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"She has managed to get her two talking...." Now I feel like a real sh*t mother!

(56 Posts)
Merlot Mon 11-Jul-05 09:46:21

Feeling low today...period due...weepy and tearful and I have been trying to understand what has `sent me over the edge'. I've come to the conclusion that it was the following. I hope you dont mind me sharing it, but I feel that I need to get it `off my chest'........So here goes!!!

On Saturday I met up with an acquaintance whose friend has two twins the same age as ds2 (22 months)....both of the twins were born very, very prematurely and the little boy, in particular has established brain damage and significant delay as a result .

The acquaintance and I were talking and I asked after her friend and children because I suspected that our paths might be crossing somewhere along the lines.. In particular I asked whether the twins had been learning Makaton. My acquaintance then delivered the almighty blow....with the words.."No, because my friend works really hard with them and actually she has got them talking...." I was so pleased for that mum, but so hacked off with my acquaintance....

An innocent enough remark....but to me...`SHE has got them talking..' is so f*cking loaded. And makes me feel particularly crappy...because I haven't got MINE talking

It was compounded when one of my friends (who is the specific classroom support for a little girl with Downs Syndrome) that the little girl was doing great....because her mum works so hard with her...and it has made all the difference with her speech. `Great stuff' but again I felt that because ds2 isnt babbling, let alone talking... she was making a judgement of me

Because my ds2 has no dx, we just dont know what is in store for him, but he is being tested for syndromes where there is never going to be any speech and so I wanted to shout from the roof tops that there are some children who will never speak....and its not due to the lack of trying from their mothers!! and oh so bloody sad

Sorry....rant over.....Grrrr!
Anyone else had to deal with these sort of comments?

Janh Mon 11-Jul-05 10:01:32

Oh, Merlot

Just wanted to reply, you sound so sad. You weren't meant to take their comments this way, I'm sure, you're just at a low ebb anyway - you know you are doing just as much for your child as they are for theirs. I don't often do hugs but please have one today {}

Jimjams Mon 11-Jul-05 10:07:41

yep- and I had a little complaint about this sort of thing on a thread last week.

and yep I've got one of those -never will speak - not for lack of trying ones as well. The funny thing is, now he's 6 I don't really care about speech anymore, but other people still see it as important. we moved pat that sometime very rwecently.

and actually I think your friend wasd a little unthinking....

Fio2 Mon 11-Jul-05 10:09:36

merlot, please take no notice. it just shows how ignorant people are. there are lots of us on here who work damn hard with our children and they are still non verbal. it has no standing on your effort as a Mother.

Please dont take her comments to heart, she seems out of her depth

Fio2 Mon 11-Jul-05 10:10:47

it is damn upsetting though

Dingle Mon 11-Jul-05 10:14:53

Well!!!!! So what if she has "got them talking!" For goodness sake, is it all down to one person alone that they speak? I really don't think so.

That would be like me saying I have got Amelia speaking! Yes I have put a lot of very hard work in incouraging Amelia to speak. She is 3.5 has DS ans is now starting to put 2 words together spontaneously, and I am over the moon. But like most children with DS, speech will come, but is usually delayed. *It is not just down to me. It is at the end of the day down to a lot of people who have encouraged and stimulated Amelia, but more important than anything else, it is down to Amelia capabilities and determination at this time!!!

Another thing that has angered me about this, is the fact that still people believe that just because a child will speak, they won't need the added bonus of knowing sign. My belief is that all children would benefit either themselves or the community, by knowing at least some sign!!!

{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}} to you Merlot. I hope my post doesn't offend you.

Merlot Mon 11-Jul-05 10:28:13

Thanks everyone (watery smile icon)

I also had a really emotional session with ds1 (8 years) last night. He wanted to know that ds2 `will speak when he is grown up won't he?' Of course, I could only tell him...`I dont know..' That didnt help much either

Janh - thanks for that hug (needed it!)

Jimjams - thanks for your wise words...I am definitely in a better place than I was 8 months I expect that maybe time will help with acceptance...I have been explaining to ds1 that no speech doesnt mean no communication, so once ds2 gradually starts to make his needs wants maybe the speech thing will be a little easier...

Fio - thanks for your words of encouragement. I think I'm having a day like yours last week, when the enormity of it all starts to dawn. I know that I am a good mother...but you know there is always that guilty feeling that I could/should be doing more...

