It’s Not Your Fault, Momma

It’s not your fault, momma.

I wanted to say this to the mom of my daughter’s new classmate in playschool. Because I somehow left her teary-eyed while she conversed with me.

My daughter has attended a 6-month homeroom program, and is now continuing another 3 month program, teaching them the basics of reading and writing. I’ve formed a bond with the parents of her classmates, that after a 3-week break, we see each other and we’re telling each other stories, even if we already have a group chat in Facebook Messenger.

Anyway, last Monday, we all got back to the playschool. When I took my daughter there, I noticed there was a new pair: A mom and her son, whom she couldn’t seem to pacify. I didn’t see much of it, I had to leave to go to the city hall.

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It took me almost an hour after their classes had ended, before I could pick her up from school. But I’ve seen in the group chat that the new guy was unruly. He was shouting, and somewhat hurting other kids. Even tore another kid’s worksheet.

Of course when I asked my daughter, she didn’t know how to say it, I guess. Or perhaps she does not have that concept of welcoming a new guy to the group because she felt that everybody belonged right away. Hihi!

I remember thinking that when a kid is unruly, I imagine the shame and the blame that parents can have upon themselves. I knew she was trying to pacify the kid, and it must be pretty exhausting if none of her methods work.

On their second session for the week, yesterday, the old group of moms talked, about almost anything. I brought my laptop with me so I can prepare my lessons, and when they saw it, we talked about laptops. We talked about the new business that one mom started over the break. We talked about how one mom still breast feeds her daughter, who’s older than my kid by more than a month (was a bit envious of that, but then, I have other ways to bond with my kid.)

All that time, the new mom was just there, and I was thinking that perhaps she would want to be in the topics.

Around 15mins before 4pm, I went to the car and left my laptop and my tumbler there, so that when Sofie gets out, I won’t have difficulty managing her and our stuff. Before I left, we were somehow discussing about one momma’s plan to have her kid evaluated by a DevPed (Developmental Pediatrician).

When I got back from the car, new momma transfered to a new seat, nearer to the one I was sitting on earlier. I went back to the same area, leaving an empty seat between us.

The topic was still one mom’s predicament, as she have yet to meet the DevPed recommended by the homeroom teacher, by March. Another mom, who’s eldest was diagnosed with Autism, recommended another DevPed. She was very candid about their experiences, and I felt that she showed concern. We delved on that for quite a bit.

Since new momma was beside me, I asked her some questions just to get acquainted. And somehow, I felt, I should’ve talked to her sooner.

Her son was from another class that got dissolved, because there were only a few students left during the homeroom program, and only 3 decided to enroll in the continuing program. She somehow started to choke back tears when I asked how her son is adjusting to the new schedule and new classmates, and though she said that he was okay, she looked like she had this pain in her heart.

When we were talking about the other mom getting a DevPed appointment, she apparently had theirs. And her 4 year old son was already diagnosed with Autism. She recalls that the teacher had mentioned that my daughter’s class is the most disciplined among the other groups, and that the kids were the easiest to pacify when they get unruly…

I felt that she was ashamed that her son was in the “most disciplined group,” that he might disrupt it. But I agreed with what the teacher told her, that he might adapt the habits of the students when he sees how they are in school and how they interract with each other.

She mentioned that her son was also going through therapy, and that was somehow when she got into the old group’s conversation. We all fell silent just listening to her.

We heard the kids singing “Wheels on the Bus” as their recessional song. That signaled our end of sharing.

My daughter was the first in line, and I was seated in an area they would pass by first. I was asking her what she did, gave her a hug and a kiss, when all of a sudden I heard this pained shriek. It was the new boy throwing a fit. Sofie wanted to look, but I somehow distracted her by asking if she wants to eat anything. But the other kids looked and somehow stared.

The other teachers came to the rescue of the teacher holding him and of the mom, who tried to help pacify too. The teachers were saying, “it’s okay,” to the new boy, but I guess it’s also for the other kids. I felt that the last thing new momma would like to feel is shame for how her son is acting, and blame that he acts that way…

When it was still the two of us in the conversation, I saw that she was trying to brush away the tears forming in her eyes. I can only imagine the pain she felt when she heard that her son is different from the other kids. I wanted to somehow tap her back or even hug her to say that it’s not her fault. That she didn’t do and isn’t doing anything wrong. This was a mom who needed support; not pity, and definitely not judgment.

If you’re a mom, or a parent, of a kid with special needs, know that they are very much that: SPECIAL. It might be a disadvantage, but even disadvantages are useful (I will have another blog on that. ☺). I can only imagine what you’re going through. I may not even give any useful advise. But I can offer you my time whenever you need to vent. And you don’t need to say sorry if your kid is doing something unruly. They are just being unique.

And to the parents of normal kids, let’s not be too quick to judge both parents and kids for needing special care. To raise a kid entails having healthy, happy, and loving parents. And if we can see that they are trying to be, despite the circumstances, let’s just give them our support, respect, and love.

#NoToMomShaming