Not too long ago we were featured as one of the ’22 Resolutions Special Needs Parents are Making for 2016′ (http://themighty.com/2015/12/22-resolutions-special-needs-parents-are-making-for-2016/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Mighty_Page&utm_campaign=GENERAL). All of these were so great, and I was so glad they chose to include ours as well. I was #8 ‘To take some time to just breathe. To let them just be kids and let me just be their mom.” I wrote that with such high ambitions for the year.
When I think of the progress my older son has made since we started this journey about this time last year, I am so proud. But sometimes I have to think, how much is too much? Anyone who knows my boys knows there is no shortage of play, outside time, marble time, whatever time. But still sometimes I feel like no four year old should have a schedule like this.
It’s a hard balance to figure out which therapies are right for your child. If you’re seeing progress why even consider that there are too many? The more I think about it, the more I begin to think that perhaps I am being selfish. Perhaps I am struggling with what I wish it looked like. What every mom has in her head as the ideal life, play dates, free time (ha), naps (HA).
My sons have tons of play time every single day, and now we are lucky enough to have obtained the services we fought so hard for: ABA, Speech, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Preschool, the list goes on. Each and every single one of those things I fought for with tears and phone calls, evaluations, the long waits, appeals and finally approvals. And you know what? These things are HELPING them. They are doing new things they were not able to, no matter what I tried. They are having (supervised) peer time, learning to regulate themselves and their emotions, and best of all they are talking more and more each day.
Once again I have to take a step back and think about my resolution. Maybe I need to remember what it means to be THEIR mom before I can resolve to ‘let me just be their mom’. I already know being their mom means you never know what to expect. The atmosphere and the game plan changes by the minute. It means you may be celebrating the first time your son uses the potty in a year, and then the same day crying alone in the bathroom after they went # 2 in their undies again. You may be rejoicing that he is trying new foods at feeding therapy, and then suddenly be diagnosed with another rare disease and have to take away 8 entire food types. It means laughter and tears and constantly changing demeanors. It means watching little boys trying to figure out how to navigate the world, sometimes in the most exceptional ways.
I already am ‘just their mom’. I already love them more than I could ever express and more than I ever knew possible, hard times and all. They most certainly are already ‘just being kids’. I can see them across the room playing cars waiting for me to finish so we can go out and play. I do need to ‘take some time to just breathe’, most special needs parents do. I say almost every day, how can I remember the six medicines he has to take every day in different forms and at different times and I can’t ever remember my one night time allergy pill? We do an excellent job of taking care of our kids but maybe not quite so good at taking care of ourselves.
So maybe what my resolution should have been was for me to take some time and just breathe, and to accept that our life is fine as it is, packed schedules and all. It’s better than fine. We learn as we go, mistakes and triumphs. Our crazy life is blessed, each and every minute that we have together.