Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Motherhood vs the doubt dragon

I read a blog on FaceBook a few days ago, http://carriecariello.com/2015/01/19/i-know-what-causes-autism/, and I was going to write a thank you comment on the site.  

Then I saw the comments and at first I got angry on her behalf, because this is a blog that is obviously written from her heart.  Her, being the mother of a child with autism.  Then there were the total idiots who just cannot let her have her opinion, even if based on science, but want something else, some big ass coverup conspiracy to be the reason for the diagnosis their child has.  By the way I called them that more for their obvious lack of empathy,  that their belief does not have to be that of others.  I stopped and took a step back - it is all coming from the same place, for the most part - total assholes aside because just because you have a special needs child doesn't preclude you from being one - it comes from days of frustration at different levels.  It comes from nights when you wake up and wonder how your child's issues will hold them back, bring out the worst in others, hurt them or maybe even because they seem not to feel any of those emotions.  It comes from not being able to fix it.  

If you have children you want to make it all happen for them.  It starts with physical comforts for a baby to a few years later when you have to make a fist and dig your nails into your hand to not slap the kid who pushed yours on the playground.   It is the comforts of favorite foods, watching mindless shows, hoping if you eliminate tv you will keep them just that much less exposed to negative things and even to the countless times you say no.  You fret for every one of these decisions because as a parent, and I have to say I know more about mothers because I am a woman and hearing from other mothers, especially moms we are never sure what else to have done better, more of, less of, known about, enjoyed time away, basked in the lights from their children's .  You are not sure how to hold on to the sloppy kiss that left you with food on your face and your clothes.  You try your best to understand nutrition and balance it with the fact that treats are just that, and they may be made with GMOs and non-organic and on sale with the occasional soda.  As a mom you enjoy doing all of this and are exhausted from knowing if you are doing it all as best as you can for your child.  

Now that is all if you have a typical, non-special needs child.  Take all of the above and magnify it exponentially based on the severity of the diagnosis if you do. 

I have a non-specified spectrum disorder child.  I used to even fret about that - like I had no right to complain, worry, discuss or participate when others have children on the spectrum, kids who maybe never made eye contact, showed affection, were non-verbal.  I did not care if people judged me but judge my child and the fist held in the playground was that much harder to keep down.  My son has this weird, oh stop it like normal is something so exciting to aspire to, non-specific issue.  It has to do with sensory integration and if you spend a little or a lot of time with him you will probably never know it because of the way we have dealt with it .  I have heard how I overreacted by getting him OT and PT when he was younger, because just in case I did not have enough doubt about my own abilities others sure had no issues expressing theirs in me.   To think of the hoops you have to jump through to get them these services and maintain them through the IEP process - oh yeah on top of working full time, sitting on my kitchen floor crying and worrying what this meant for him, it was obviously my "fun" extracurricular to do the IEP process. 

I read the article this mom wrote and it really touched something in me because while my child may not catch your attention with his challenges - they are there and we work together on them so that he is not stopped by them through self-doubt or a world that even comments negatively on a mother's blog about how she deals with her autistic child.  The same week my good friend wrote a blog about her 2014 accomplishments and how they were not her usual monumental ones of past years (I beg to differ).  If you are a mom every week and every time your child has a better moment because of you should be on the big accomplishment list.  We really are hard on ourselves and maybe that is not so bad.   An honest look at what we can improve can be useful but only if we let it.  We also need to take that doubt for what it often is .. a reflection of the love we have for our children.  So I am thanking the moms who wrote the blogs I mentioned for just putting it down that being a mom is special indeed.  I may doubt myself as do other moms but I do not doubt that my child will be the best he can be - not in spite of being different but because of it.  



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