Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days in the restaurant industry. Families take mom out so she doesn’t have to cook. Moms get cards, love, praise, and pampering.
But moms who have kids with Conduct Disorder (CD)? Most of us don’t go out. We have no idea how our kids might behave, and the last thing we want to do on our supposed “special day” is manage (or even have to worry about) our kid’s behavior.
It is less exhausting to stay home and deal with violence and drama there than it is to go to a restaurant and worry about public judgment. At least at home we won’t get the angry glares from the other parents out there who were lucky enough to hit the “good child” lottery. We get condemnation about our parenting 364 other days a year. We don’t need it on Mother’s Day too.
Every year I watch the heartbroken posts pour into the support group for parents of children with CD I created back in 2014. Posts like this come every holiday. Sometimes with descriptions of behavior that, if executed by an adult, would end up in jail time and a restraining order.
Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, whose history reads like a case study of a child with CD, called his mother a “useless bitch” when she took away his Xbox for not going to school. For being a parent. He also threw numerous object as a result.
Sure, he did this in November and not on Mother’s Day, but this could literally be a day in any one of our houses. Enforce a consequence, child flies off the handle throwing things, destroying things, and hurling profanities at us. Yes, this can even happen on Mother’s Day. See why most of us don’t go out on Mother’s Day?
Yes, even on Mother’s Day our child might spew profanity at us, punch holes in the walls, set fire to the cat, try to kill our other child, or manipulate everyone around them playing everyone in the household off each other to create family drama.
Of course, it’s always sucky when this happens on a holiday. But I think it’s worse on Mother’s Day. Because this is the day we are supposed to feel loved and appreciated for our roles as mothers, and not be called a useless bitch.
But for most moms like me, Mother’s Day is just another day to be abused.
This year, countless mothers of children with CD will have insults (or possibly even furniture) thrown at them. This year for Mother’s Day moms will be visiting their children in residential treatment centers across the US. Many will spend the day visiting their child in jail. Some will spend the day praying their child will finally be arrested and put into the system.
This year I will do what I always do on Mother’s Day. Watch post after post pop up in the group about what a terrible day Mother’s Day was and offer hugs and empathy, using gifs of hugs to convey emotion and solidarity, trying to pick out a new gif for each person so they feel special, but running out of them anyway and having to recycle earlier images.
Even that little gif can make all the difference in the day of a mom of a child with CD because we are all so terribly alone, us parents whose children have CD.
So please, this year on Mother’s Day, remember that it is not a day of celebration for everyone. If you know someone who has a child with CD, take a moment to send them a message. Not one of those generic e-cards, or a mass-tagging of all your mom friends. Send them a real message. A personal message.
Tell them you know the road they walk is hard. Tell them you know they are doing the best they can in an impossible situation. Tell them that even though their child doesn’t see what a good job they are doing, you do, and you appreciate their work as a mother. Tell them you love them.
Because Mother’s Day is not the day to feel like a useless bitch.
P.S. Please consider donating to our STOPP GoFundMe this Mother’s Day. The Society for Treatment Options for Potential Psychopaths is working toward making life better for people parenting children with CD.