Saturday, October 22, 2016

No Time to Be a Mom

I've been spending my night hours working on my pile of mail, housework, decluttering and sitting nearly comatose, trying desperately to figure out how to do all that NEEDS to be done, by myself.

I've been spending my day time hours preparing meals, driving to therapy appointments and medical appointments, taking 6 hour round trip medical trips, homeschooling, doing more housework and more paperwork, feeding, bathing, changing, dressing kids, combing their hair, cutting their hair, and the list goes on and on and on.

In between all of this are very few stolen moments of taking a bike ride (a major undertaking), going to the park (have to drive to get to one), bowling now and then, perhaps a movie every couple of months, and not much else. I try to have fun, but the stress builds as the hours tick by and I think of all that's not getting done that is so important.

I don't have time to be mom to my kids. Some might argue that doing all of the above IS being a mom, but I'm not getting in those down-time moments of plain and simple enjoyment with my children and I miss it terribly. I know my kids miss it. I even wonder if my older two kids know about it or if it's just a meaningless distant memory of their first months home before the move and the diagnoses and all the things that we now deal with because of their multiple and many special needs.

I have hope that things will eventually settle down, but each time this seems to be on the horizon, another program or agency sends a boatload of paperwork my way with impossible deadlines to meet that correspond with deadlines from another agency. If I don't meet these deadlines, my kids are dropped from services and programs they, that WE all, desperately need, but doing all that is required to keep them in these programs is keeping me away from them by taking up all of my time.

I don't know how I'm going to do it all. How many moms have said this and had another older, wiser, more experienced mom say, "Welcome to motherhood. You'll never get it all done." And these were moms with neuro-typical kids. Well, they didn't HAVE to get it all done. But I do, because if it doesn't get done it really matters and the consequences are dire.

18 comments:

Lynnea Hameloth said...

Hey....I totally this get post. That is how felt with J. I HAD to do those things as she needed the services but it took SOOO much people. People really don't understand and get how much is involved.
You are doing a fabulous job though. Unfortunately alot of the "being a mom" will just look different than a typical family might. And that is OK. As long as you are trying to take care of YOU.
Hugs and love to you all!

Penny said...

So sorry. Is there anything like, I don't know, a "parent advocate" available who would do some of this stuff? Grasping at straws here, but maybe, say, an empty-nest mom volunteer from your church who could take off some of the burden?

Lisa and Tate said...

You are amazing. You are giving your kids such opportunities to become the best they are able to become. I wish I lived closer so I can at least lend a hand with housework or driving to therapy. Since Utah is way too far to help, maybe someone in the ward or stake can lend a hand with cleaning or driving kids to therapy? I know how this seems easy for me to say but harder to ask and receive help. You will be in our prayers.

Sara said...

So hard, so true. I recall once, one of my SN kids needed speech therapy. Our school district bus was willing to pick her up, wait for her and return her. I wanted to do that myself- but it was not meant to be. I accepted the bus. No regrets, it left me time for something else. Years later, this daughter still considers the bus as a fond memory (who knew?). Another daughter was also in speech therapy, first 2 x per week, then 1 x per week for years. We had gone through all the letters and all the sounds many times, progression seemed to plateau. I felt guilty, but I said that was it for us. No regrets, she is now 13 and doing quite well. That available time freed me up for someone else. Today, I have two non-special needs daughters on the cusps of college/career. Two younger SN daughters, grades 6 & 8, doing fine. Keep the faith, don't give up - follow your instincts.

Anonymous said...

No words of wisdom. Just understanding. I am also a single mom, and I have 3 daughters with significant special needs. I too am not able to be the mom I always thought I would be. I feel very utilitarian. It's been so many years of juggling and administrating that is has changed me in ways that I do not think are reversible. Not that that's bad. It's just not what I envisioned in terms of my chance to nurture and emotionally support them with lavish time and attention. Only so many hours in a day. But I don't beat myself up over it. I know I'm doing the best I can, and prioritizing to the best of my ability. I'm trying to pour my energy into the things that I think will affect their quality of life the most in the future. They know I love them deeply, and as they are getting older they are recognizing (as much as their brains will allow) that I spend all of my resources on helping them grow and be happy. I have become completely content with that. But it took a very long time to get there! You are doing a great job. They are lucky to have you!

sarah said...

