Last week, I had a horrible day. It felt like a punching contest between me and the universe and by the afternoon, I was ready to tap out.
First, one of our respite workers got a job with the government. I'm pleased for her, but it gave me less than a week to find a replacement. And this is the job I had such difficulty with last year. I still don't have any good prospects for anything beyond temporary fixes. I have most of February worked out but not things which can be long term solutions.
Next, my father had car trouble, leaving my anxiety to spike about whether or not he was going to be able to make it to help with picking up Alex. Luckily, they did manage to get there but my dad is also going back to work, making his continued participation uncertain.
Then Alex's tutor cancelled. She was sick. Alex has been having very bad days of late and I'll admit, I was looking forward to having someone else take care of him for awhile.
Finally, my cleaners called to cancel. At that point, I was just waving a white flag. I couldn't even get upset any more. There was just too much.
Alex's behaviour is another stressful situation which I can't seem to get a handle on. I wasn't looking forward to having to tell the various people who work with him that I need to cancel some of his activities until he can start coping again. And I'm dealing with being kicked and hit, yelling and screaming and fighting over what would normally be quite simple demands. It's not like him. And whenever I mention pulling back on his schedule, I invariably get the "but he enjoys it so much" and "he's doing so well" response. I'm exhausted from having to explain that even something enjoyable can be too much and that he's not doing well at all.
I'm honestly afraid that this is a start for some kind of downward spiral, something I'm not going to be able to get ahead of. And Nathan is also starting to show signs of aggression and stress, making me wonder if this is the start of his exodus from integrated school and activities. It's also making me wonder if I'm a complete failure as a parent since my children are both showing similar symptoms.
There is nowhere I can't second-guess myself (or have others do it for me). All I can do is trudge ahead with what I think might be right and try to stay open-minded enough not to miss warning signs that I'm wrong. It's exhausting.
For most parents, there could be a comforting "it's not as bad as you think" but the possible rock-bottom for me is a lot lower than for most. I can't rule out that this could be something systemic. But I also have to keep on trying as if it isn't.
End of the day, I cancelled my plans, curled up in front of the TV and allowed myself to gorge on comfort food. Not my best shining moment of coping but it was what I needed to get me to the next day, when everyone needs me to be up and functional.