Parenting a spectrum of girls

Posts tagged ‘mothers’

Musings on Motherhood

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Me & my wonderful family

Since today is Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about what being a mom means to me.  And being me, I like to write things down, it helps me organize and clear my mind.  These are my musings on motherhood.

Being a mom means that I have been blessed and trusted with three amazing daughters to care for and raise.  I get to watch them grow and guide them.  I get to kiss their boo boos and help them up and encourage them to try again.  I get to experience their pains and their achievements.  I also have the responsibility of raising them to be the best they can be, to be happy, to be themselves, to leave the world better than they found it.

Being a mom means that, for reasons I will never know on Earth, my second child was born much too early, into the arms of Jesus.  I miss him every day but I am comforted to know that one day, when my work on Earth is complete, I will finally get to kiss his face and dance with him in my arms.

Being a mom means that no matter what, I must press on and keep going, because there are little ones who need me.  This is actually a positive thing.  Most days are very good, but some days are very hard…but I am able to keep going through everything and get out of bed every day because I have children who need me, and I would do anything for them.

Being a mom means that I have experienced the miracle of a child growing inside of me, of giving birth, of nursing, of feeling and watching my child breathe, their heart beat, their little hand curl around my finger.  As a parent I can’t imagine not believing in God, or not valuing every single life.  Every part of every life is an absolute miracle.  Don’t waste it, and don’t forget to see the miracle in every other human being.  God gave life to us ALL.  Choose to see the miracle.

Being a mom means that my children are growing.  The hardest part for me is letting go.  My baby will be in K-readiness in the fall.  My oldest will be going away to college in 6 years (or less).  I am not ready.  I will never be ready.  My heart is walking around outside my body, and one day it will fly away from me, and it will hurt, a lot…but that is a mother’s job.  It is the hardest and most amazing job to have.

Being a mom has always been wonderful but has not always been easy.  I was a single mom for over 4 years.  I have a daughter with autism.  I have had to leave my precious tiny babies with other caregivers to go back to work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.  But I have also watched them sleep, been hugged countless times, watched them achieve the impossible, been a part of every day of their lives and been told I am the best mom ever.

Today my miracles gave me the gifts they had made for me at school…from A a plant in a pot she made and “mom” candle holders she made.  From M a clay heart necklace she made and a card she made and wrote all by herself.  From K a coupon book and a card that made me cry.  In this card she said some amazingly wonderful things including that she hopes if she ever has kids that she is as good a mom as I am to her and her sisters.  Isn’t that what every mother really wants to be?  Someone for her children to look up to and aspire to be like?   As much as I feel like I am doing it all wrong, I must be doing something right.

Being a mom, above all, means that I am blessed. 

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Refresh

This is not the post I planned to write tonight, but it is late, I am tired, and this needs to be written about anyway.

Today I enjoyed my girls (plus K’s best friend, but she counts as one of my girls).  I woke early (the little ones don’t know how to sleep in) and made a time consuming but delicious breakfast.  M had a rough morning & didn’t want to leave the house and A barely slept the night before but after lunch & a nap they were finally ready to head to the park/playground for a play date.  We enjoyed the outdoors, then I surprised them with ice cream.  At home they played in the sandbox and we all went for a walk.

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M & A at the playground today

Then, although I love my children dearly and although M (with her newly rediscovered separation anxiety) begged me to stay with her forever & ever, I did something I needed to do but rarely make time for.

I went out with my girlfriends.

Those of you in the special needs community, and probably most moms (since we tend to put ourselves last) have heard the Oxygen Mask Theory.  In an airplane when going over safety procedures they remind you to put your own oxygen mask on before you help other people with theirs, even your children.  This is because if you don’t get your mask on and you pass out, you can’t help anyone else at all.  I don’t know if I could put my own oxygen mask on first, but that’s kind of beside the point (or is it?). So the theory is that as moms and especially special needs moms, we need to put on the metaphorical oxygen mask and give ourselves what we need to rest, recharge & refresh or we really aren’t going to be any good for our families.  Without those moments we run & run until we are empty & have nothing left to give.

