was long...
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13167_tn?1327197724
Your thoughts ARE jumbled,  as you say,  Getly.  

You go from feeling like you and he aren't that close anymore,  to generalized worrying about his academic ability,  his speech,  and his social abilities.  

Maybe this is mid-pregnancy panic that you are worried about being kind of overwhelmed.  You just seem to have such scatter-shot worries that - to me - the lack of focused worry means you're just kind of ridden with anxiety and are trying to figure out what's making you so anxious.

The photo you have of him is perfectly delightful.  Slight speech delay or not,  he looks like a dear little boy and I would guess he'll be one of the most popular kids in kindergarten,  with the teacher as well as the other kids.  

In the meanwhile,  he is a perfect age for you to get him to meet new friends - library story hour,  big church mom's groups,  private playgroups,  etc.   He needs to have boys to play with - they play different (and more nicely,  honestly) than girls do at that age.

Best wishes.  I think he'll be just fine.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you he is a dear lil boy & ppl love being around him. You're prolly right about the mid-pregnancy panic. I think being so close to having my second son is what caused all these thoughts to come all at once. I do apologize again for everything being so jumbled I was just writing what was going thru my mind at the time. Yea since we moved & with the weather still being bad I haven't even given a thought to trying to set up play dates. However I did look online & found that there is a library not too far from here & they have reading circles with kids his own age a few times during the month. Fortunately he does a boy playmate (my 9yr old brother) but unfortunately him & my mother live 3 hrs away from us. However, they will be up here for the summer when my son is born. I just keep praying things better. 2day I decided I'm gonna spend a lot of time with him & work on bonding with him again. I really appreciate your input thank you :)
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there and welcome.  Well, I remember being pregnant with my second child and looking at my first with a bit of melancholy that he'd no longer be my only.  I boo hoo'd over that until my second baby came and life began with more than one child.  Really, someone said this to me and I wholeheartedly get it and understand now---  the best gift you can give your child is a sibling.  I know my oldest son doesn't remember a time when he didn't have a brother----  and now, things just aren't quite right if his brother isn't home.  It is his normal to have his little brother there.

I also have questioned things I've done as a mother and if I'm doing enough, doing something wrong, etc.  Truth is, a parent that thinks about that is probably doing their best and a great job.  Plenty of people never second guess themselves because they aren't all that 'interested' in parenting.  Trust me when I say that a child that will play by themselves at 4 is much much better than one that won't.  And let's face it, sometimes we have to force ourselves to play what a 4 year old likes as it isn't our nature to play chase, or doggie, trains, etc.  Certainly they LOVE this interaction with us and we should make some time for it but don't beat yourself up that it isn't for extended periods of time.  Spend a half hour every couple or something like that.  Read together at other times.  Etc.  

Now, did they ever determine why he was having speech issues?  My son did due to sensory issues.  His sensory issues also contributed to some issues with play skills and social skills with peers.  I was told that it is really important for kids to play with close to exact play mates.  A 9 year old and a 4 year old aren't really playing.  The 9 year old is being nice to the 4 year old is about the extent of it.  I  have a 9 year old and he would not consider it playing to hang out with a 4 year old.  He'll push a train around and goof around a bit with them but mostly, it is being nice and not mutual.  Kids need to practice social skills with age mates.  Older than the kids, they act as leader.  Younger than the kids, they act as follower.  They get their best social skill practice with kids at their own age. And this is who they are with in school so it is important to keep that in mind.  

Look around for opportunities to be with kids his own age.  Have you considered enrolling him in a preschool program?  He probably has another year left before kindergarten, so next school year is a good year to have him attend preschool maybe 3 half days a week.  This summer, check around for any type of half day program one or two days a week.  That socialization will be good for him.  I joined something called "MOPS" which is a mother's of preschooler's organization that is nationally run usually out of a church.  I met other moms of kids in my area and we had play dates and such.  Great way again for your son to connect with other kids his age.  Look at your church if you belong to one as they often have mother's groups or sunday school classes and things like that to connect with other mothers and kids.  Go to the park closest to your house.  I met a mom of a boy my sons age at the park and we started meeting there for them to play.  I stayed closely involved to help my son along.  
Yes, the library often has kid programs.  And, if there is a y in your area, kids begin to take swim lessons this time of year and that is a good place to meet kids and  moms too.  

So, be creative and meet people yourself as well as help your son be in more social situations.  

I would not continue to have your son play with a little girl that isn't nice to him.  If they don't get along great---  they just don't.  

Again, the speech may contribute to the social skill issues (if kids can't fully understand him) as well as the meltdowns.  Glad you are working with a therapist.  I would talk about ways for him to show his frustration and anger.  GIVE him things he CAN do and act it out for him so he sees it and has the language to use.  

good luck dear.  BTW, I'm sure you are bonded with him.  Please don't worry about that!
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1006035_tn?1391310794
The dreaded mom guilt. It is so hard to get away from and we all go through it. As our children get older they do change and mature. Maybe he doesn't need you playing by his side all the time anymore? I can relate to the speech and peer issues. My daughter is 6 and struggles with that a lot. She has autism and it breaks my heart to watch her struggle with things that should be easy. Have you talked to his pediatrician about a referral to a developmental pediatrician? Often speech and social problems indicate a developmental delay that needs to be addressed. The good news is therapy can help so much! Keep up the good work.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes when he was 2 months old we found out that he a had tongue tie however it wasn't severe enough to need surgery. They did warn us that he would have some issues with his speech but that it would likely not be major. My husband & I did look at preschools, but unfortunately we've had a financial setback so we had to basically trash that idea. I'm looking into getting him another therapist & possibly seeing about getting help from programs such as Early Intervention. I really appreciate the advice it def put me in good spirits :) Thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
No I didn't talk to his pediatrician because I figured (prolly stupidly) that I could help him myself. When I did talk to his pediatrician about any issues he said he didn't see anything wrong with his development except his speech delay. However he was 2 or 3 then & back then the things that I noticed now I didn't notice then. I even had an occupational therapist for him at one point & she said his social interaction would improve more once he was around more ppl. When I lived with my mother for a few months when he was 2 he was constantly around other children, but once we moved there weren't any kids around his own age. I feel like it's my fault because he was doing fine then & now he kind of regressed. I'm sincerely hoping that it's just something that's going on because he isn't around other children that much. He has no issues socializing with me or his father but I know he needs other kids in his life.
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