Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm a terrible mother...

Many of us, mothers,  have felt this way a time or two, or fifty.

I have to admit that I feel this way, well, pretty much every day.

Yup.

It doesn't matter how often I'm a perfect mother because the times I'm a bad one make the biggest impact, it seems.

Like when I take Brother in to the Doctor for his med check today, I was happy to tell his doctor how well he is doing socially with kids at school and with kids in the neighborhood. I mean, heck, he even walked over to hang out with his friends at the neighbors the other day and it wasn't even my idea. He just wanted to hang out with friends! I was so thrilled and amazed that his anxiety didn't keep him away from something he enjoys.

Then, within the same appointment that I am so proud to brag about my son, I find out that his weight and height are still not doing well and he is at a risk of having stunted growth.

...

Really?

Yes he's one of the smallest kids at the Junior High.

Yes, it's a struggle to get him to eat.

But, he eats.

I make sure he does.

Marc makes sure he does.

We know how important it is for our skinny little frog-legged boy to get the nutrition he needs even when texture defensiveness and poor appetite push him the other way.

So I sit there letting my head whirl, "I was so happy about all his social progress, I failed at his physical progress."

Fail.

So along with all the other things we need to be worrying about, now we have to do double duty on feeding Brother what he needs to grow, and a lot of times this will be practically a force feeding experiences.

So that makes me feel like a bad mom because I am "making" my kid eat. It's such a weird thing to be doing something so simple and have it be such a trial.

Then there's Sister.

...

We have meds to help her. We give meds to her three times a day. All meds to help her function in her day-to-day life.

Sometimes I forget to give her her afternoon meds.

Sometimes I realize it only a few minutes to half hour after the fact, and that's OK. It's not OK though, when it takes her doing things like hitting her own head against the couch, screaming at her friends, kicking me or Marc, flailing on the ground in a crumpled and crying mess or threatening to punch me in the face.

Ya. I fail.

I hate when I forget such a thing like that because it doesn't just affect her, it affects everyone around her. I even have an alarm set on my phone for all med dosage times. I still forget. If I don't do it right when the alarm goes off, I may space it, and I do.

I'll never forget when Baby was on oxygen as a baby. She was supposed to be on it 24/7. I had to take it off for baths and dressing and I'll never forget when one morning I woke up and she looked a tinge blue because I had forgotten to turn on her oxygen that night!

Gasp!

Terrible! Terrible!

Speaking of Baby, she's going to be 4 next month. Four. There's no way she's going to be out of a diaper any time soon. And if she is, it will be because of the teachers and aids at school and not because of me.

I missed out on an AWESOME photography job taking photos at a store's grand opening this morning because I missed the e-mail to let me know they accepted my bid. By the time I got back to them they had had to hire someone else because of the time constraint! I missed out on a huge opportunity...

It was probably because I sat down and watched "The Voice" on HULU and didn't check my email like a responsible work-at-home-mom should.

Ya. I watched TV! How could I do that when I have so much to do? That was stupid. I have children who are not eating well enough to grow right, miss out on meds and sensory because I forget, aren't any where near being potty trained and I am sitting on my butt watching TV? Are you kidding me?

I feel guilty the whole time.

But, I still watch it.

I become numb sometimes from all the responsibility that surrounds me.

Fragile X Association of Utah, Fragile X Association of Utah's Parade of Pumpkins, Photography, Design, and with all of it comes the publicity of it so that we actually have attendees and/or customers. Three children with a bundle of special needs that sometimes become so many and so overwhelming I forget them or mix something up and reek havoc because of my forgetfulness. A husband that is starved for love and attention because by the time I am done with all of this, I have nothing left to give.

And you wonder why most marriages involved with special needs children end in divorce... I don't. It's really, really tough.

That's the heart of it.

Both Marc and I are so spent on the whirlwind of our lives that we have nothing left for each other. No patience because we have spent it all on trying to keep Sister calm so she won't hurt herself or anyone else. No sympathy because we are so far buried in the mud that we don't see the struggles others go through are just as hard. No compassion because we gave it all to our kids throughout the day as we watch them struggle and strain to be as normal as possible. No understanding for how each one is feeling because we feel each of us are receiving the worst brunt of our situation.

So, you can have a moment of feeling like a terrible mother, or a terrible wife or a terrible housekeeper.

But, let it only be a moment.

Don't let the moments drag on into days and weeks.

Your relationships will suffer and so will you.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and face the sun.

You are doing more than you realize.

You are better than you give yourself credit for.

You are loved by your children and your husband.

You just need to learn to love yourself.

And, I think, that's the hardest part.

I may be a terrible mother today, but, by dang! I'll be a great MOM tomorrow!

One of my best wife and mom moments was when we took Sister backpacking this summer.


2 remarks:

LeeAnn Taylor said...

Wow, Rachael, that was soooo familiar and poignant. I know exactly the feelings you expressed about being a bad mother. Too much to do, overwhelming, exhausting, falling behind.....but we are better than we think we are. And so very loved.
Thank you, you are a brave, honest, and truthful woman and I sincerely look up to you.
LeeAnn Taylor

Rachael said...

Thank you LeeAnn that means a lot coming from an author like you ;)