Tonight I took that time to refresh, rest & recharge.  I went out for dinner with my two best friends on the planet, who also have children with special needs.  We enjoyed some amazing food & drink (that our children would probably never touch anyway) but best of all some wonderful grownup conversation without interruptions or little ears.  It was just what I needed.  Take the time to do whatever it is that refreshes you, as often as you need to.  Thank you ladies for being my refreshment, my oxygen mask.  You are so appreciated!

Guilt and Progress

One thing all mothers share, special needs or not…our constant companion waiting behind every decision big or small:
Guilt.
Today was a perfect example.  I have not been feeling well all week, dealing with a virus that is giving me painful, swollen glands, sore throat, headaches, body aches and fatigue.  By the time I left work this afternoon I wasn’t sure I could even stay awake another hour.  So, I decided to take a nap.  M was home from school due to a power outage, so I had her take a nap as well.  A was supposed to take a nap, but I couldn’t drag her away from her baby dolls & didn’t have the energy to try too hard.  But it was a difficult, emotionally painful decision.  The house was a mess after a hectic Halloween, and I felt I should spend the time doing something special with the girls since M was home.  On the other hand, I knew I would be very irritable & even more tired if I chose another option.  And this is how a mother thinks and weighs every scenario in a day.  It turned out fine, after nap we picked up K, ran to the grocery store which was *mostly* a nice experience together & cleaned the house while listening to Christmas  music. (Shhh…don’t tell my husband.  He has a “no Christmas before Thanksgiving” philosophy 😉 )  But I know I will still second and third guess myself next time I try to prioritize, especially if I put myself first.

I also know I am long overdue to update you all, so here goes:

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A: nothing to report, as usual.  She is very happy in preschool.  She did have her 3 year well child, where she was a very big, brave girl and earned her chocolate milk and cheeze-its.  She is in the 87% height & weight (thus why she & M almost share clothes) & the doctor was delighted with her language & cognitive abilities, stating she is right on track for a 4 year old, actually.  (No surprise to me.)

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K:  The mono is still kicking her butt a little, but so far she has only missed half a day of school, though she has to take Ibuprofen throughout the day to dull her awful headaches.  I am praying it is over soon, and that she doesn’t catch any other virus in the meantime.  She is excelling in her gifted program at school, especially science, her passion.  She has a FLL Robotics tournament next weekend, and she is taking the SAT next month to secure a spot in an even more advanced, rigorous program for next year.

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M:  She is still progressing on the meds.  We did end up increasing her dosage a little to twice per day.  She still struggles with changes in routine, some sensory issues and other areas, but overall what a huge improvement!  Everyone who knows her on any level has commented on how different she is.  She is HAPPY.  She smiles and laughs.  She has stopped hissing and growling at other children and plays more, with other children and with her toys.  The biggest thing is, she is more verbal.  Instead of an immediate meltdown she will tell me (in a loud tense voice) “I’m feeling anxious!” So we can remedy it before it escalates. She still stims, but not as often.  She still has her obsessions, but they don’t over shadow everything.  I can listen to something other than Taylor Swift on the radio!!  🙂  She still has not given me that hugging-me-and-telling-me-I-love-you-Mommy moment, but she has given me a couple of kisses & lets me hug her somewhat more often.  Today there was unexpectedly no school, and I got that sick in the pit of my stomach feeling that comes when I know she is going to lose it.  She was fine!  Overall a bit more tense and anxious today, but not terribly.  She was happy to get to wear whatever she wanted today (they have uniforms)!  Her therapist even noted the enormous difference, and said she had never seen anything like it before.  It proved that it was not lenient parenting (she had been pushing for me to be more strict) & she noted how remarkable that one thing in her brain was so far off that this medication could transform her so.  The brain is such a mysterious thing!  She even finally won her BeyBlade…a reward we put in place over 3 months ago for a week of good behavior!

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We had a great Halloween trick or treating for the first time, with Kaity’s best friend.  There was very little anxiety from M.  She was amazing.  So was A, for being only 3!  They won’t eat much candy but it sure was a fun experience!

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