Sunday, March 3, 2013

Thoughts about being a mom

I hear a lot about how being a special needs mom is difficult.  I want to openly confess here that being ANY kind of mom is difficult.  Its human nature to miss being able to control your own sleep schedule. Its natural to miss that thing...what was it we used to call it?  Oh! "free time".  Yes, its difficult to squeeze in therapies but its no more difficult than some moms who have big families and who try and fit in 4 different sports/hobbies for 4 different kids to try and keep their little ones well rounded.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that special needs moms have more in common with "regular" moms than we have differences.

For example....I know LOTS of women who experience raging cases of mom guilt.   We look at our kids who need a bath and our families who need feeding and our house thats a wreck and our job that, let's face it, is in a bit of chaos.  We always feel like we are running behind or letting somebody down.

I've been suffering from this myself lately.  Its difficult to know that so many things need my attention that it is physically impossible to accomplish them all and still sleep.  I stay exhausted. And most days I feel bad for all the things surrounding me that go undone.  I blame myself.  I try to be "better" and to organize my time to get the most done I possibly can.  In my mind, I imagine that if I could just "do it all" everything would be OK and I would be a good person.  A lot of this type of thinking is fueled by tiredness but regardless of why its can make a difficult situation seem impossible.

Earlier this week I faced a few facts.  Most of us feel this way from time to time and we aren't bad people.  Sometimes there is no easy "win". There is nothing we can do that will allow all the boxes to be checked off at the end of the day.  Nothing we can change about ourselves that will make everything work out perfectly. Nothing we can do that will make everybody happy.  Some days nobody is going to say "thanks" for the stuff you DO manage to finish.  Nobody is going to notice how hard you are trying.  And that's OK.

We have to remember that even though we wear the title "MOM" and bear the awesome responsibility that goes with it....  We are also a woman underneath all that. We have strengths and flaws.  And once upon a time, we measured ourselves and our success very differently.  Yet, we are still fundamentally the same person we used to be before the measuring stick changed.  We are alright. Our families are alright.  Maybe messy, but OK.

This ideal woman/mom that we have in our heads doesn't exist any more than the "ideal" child exists.  My daughter does things on her own timetable and I applaud her for it.  Yet when my own timetable falls behind, I beat myself up.  What exactly will I be teaching her if I keep doing that?! I have to remember the things about myself that make!  Underneath it all, I am a hedonist at heart. I believe that life has enough troubles and if you get a chance to have some fun, you should take it!!  And so what if that philosophy shows up in how organized my space is?  Who is to say that the way I'm doing it is "wrong"?   As long as my daughter is smiling, who cares if I let the laundry go so we can chase a rainbow to try and catch a leprechaun?

The only thing I need to change about who I am is the guilt I have been allowing myself to feel.  I challenge other moms to do the same.  There are lots of stuff we have to do to keep our kids healthy and safe and feeling loved.  But I don't want to ever get so busy or bogged down that I forget to show my daughter how to be spontaneous or fun.

OH! One more thing before I end this post.  Below is a picture of our house that is being built.  We are very excited about it.