Dingle - I'm not the least offended by your post. You and I are coming from exactly the same standpoint.

I was very pleased that all the children I mentioned are taking steps in overcoming some of their difficulties. It was just the astounding ignorance that it was ALL down to the mother! It just dawned on me...when these people made those remarks..that other people might think I dont care as much about ds2 as these women do for their children.

Dingle Mon 11-Jul-05 10:31:38

Don't you think it is because we are good mothers that we feel guilty for not doing more?

Fio2 Mon 11-Jul-05 10:33:18

Dont put so much pressure on yourself Merlot. Your son is still only a baby. I remember being in your shoes and it is a very emotional time and frightening too, so stop feeling guilty. i thinka ctually it is the hardest age as other peoplecannot really see any difference, they just think they are a bit slow iykwim. Whereas on the other handf as your sons parents your are worrying and going through a very difficult time and no-one seesm to understand. Things will get a bit easier and the guilt will ease a bit. Then again guilt and motherhood go hand in hand dont they?!

coppertop Mon 11-Jul-05 10:55:35

Ds1 didn't speak until he was 3+ because I didn't talk to him enough - or because I talked to him too much - or because I didn't let him socialise enough. At least that's what I was told by certain people.

I think that no matter what we do we always find something to feel guilty about. When ds2 finally decided to speak I thought "Hallelujah!" - quickly followed by "Would ds1 have started this early if I'd done X/Y/Z???"

I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time. xxx

anniebear Mon 11-Jul-05 11:24:48

She hasn't got them talking, they were obviously going to talk anyway. I am sure she puts in a lot of hard work in teaching them as I'm sure you also do.

We can't make them talk, (wouldn't it be great if we could?!!)

If she could she would be one very rich famous woman!!

Think she put it totally the wrong way.

Hope you are feeling a bit better today.

My friends little girl is visually impaired and behind in a few other areas. Her and my DD were always around the same developmentally (not that there was ever any competition) but then her little girl just took off and left mine behind. I was so pleased for her but at the same time used to go home in tears sometimes as I would say "oh, DD did this today " but she would always have something better to say. Like I would say I was so pleased as DD had strung 3 words together, but then hers had done 6!!

Felt like I was doing an exam, putting in loads of hard work but never coming near the top!!

Merlot Mon 11-Jul-05 11:51:57

Thanks again.

It really has helped getting my little rant off my chest.. and all your kind words have helped to lift my mood. Fio, I think you are right, what I see in my little ds2 is not always as transparent to others..

I'm going to get out there now, in that beautiful sunshine and try and focus on the day.

Have a good day everyone

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 11:58:46

It's really insenstive and genuinely ignorant - in that they really don't know any better.
My ds is mildy dyspraxic with sensory issues - he's absolutely fine and great and I always feel a fraud posting here but as a baby he never rolled over or crawled or pulled himself up etc and I was told it was because I didn't encourage him and that eg I should put him on his tummy more (despite the fact that he just lay there, nose in the carpet, sobbing with NO IDEA of how to lift himself up). I felt guilty for ages that I hadn't 'encouraged' him to be more physically adept and independent. I was criticised (esp on MN!!) for carrying him too much, letting him use a pushchair and letting him have a dummy etc (which I now realise was part of his sensory needs - everything still goes in his mouth at nearly four). Now I have dd who is most definitely NOT dyspraxic and she loves being on her tummy and pushes herself up and rolls over at the drop of a hat without any encouragement at all and I realised that I no more 'made' ds bad at physical stuff than I 'made' dd good at it. It's quite humbling to realise that your kids are very largely your kids and not your own creation - good and bad iyswim!

lou33 Mon 11-Jul-05 12:02:16

some people should learn to think before they speak merlot

i would really try not to let it get to you though, however hard that may be, and be confident that you are doing the v best for your child that you can.

on a practical level, it might be worth trying to remember that brain damage can affect differing areas , which will have an impact on what is and isnt achieved at varying stages.

i do understand how you feel though, seeing ds2 still not even being able to stand, and other kids with cp pootling about, but like i said, the area of the brain affected may not be the same.

just keep remembering you are a good mum and trying your best

Jimjams Mon 11-Jul-05 12:35:05

Aloha- I was stunned when I had ds2 he just "did" things. I then realised how most things- from the time speech develops, to walking, etc are inbuilt into the child.

jenkins88 Mon 11-Jul-05 13:14:14

Merlot - I think these kinds of comments are so damaging, especially if you are feeling a bit fragile to begin with. Neither of these people probably realised the implications of their words, but it is so insensitive nevertheless.

