I can no longer be the mother I once was
I really thought I could no longer be a great mom anymore. As a parent we have all wondered at one time or another “Am I parenting correctly?”. This started happening to me after our youngest child was born, we have three children all together. My eldest is on the Autism Spectrum and has ADHD, our second child is our quick to temper antagonizer who also destroys things. Our daughter is the light in the darkness. Very sweet and always smiling.
Why I thought I was no longer a good mother
After she was born my health problems started acting up even more. I thought me being the mother I wanted to be was done. Sitting in my chair whenever possible. No longer cleaning the house as I once did. I no longer found the bright side of being a mother. Family times were painful and stressful for me. My stress effected the rest of the family as well. Our eldest became dangerous for himself and the other children. Our second child started destroying things and we had a baby who would not let us sleep. (We were able to sleep in five-hour shifts and that was it.) I was having the side effects of sleep deprivation and was not just tired but every part of my body was exhausted. Comprehension of conversation was beyond me.
Things I tried for me
I tried doing other things for myself. Things like going to school for a career I could perform at home. Due to the Fibro Fog that started a month into the educational program, I was unable to retain any information in my studies, even the information I already knew, it was lost. I studied harder and still could not get the information to stay in my brain. Life was hard at that time with the family dynamic and I thought I could find happiness in a job for myself. Something that I would do for me. Something I could be good at and also have as an escape from all of my stress.
My life changed
Many of you may think I am ungrateful for my children but you would be wrong. We prayed for our children and I suffered miscarriages and still believed that one day our prayers would be answered. I knew I would receive the children I was supposed to. Even if that meant I would never receive the gift of a beautiful baby girl.
I was unhappy because of the undiagnosed Fibromyalgia. Understanding anything that was happening to me was impossible to me, for years the doctors did not know what was wrong with me.
My glorious new beginning
I was even asked to take a mental health assessment. Right after the Doctor asked me to take the mental health assessment I felt insulted. Then I turned the table, (in my head at least) and I said yes. At that moment I decided to look at the assessment as a way for the Doctors to finally take me more seriously. They finally did take me more seriously shortly after they received the results of that assessment. I do have a family history of mental health issues which may have been one reason the Doctor asked me for the mental health assessment. Although I think it was mainly because I was sleep deprived and went into his office exhausted. He said my tired look made him think I was depressed. I was exhausted! I am sure any mother with a child who will not sleep would understand.
Our perfect day
So today I am a newish mom, in the sense of I am able to do more now with my family than I could four years ago. Especially due to having less stress in my life. Now that I know my diagnosis and what to expect things are better. Plus, my children are each four years’ older.
So, this morning I looked at my calendar and it turned out I was free today. That was when I decided it was a Gracie day. (My daughters name is Grace.) I told her as soon as she woke up. She asked what “What is that?”. I told her how we would do anything she wanted to do today. Her face lit up with excitement. I felt very blessed in that moment to be able to give it to her.
What we did together
Today we started our “Gracie Day” with coloring and popcorn. Then we traveled to her room to cuddle and watch the movie Hercules. My younger children have VCRs because VHS is harder to destroy than DVDs are. After that we finally dressed ourselves and took our dog for a walk. Where we ended our walk at a park in our neighborhood. Then we had lunch and did yoga together. After that it was time to end “Gracie Day” by rolling her window down as we drove to pick up her brother.
Why I did nothing else
I did not clean our house at all today. I wanted all of my “spoons” to go to her. My day with my daughter was a true joy. I hope this post reaches out to you and encourages you to accomplish the same experience. I believed at one time that I had to do all of the high energy things with my children still in order to give then memories and fun. After today I realized I can give them just all of my time and focus and they will be happy.
My wish is for me to never think that I am not enough. I never want the thought of me not being a good enough mother to enter my mind. The children just want my undivided attention and time. I do not have to do the exciting, fully stimulating and energy draining things I used to. Although my day may seem small to some I know what I did today was huge. Grace will have memories and continue to ask for “Gracie Days” in the future. Today I gave memories, my time and joy to one very special little girl.