Almost 7 years ago, I became a parent. Around that time, I was ready for the Earth to tilt, for the skies to shift & for my life to drastically change overnight. Inside I was anxious yet prepared, nervous but confident & SO ready to have a baby girl. Annabelle arrived & I transitioned rather smoothly to a bona fide “Momma”. Derek & I could still do everything we wanted to do it just took longer. We were lucky as she was a great sleeper, breastfeeding was a breeze, work/class was flexible, my parents were around to help & it felt like I never skipped a beat, I was still “me” just with an awesome kid. This was a piece of cake & things were only going to get better. Now that I was a parent, I knew these sorts of things…HA!
A lot can change in 7 years. In this time, we’ve moved across the country, completed a professional Fellowship, went from a 1 income to 2 income family, had a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, bought 3 homes & sold 2, changed jobs again, have a budding first grader & found a little bit of time to go to Las Vegas for fun.
But, I am massively overwhelmed. Merriam-Webster defines overwhelm as, “to cause (someone) to have too many things to deal with”. Yep, that’s the right word then.
Something happened to my soul when people began to tell me, “Your child is behind.” My life totally shifted, changed, the floor fell out from under me immediately. Wow, THIS is what I was expecting 7 years ago. Now, everything was different. I accepted it & created an action plan because I am a problem solver. Appointments were made, referrals were inputted, classes were scheduled, books were read & groups were joined. I planned to be a better mother: more prepared, better organized, improve my time management, keep a cleaner house, create & stick with a schedule. I became hyper focused on everything I could to get Eddie up to speed. I changed my work schedule too many times to count, Derek changed his schedule, I switched employers, I was on message boards, joined community meetings, etc. I can do this- I’ll just change my approach to life & I can handle this new reality.
Then something else happened to my soul when I began to realize my action plan might not be enough. I actually felt my spirit crush- a true breakdown, an infinite defeat. I’ve never had an issue I haven’t been able to tackle before. This is new for me & I’m not sure what to do.
Until now. I’ve created a plan & I’ll let you in on it. I’m going to get back to being me. I am the mom that forgets the day of the field trips. I am the mom who carries a designer purse & sunglasses while wearing paint splattered athletic shorts & my husband’s T-shirt. I am the mom who lies on the floor eating pizza with my kids way past a respectable bedtime. I am the mom who curses every morning because I always forget at least one thing I planned to put in the car. I am the girl you want on your side. I’m loyal, dependable & tough. Take it or leave it; that’s me.
My son doesn’t need a perfect mother, but he does need “me”, the real one. He needs me to be present with him instead of grading his abilities. My daughter needs me to allow her undivided attention as she tells me about her day instead of me half listening while reading an article. I need to see the big picture & remember this is OUR LIFE & we only get one. I will make sure to see the positives & not agonize over “what might be.” Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but my days need to be long & full of love, fun & laughter. I have confidence I can do it & things are only going to get better. I’m a parent & I know these sorts of things, right?