PDA parenting is just too hard
I know what I’m supposed to do, I know why I’m supposed to do it, I know it’s easier and better on everyone, but it’s just too hard.
I’m not a weak person, at least that’s what people keep telling me. I’m quite stubborn and the type of person who will continue doing something no matter how much pain it causes me, so I know my difficulties adapting PDA parenting into my lifestyle isn’t down to laziness or ease.
I struggle to PDA parent because I’m PDA. It’s like someone in a wheelchair trying to held another person in a wheelchair to get about. It’s like the blind leading the blind.
PDA parenting requires so much from a person, so much energy, so much thought, some much self-control. You have to have the ability to think before you act, to be willing to do nearly everything for another person while at the same time trying to subtly push them outside their comfort zone all the while attempting to prevent an explosion.
Any type of parenting is hard, but PDA parenting sometimes seems to be on a whole new level, and it’s just so hard.
I need someone to take over for me sometimes when my anxiety is high and my spoons are low. When my sensory issues are heightened to such an extent that I need to retreat from the world I need time and peace to recover and reach stable ground again. Yet when you have PDA kids, those things are never going to be fully possible.
When I’m floundering and am at my weakest I have to be strong for my kids. When my spoons are low and I have little tolerance for demands I have to push aside my anxiety, dig even deeper and somehow find the ability to run after other’s who are struggling, often in the same way.
Some days, I just can’t. Some days, I cry, I lie down amid chaos because I just don’t have the energy to deal with anything else, no matter how deep I dig. Some days I lash out because it’s the only thing I have left that I can do. Some days I speak knowing I’m saying the worst thing I could possibly say at that moment in time but I have no way of changing my words. I demand more from my own kids because I have no energy to meet the demand placed on me, the demand to parent the PDA way.
How are we supposed to do it? It’s like a mute person trying to teach someone else how to speak. And yet, while we cannot do it some days, other days we are the best teachers. Who else would be the best teacher to teach someone in a wheelchair how to best use their chair, how to best navigate their environment from where they are (literally) sitting. Who best to lead a blind person than a blind person, who can show them exactly where to place their hands and at what pressure. Who else is best placed to teach a mute person how to communicate than another who ‘speaks’ their language.
Yes, it’s an almighty task, a hard demand, perhaps the hardest demand ever. We have to take on not just our own demands but the demands of another person. We have to teach them how to cope when we can’t even cope ourselves. Yet we are the best ones to do so in so many ways, because we are coming from the same place they are.
I can’t do PDA parenting… not today. But tomorrow… tomorrow is another day.