Some Days I’m a Super Mom
Some days I’m a super mom. We make it through the entire day with no violent outbursts and meltdowns, my house is cleaned, my girls play nicely together, laundry gets put away, I manage to kiss my spouse at least once and the kids both eat a decent meal. Some days I’m a defeated mom, hiding in the bathroom or closet, trying to find encouragement in a glass of chardonnay or a frozen kit kat, literally counting down the minutes until bedtime and wondering how in the world we are going to get there. Those days my house is a mess, the girls ate some sort of convenience over processed food, and I’m willing myself to come out of hiding and finish up my daily duties. And some days I am both, I start out strong and fizzle out fast or start out defeated and build myself back up as the day goes on.
Life as a momma is hard, you constantly give all you have to the tiny humans in your life. Life as a special needs momma is a whole other ball game of hard. A lot of times our bad days outweigh the good days. While most mommas are worrying about balanced meals and that their kids are hitting every single milestone and learning everything on time I am worrying about getting any nutrition in my little to avoid the impending g-tube pressure, the worries are all important but far from apples to apples. For a long time I struggled with the fact that this may be our lives forever, it may always be this hard. Throughout our journey with autism I have struggled mentally to always put my best self forward and to look forward to our future. To not be angry with the path life has put us on. To not curse and question God for choosing me for this ever changing, underpaid, and overworked job. Over the last couple of years I have forced myself to find strength and encouragement in the little things, the minuscule things, the everyday things. At first it wasn’t easy, I had to force myself to look for the bright side, to create my own ups in the downs. Once my outlook began to change though, so did our lives.
I find the strength to keep pushing forward from the clerk at the grocery store who offers a sweet smile instead of a scowl when my child is on the floor in hysterics, having a meltdown because the number of items in her cart was never enough to satisfy her Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies. Something most people just judge as a bratty, undisciplined child instead of seeing the underlying problem. She doesn’t know it but that smile in such a moment of weakness and vulnerability got me through the day that day.
I find comfort and humility when I sit in the therapy waiting room with fellow mommas who get it. Who so distinctly get it and so desperately want someone else to get it too. People like that are few and far between. I’m blessed to have an amazing support system of family, friends, and followers who cheer us on and are there through it all but very rarely am I able to talk to someone that actually, truly gets it. Sometimes it hurts to know that others feel this immense amount of pain too watching their child struggle, sometimes it’s amazing hearing the accomplishments of fellow special needs kiddos. I have loved some of these kiddos from afar for two years now, and watching them grow and flourish is more encouragement than I can even put into words. They give me hope for my kiddos, myself, and our future.
I find reassurance in Havens therapists who give me a pat on the back and tell me “you’re doing a good job momma” all while I’m holding back tears trying to not give into my child who is violently melting down and attacking me because she can’t find the way to verbalize her very intense feelings so she physically lashes out against the one person she can fully trust to do so with.
I find encouragement in our doctors, therapists, and specialists who always ask how I am. Who genuinely care how I’m doing, who see how hard this job and encourage me to give myself a break when I need it. I recently had a couple health concerns and my doctor told me more than once, give yourself a break momma, eat the cookie, drink the coffee, have the glass of wine. You can’t pour from an empty cup, they are constantly reminding me to fill my cup.
I find encouragement in encouraging others. In lifting up other mommas, helping whoever I can whenever I can. Ever since I was a little girl my grandma has had this sign hanging in her bathroom, and I would read it every single time I was in there. It was “tips to living a happy life” or something along those lines. The one tip that always stuck out to me read, “the best way to cheer yourself up, is by making someone else smile.” Giving happiness and love is such a good feeling. Nothing fills my love tank more than seeing those I love truly happy.
These doctors and therapists, people and encounters, are constant reminders to me that there truly are angels among us. Everyone you meet is part of the plan, you just have to have your heart and your mind open to see it. To feel it. If you can’t find the good, be the good. Choose to smile despite the pain. If you can’t find happiness in the ugly times, you aren’t going to find it in the beautiful ones either.