I’m A Bad Mom
I let my son blame things on me. He can tell his friends at any time that I’m “making him come home.”
If he’s out at a party, or get together, and becomes sensory overloaded or is having extreme anxiety, he can use me to save face with his friends. Basically, he uses me to excuse himself from the situation.
I’m the “Bad Mom.”
“She won’t let me stay.”
“My mom changed her mind and is picking me up now.”
“I have to go! My mom is waiting outside!”
He knows that I will 100 percent take the blame for him, at any given time. Without having to ask me. I’ll be the crazy, moody mom, so that he doesn’t have to tell his friends he can’t handle the party, or the hang out, or trick-or-treating, or the overnight.
I don’t want to add to his stress of having to explain he’s uncomfortable because it’s beyond typical fear. In the moment, he’s got so much going on in his head and body, he can’t think of anything else. He has Sensory Processing Disorder, an anxiety disorder, and Autism… and he’s doing amazing!
He puts himself out there, he wants friends, and he tries really hard to keep up with his peers, which is hugely important. So, I support him in any way I can.
People Think I’m a Bad Mom
I’ve been called over-protective, enabling, helicopter mom, you name it. Other moms have judged me, thinking I’m ruining my sons social life, or that I’m too hard on him, or they probably just think I’m crazy. Teachers have given me dirty looks and strangers have given unsolicited advice (Don’t you love when that happens?!?!).
“Let him fend for himself!”
“You’re babying him.”
“He’ll never stand on his own two feet.”
I’ve heard it all and I ignore it completely. Why?
Because by giving him the Bad Mom to fall back on, he’s able to make great strides. Knowing that he can leave a party whenever he wants gives him courage to at least walk in the door. And usually once he can get himself in, his anxiety often passes, so he can have a blast and form relationships.
Our trust has created MORE independence. He can try things that he normally wouldn’t. He can spread his wings.
Bad Mom Example
One example of how being the Bad Mom has helped him make progress is his school trip. Every year his school has amazing overnight camps. He would love to go, but even talking about it sends him into a frightful panic. And not the he-will-get-over-it panic, but a he-will-have-a-heart-attack-and-die panic. Very different! Since I didn’t want him to miss out, we offered to be chaperones, but even then he could not get out of his mental tailspin.
So, year 1, I took him to Disneyland instead and was the Bad Mom, saying he “couldn’t go on the trip.”
Year 2, we tried again. No luck. Disneyland a second time and again, I was the Bad Mom. “No trip for you!” “Wow, your mom is mean,” some kids said. “You’re robbing him of this experience,” chimed in the moms. “It’s part of his educational development,” chirped teachers.
Year 3, he didn’t even consider the trip, knowing the stress it had caused the previous years. We didn’t pressure him, and he went to school with the few other kids that didn’t go. He didn’t care, and was comfortable with his limitations and disabilities.
He understands that it’s his choice and he knows what he can and can not do. Does this hurt sometimes? Yes. But no enough for him to put himself in a position where he won’t be functioning. And he was able to tell his friends on Year 3 that he didn’t want to go. That’s it. No other explanation needed.
I’m Happy To Be A Bad Mom
I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I really don’t and you shouldn’t either. We each have a different journey and we have to do what we feel is best for our children.
For my family, being a bad mom works. It’s a safety net that actually propels him forward like a sling shot.
So, be a bad mom for your kids when they need you to be. And yes, my son’s father is the same, and proud to be a very Bad Dad 🙂