I am sure you are overwhelmed. I have one daughter with special needs and you have that times 4. I know every child is different but I will say that my daughter has thrived going to school. I feel like am a better mother because I have time to get things done and when she is home I can spend quality time with her. It gives both of us a routine and she is learning some important social skills and to do things independently. You kids are loved and it is evident that making progress. I admire all you do and hoping things settle for you and your girls over the coming months

Anonymous said...

Did you vote?

K said...

Heavens, yes, and brought the girls with me so they could learn all about it.

Anonymous said...

Are you ever going to share again? I check everyday, and I miss your posts. I am also a single mom with special needs children. You and your commenters always give me insights. I hope all is going okay at your house. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! God bless!

Eliza Graves said...

Dear K,

I have been reading ALL of your posts (starting at the very first post!) for countless hours over the last week, and am so sad to see they have stopped. I hope that this is a temporary pause, and that you will return!!

I pray for you and your girls, and my heart melted the second you were able to meet Jie Jie! I have shed tears for your joy, and your sorrow. Made my husband read several of your posts. Talked about similarities with my therapist. I am deeply sorry for the incredible worry, despair, confusion, doubt, and frustration that you have dealt with for so many years. You have done a truly admirable job as SuoerMommy advocate for all of your girls, going above and beyond to assist their behavioral, mental, and physical challenges. Your abilities astound me, and I can't understand how you are able to balance all of your girls individual needs along with things as varied as clean eating, proper exercise techniques for the girls, extracurriculars for them like Kung-Fu, gymnastics, sewing, your attention to homeschooling, and your care for your beloved cats (I managed an integrative vet practice that preached raw diets for 8 years and we LOVE owners like you!!)

Your posts have been very powerful and often hard to read as they are honest, real, raw, and clearly 100% from your heart...my heart hurts for you and your children and all that you go through alone!!! I can't imagine myself in your shoes, and yet I greatly appreciate reading about your experience as I consider my own. I am 29 and due to health issues, fear of passing on certain genetic traits, PCOS, and the dangers involved in stopping some of my medications, my husband and I hope to adopt from the US foster care system, and are considering a child likely under 5. Initially we thought about going even older, but I am very worried that I would just feel like a big sister and not be able to properly parent or be seen as an authority figure by an older child. I would have loved to adopt internationally (and even as a kid tried to get my parents to adopt a Chinese child) however despite having successfully managed my depression with meds and regular therapy, I unfortunately am ineligible to apply for adoption in most countries...truly heartbreaking for me!

I greatly appreciate all of the wonderful adoption and learning resources you have shared over the years, especially re: attachment disorders, and I hope to be able to find your links again should we be approved, as just from our CORE foster care certification training II know how likely it is that we will encounter similar issues.

I wish you all the very best, and hope to hear updates on you and the girls in the near future! <3 Please do not be afraid to vent and share your world just because of some of the horrible, cruel, clueless trolls out there. Block away!!! You have a community of women (and men) who admire and support you, and wish we were half the SUPERMOMMY you are!!! <3

Happy New Year!
Cheers,
Eliza

Anonymous said...

I hope things are going well for you! I miss reading about your adventures with your girls. :) I'm a fellow adoptive mom, with two "homemade" kids and one adopted from China, all teens now. God bless!

gail said...

I hope things are going well with yourself, daughters, and friend.

gail

Corin Adam Saleh Saleh said...

Hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year! Wish you could post a bit more...i gotten used to updates.Hope everyone is doing well.Bless you n Girls!!! I also send blessings to the firefighter you call "My Firefighter" he seems like a special man.

Anonymous said...

I hope all is well at your home. This is Cheryl and I miss reading your updates, it was like keeping in touch with an old friend :) Again, I hope all is well and look forward to hearing from you soon. We are still in the same state, we should get together soon!

Sandra Brown said...

I'm missing your updates!

flute4peace said...

Would love to know how your girls are doing!

Catherine said...

Hi,

I've tried emailing you but am receiving the messages back saying your mailbox is full. :(

We wanted to say THANK YOU!!! You are amazing and your gift is GREATLY appreciated!! I have a happy, happy little girl!