I don't know why raising 3 children with special needs is hard.
I can't really put my finger on it.
I know that many parents go through a lot of the same things.
Maybe I just don't handle things as well as others.
I went to my play rehearsal today with Baby in tow because I had kept her home from school. (She's still sick.)
I wasn't sure what to expect having her there.
I have never brought her to a rehearsal before and had no idea what her reaction might be with everyone there in a strange room and strange place with strange people. (If any of you in the play with me happen to be reading this... you are not strange... you're wonderful... just strange...)
The first 10-15 minutes Baby would not let me go anywhere but where she told me to be.
I figured she was needing time to warm up to the idea. There weren't even that many people in there at the time, 7 or 8 maybe, including me and her. So I watched the choreography from the back of the room until, at least, Baby's whimpers weren't quite as heart breaking.
Baby seemed to be warming up to the dancing and actually started to join in.
Then my guilt set in... "Why don't I have her in dance? I even know of one for special needs kids and I still have not taken my kids to see if it would work."
"I'm a bad mom," I think as I am ballet-leaping about the room happily acting out my Cupcake choreography. (Did I tell you I am in a play called "Pinkalicious" and I even get a speaking part!? ... yes, I did say that I am a dancing cupcake. I also get to play a butterfly and a little girl!)
After rehearsal I came home, tried to get Baby to eat some lunch and then tried to be all, I'm-gonna-get-back-into-my-routine-and-eat-better-and-lose-weight thing by making myself a green smoothie: 2 cups spinach, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 small apple, 1/2 cup pineapple, some ice and blend... it was delicious! But then I started thinking about some phone calls I needed to make for the wellbeing of our kids.
So I had some cheese.
Then I thought I would make up for the bad crap by making homemade chicken noodle soup and some homemade butternut squash soup for dinner.
I felt like I had time because I had no deadlines for work I had to meet today... I think.
While I prepared both soups I was on the phone emailing, texting and calling to fill the needs of all my children and I began to get overwhelmed and down about all this stuff I am trying to get done for them and yet I can't even seem to get them signed up for Special Olympics, dance classes or karate! All these things they might enjoy and even soar at and I can't even get my butt in gear to make it happen.
I see parents of typical children packing their lives full of activities, lessons and gatherings and I can't even seem to fill the needs of my kids and get all of the fun stuff in on top of it.
"Why can I not do everything?"
There are some things that we deal with as parents of these 3 children that I don't bring up on my blog because I want to protect them and not blab to the world all the trials, but I have to say that some of these things we are going through wear me down so much mentally and spiritually that I physically, sometimes, wear down and just can't seem to get myself to function.
"Is there something wrong with me?" I wonder.
"Does EVERY mom feel this way?" I ask.
"How is my life different raising kids with special needs than a mother with typical children?" I implore.
I don't know.
For a while today I thought I was really going to have to pull at straws to post something that was an "up" today.
Then I settled my thoughts, calmed my sense of doubt and realized that I had no deadlines today.
No work to do that I was being paid for.
So I "squishied" with Baby for a long time and teased her and tickled her, sat with her and talked to her.
When Brother got home I asked him about his day while I rubbed his shoulders and then teased and tickled him too.
After Sister had been home a few minutes I squeezed her and kissed her and listened to her giggle.
I just had time to be with my kids.
No stresses of pressing deadlines.
Then I realized that I was really overwhelmed by my tasks at hand but for those few moments I was just a mom.
Just a mom of 3 kids.
Just 3 kids.
For those moments there were no "special needs."
In reality, that moment was fleeting.
We went right back to overstimulated children with hyper-aroused senses swimming in a sea of panic and sensitivity.
It's those moments that keep me going.
It's those moments that make me want to take 360 more days of looking at the good in my life.
And, heck! I made homemade chicken noodle soup... that's gotta count for something!