by Whac-A-Mole Mom from My Whac-A-Mole Life
This is not my fault.
I am doing the best I can, which means acknowledging that it will never feel like enough. I am only human.
I am gaining patience, resilience, wisdom and strength. I don’t see it; I don’t necessarily feel it; but it’s true. It just has to be true.
My home is a disaster – whether due to my Tasmanian devil child, diminishing time and money, or pure, unprecedented exhaustion (or a combination thereof). I must learn to care less.
I have lost sight of my identity, my friends, my professional drive, and my peace because I am laser-focused on my child’s well-being and future readiness. Still, I can take baby steps for my own sanity. For example, today, maybe I’ll shower.
I find myself saying and doing things I never imagined due to my child’s absurd, unpredictable behavior, interests and needs. I want to cry on many occasions; but it always feels better to laugh.
I am overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite cures, therapies, medications, treatments and diets that I am told will help my child. Some will help; others won’t. We’ll unapologetically do what works best for us, when it works for us – holistically, logistically and practically.
Each year, I will continue to search for the perfect school scenario for my child; nothing will ever fit quite right. I will take it day by day,year by year.
I am my child’s best advocate. I will trust my instincts. I will consult with professionals, doctors, teachers and psychologists; but mostly I have to learn to trust myself.
I will feel judged. Sometimes, I really am being judged, so I should grow a thicker skin. More important, however, I am judging myself, and I need to learn to be kinder to myself.
People will say, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ or ‘you’re an amazing mom.’ This inexplicably will irritate me since I wouldn’t dare admit that I also ‘don’t know how I do it;’ and usually disagree about the ‘amazing’ part. I do it because I am a loving mother. That is all.
I can’t do this alone; it does take a village. My village should include family, friends, caretakers, teachers, health professionals and therapists. When the village I have isn’t complete or up to par, I must seek a new village – like Twitter.
My child might hit me, hurt me or run from me. I cannot take this personally. It’s not about me. It’s about her: her frustrations, sensory differences and unfulfilled needs.
I always should be consistent, patient, firm and engaged. I frequently am not. I can always try again tomorrow.
I will realistically prepare her with the tools she needs to reach her potential. That means:
- If she can’t or won’t find her voice, I will teach her other ways to communicate.
- If she can’t or won’t be safe, I will find ways to protect her.
- If she can’t or won’t learn how to survive in the social wilderness, I will place her in situations where she is accepted and happy in her own skin.
While some days I feel hopeless, I never, ever give up hope. I am her mother. And she is me.
Whac-A-Mole Mom blogs over at My Whac-A-Mole Life, described as “the rants, raves, celebrations and tribulations of a crazy-busy, special-needs, mom-workaholic.” She has chosen anonymity for reasons she explains here: My Secret Identity. She will reveal, however, that she lives in the Southeastern United States and has two children under 12 with more diagnoses than she can count. Careful readers of her blog have discerned that she has worked as a journalist, corporate executive and nonprofit professional.
The post was originally published HERE and used with permission.