I was very down a few weeks ago, and I confided in a friend. I was on the phone to her sobbing my heart out and telling her about our worries for DS. A couple of hours later she came round to see if I was ok, and brought her (v. advanced) 15 month old DD with her. I really felt like she was rubbing my nose in it. She then started telling my all the new things DD could do. I left the room because I knew I would cry if I opened my mouth, and she followed me and gave me a bit of a lecture. She said that her DD was only advanced because she had lots of stimulation from others, and that DS was probably just a bit delayed because he only had me to teach him.

I know she thought this was reassuring, but it bloody-well wasn't. I just felt guilty as well as worried.

Good on you for being pleased for these other children. I'm not proud of this, but when I see my friends DD I sometimes find myself wishing she would fall over

I'm so sorry to hear about your converstion with your DS1. It must have been very painful.

Hope you're enjoying the sunshine now, and feeling a little better.

coppertop Mon 11-Jul-05 13:20:18

And your friend thought that would reassure you???? No wonder you were so upset, Jenkins.

JakB Mon 11-Jul-05 13:40:12

Merlot and Jenkins .
I have certainly found that I am now in a new 'competitive' mum arena- that of the child with special needs. Whatever I do, DD finds the idea of the spoken word completely unmotivating (has said about 10 words and says some for a while but never utters them again). And I've accepted that. However 'hard' I work with DD it's not going to happen. All children are unique and all children with special needs are unique and you can only do your best, which you are certainly doing for your little boy.

Thomcat Mon 11-Jul-05 13:46:31

Oh Merlot, what a bloody stupid thing to say to you and I hope you're feeling s lot better about it all already.

I have people say to me, 'You've got to get her walking' about Lottie! What do they think I'm doing? Tying her knees together under long skirts to hold her back??? i somehow manage to resist the urge to slam their head into a wall, and through a thin smile say 'hmmm yes, i know, she'll get there in her own time with lots of our love and support. We've been told it's likey she'll be 5 by the time that happens though so, you know, we do what we can'.

ignorance, that's all it is, just keep remembering that and know that those that matter know what you do for your kids.

aloha Mon 11-Jul-05 13:51:46

Jenkins! What a silly cow! How could she say that to you??? I'm really shocked.
And yes, Jimjams, that's exactly what I was trying to say .
I was saying to dh last night (in amazement), dd just 'knows' exactly how to get from position A to position B in the most economical and effective manner - something I don't think ds will ever really know.
It is innate.

milge Mon 11-Jul-05 14:07:49

Oh Merlot, sorry to read this. Its difficult explaining that your ds is delayed, because, unless someone else has experience of a SN child, they look only for physical difficulties. Unless there is a physical manifestation, ime, its always the mum's fault for not doing X with the child. You seem to be a fabulous mum to your ds's, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Fwiw, if it was a friendship i wanted to maintain, i would speak to your friend, and tell her in words of less than one syllable how much pain she has caused you by her thoughtlessness.If it isn't an important friendship to you, then ignore her!

tamum Mon 11-Jul-05 14:12:36

Merlot, I am so sorry, Your acquaintance sounds unbelievably crass to me. I know it's not the same thing at all, but I have often heard people with cancer talking about how much they hate the whole teminology associated with fighting a battle against cancer, overcoming cancer and all the rest of it, because the implication is always that people who die haven't fought hard enough. Sigh. I do wish people would think before they speak.

I hope you enjoy the sunny day, and remember what that lovely old man said to you in the supermarket queue next time you think anyone's criticising your mothering skills. xxx

Jimjams Mon 11-Jul-05 14:14:17

did you punch her jenkins? What is it with some people? They seem to have a sensitivity bypass

Jimjams Mon 11-Jul-05 14:17:51

ds1's first (crap chain) nursery " He's GOT to speak, he'as GOT to aspeak, you don't seem to care that he isn't (nah not much - must have been why I spent half my time in tears or a knot in my stomach) and what if he gets locked in a cupboard or something? He HAS to speak"

Oh right. A week after they told me I must be talking over him I took him out. Bastards.

Fio2 Mon 11-Jul-05 14:20:13


dd's first nursery said they didnt see the point in her learning to sign because if she could learn to sign she could learn to talk

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