I'm annoyed that this is the first time I've written in nearly two months. Yes, the holidays are a busy time, so I cut myself some slack for that. Now January is nearly over and this is my first blog of the year. I don't put pressure on myself to write updates. The words come when they come. The lack of routine when it comes to writing is part of the life of a special needs parent and hopefully lends to the reality that is raising a child with extra needs.
I'm frustrated because writing is an outlet for me, like many writers. My lack of writing is a symptom for the lack of me-time in my life. I'm frustrated that I'm grasping for moments to myself in less-than constructive ways. I watch tv rather than read a book. I eat a bowl of ice cream instead of going for a walk. I'm allowing bad habits to form. Habits that are more hurtful than helpful. I'm frustrated that I have the desire to do a lot of "good" things, but I either lack the freedom or believe that I lack the freedom to do them. I felt guilty for sewing curtains for our living room because it puts an extra burden on my husband to care for the kids without my help. Then I get annoyed when he asks me for help and I have to stop what I'm doing. Start-stop, start-stop. There is absolutely no consistent routine in my life and it's driving me crazy!
Add a healthy - or not-so-healthy - serving of guilt to the fact that I need help taking care of my son each day, and it makes for a constant battle inside me. I regularly feel like I just can't hack it as a mom. I regularly feel like, "Lots of mom's are busy and have more kids than I do, so why am I struggling so much with taking care of the two I have?" I struggle with seeing myself as a spoiled, detached mom who doesn't want to be inconvenienced by raising her child, so I outsourced it to someone else. When I talk about the difficulties, I'm frequently met with someone who "understands." "I understand, I have four kids."
With all due respect, no you don't.
I don't understand what it's like to raise four children, and you don't understand what it's like to raise a child with special needs. When I'm told that a mother of two, three, four or more understands (moms who do the job everyday, on their own), it drives home the point that I can't handle it. I hear, "What's wrong with you? I don't get any help, and I can do this job." Here comes the guilt for being overwhelmed. Here comes the guilt for qualifying for 40 hours a week of in-home help. Even with 40 hours of help each week, I still find myself overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done. Leaving me, once again, feeling like I can't hack it as a mom.
I know deep down that these are all lies that the enemy wants me to believe, and sometimes I do. It's a battle to go to the source of life each day when the lies are so convincing. Many of the scriptures about getting strength/relief from Christ revolve around going to Him first. He's there waiting, and some days I'm too busy throwing a pity-party to get up off my butt to go to Him. Even when I'm down (like today), I know I'm never alone. For that I am grateful and hopeful that tomorrow I may see through His lenses rather than my own.