I often have the thought, if people only knew…. fill in the blank… they would surely not compliment me with the words “You are a good mom!” I hear it so often! People are so gracious to encourage me with these words! But, I have this awful natural tendency to counter every compliment in my head with thoughts of, well they are only saying that because they don’t know… fill in the blank here.
So today, I am going to dispel the thoughts in my head, and receive the compliment.
But, first, I need to get some things off my chest.
Before I can receive the compliment “you are a good mom,” I must first confess…
There are days where I am so exhausted and burnt out, that I want to just go in another room and cry, and have these kids’ needs be magically met by anyone but me for a little, or a long, while.
There are days I am insanely jealous of people who can drop off their kids at a friend or family member’s house and just go off and do their own errands, or have free time that isn’t stressed out by having to rush back to whoever is watching their kids.
I am tired of my kid not being potty trained. There I said it. I don’t want to clean anymore poop or peepee off of the floor, the couch, or bedsheets.
There are days where Lucas’ choices and behaviors make me so frustrated I start to picture an escape in my head where I am living in a world where things are easy… and then I come back to reality. That is NOT to say that I don’t feel blessed. But things are rarely easy for us.
There are days where his behavior seems manageable to others, luckily, because I am giving him everything he wants to present him that way, to avoid a meltdown for the entire time I am around said company. And, even in these moments, I am resenting that this is so difficult, and that because it didn’t look difficult to you in that moment, you think everything is very well managed and under control, and dare I say it, “not that bad.” Things are not well managed. I have just learned to be neurotic in my planning of how to keep him happy and occupied while we are out, so that he can have the least amount of meltdowns possible. It is still hard for me, when he looks well behaved. My anxiety is high at all times. I am constantly anticipating what can go wrong, and I am certain that it will go wrong in the very millisecond I decide to agree with you that I should “relax and have a good time.”
I give Omar far too much responsibility to save my sanity. He helps me with potty training Lucas, he entertains Lucas, he teaches Lucas play skills and letters and words, while I sit on the couch and thumb through Facebook because I need to do something, anything, that is not related to taking care of my kids for a minute.
I go to bed guilty, thinking of all the things I didn’t do well enough for either of my children almost nightly.
When I think I have everything down, some “expert” on autism tells me something that maybe I haven’t tried yet, and thus begins the hours of research to see if this is a good option for us. The doubt spills in, what if I have made all the wrong choices, and have him in all the wrong services and on all the wrong meds.
I don’t rest, because anxiety is constantly gripping my stomach, and spinning in my head.
But, I still smile, I still love, I still care about my kids deeply. I would give anything for them, but I make mistakes.
Do all these things make me a bad mother? Anxiety screams at me “of course they do!”
But, these boys mean the world to me. I’d do anything for them. I will be there for them for anything they need, for the rest of my life.
So today, I am going to receive the compliment, after I’ve laid it all on the table, in plain sight. I am going to receive it today. Despite all the ways anxiety tells me I am not. Today, I will push all that aside, and take it in…
“I am a good mother.”
And, I am blessed.