Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Between "Carpe Diem" and "Wishing my life away"

Sunny returned to kindergarten yesterday and I am starting to "recover". That might sound dramatic but it feels that way.

He was at home for two weeks. I was glad that the respite care I had reached out for was here to help me for some time.

I have written about that dilemma I feel when he is home for a longer period of time before. Weekends are hard, holidays are harder. And so I sometimes catch myself thinking how much I look forward to him returning to kindergarten. And after that thought I feel immediately guilty for even thinking this. Parents who lost their kids come to my mind and I am sure they would trade my feeling of being stressed within a blink of an eye if only their kids came back to them. I think of couples desperately trying to become parents. I think about moms that have it so much harder than I do. And then I feel completely ungrateful for my wonderful child and I am ashamed. I scold myself because I should be so glad that my child is healthy and home with me, that we are spending time together because the time flies and he will soon be grown up and not my little boy anymore. These thoughts tug at my heart. I strongly feel that I should savour every minute we spend together. That I should Carpe Diem our time together.

I love my son, with all my heart and with every ounce of my being. I am ever so glad that he is healthy and home with me, I really am. Still, there are times when it is just so exhausting. It is physically exhausting because he is like the Energizer Bunny, he runs and runs and runs. I have to keep his pace because I cannot leave him unattended. He constantly challenges me to play ball with him, jump on the trampoline with him, go with him wherever he wants me to, build forts with him, take him on the slide or on the swings (he cannot go on the swings alone so I take him on my lap), etc. He still wants to be carried very often (which I love to do, as you know). This all sums up to my physical exhaustion. And then there is the part of mental exhaustion. Since he cannot speak I have to do all the talking for both of us. So I talk for him and I answer myself and I explain things to him that he shows me, I talk and talk and sometimes it just feels like my brain is on overload.

I feel more or less rejuvenated in the mornings (depending on how the night was) and ready to tackle our day again but my level of exhaustion increases as the days of his holidays pass and the rejuvenation gets a bit smaller each day. At the end of a holiday season my match cord has become quite short and sometimes I need to really take a deep breath in-between in order to avoid an unfair explosion for a bagatelle.

I am caught between Carpe Diem and wishing my life away. It is a place where I do not want to be because I do not feel comfortable here but still am. I am guilt-ridden ever so often. I guess there are other parents out there who are in the same place, but that does not help me. I wonder if the generation before us - our mothers and fathers - knew that place, too.

I am really so grateful for my son, he is the most important person in the whole world to me. I love how he makes me laugh, how he shows me the wonders of the world through his eyes, how he wordlessly tells me how much he needs me, how active and curious he is because it shows me how much he loves life, how much he wants to communicate with me and I want to enjoy every minute I spend with him. But sometimes it is just not possible and that makes me feel so bad. Because to me it feels like I do not acknowledge the good times enough and this is something he does not deserve.

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I have written this post this morning and was hesitant to publish it all day. Because I feel like I am the most ungrateful mother in the whole world and I feel like whining without a real reason because our life is so easy compared to so many others out there. I am well aware of that and I do hope it does not come across as too whiney. If it does I want to apologise for it.




14 comments:

  1. URGH you had me to the apology!! You have no absolutely no reason to apologize for your feelings. They are yours and they matter just as much as the person wondering how to get up in the morning.

    You are an awesome mom. Probably because you are so in touch and honest with your feelings. Always remember, Sunny chose you as him mom for a reason!

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment and for your encouraging mail! This really means a lot to me!

      And your last sentence just made me well up. Told you I was a crier! ;-)

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  2. Oh Joy! Please know that you are a wonderful mother and that we ALL feel the exact same way. I promise. Being a mother is exhausting. Being a mother that needs to have two voices - one for herself and one for her son is even more exhausting. Trust me that you already are cherishing these moments when Sunny is small - I can tell that through your writing and your overall attitude. I, for one, am very glad that you hit the publish button this morning. I feel like this all the time and am absolutely dreading when there will be an almost 3-week break in June and a 4-week one in August. I love my son. I love him more than anything ever. But I honestly do not know what I will do with him all day every day for so many weeks. Even the special needs camps we are looking into are only 2-3 hours a day. By the time I take him and pick him up, I will be lucky to get 1 hour of alone time. Alone time is good. It recharges us in a way that even sleep does not.
    Hugs dear friend. You are not alone. And neither am I - so thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your heartfelt comment, I can feel that you get it. The summer holidays will be even worse as he will be off for 7 (!!) weeks without any breaks like you described them. We are going to visit friends in Austria and my parents but there is still a lot of time to fill inbetween!
      Hugs to you, dear Kristi, and thank you!

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  3. don't be so hard on yourself, you're only human. i don't have a solution or any really great advice, but you just have to let go of the mommy guilt. when my kids were younger, i'd tell my husband that i wanted a sound proof room where i could lock myself in for just a few minutes of peace and quiet. i never got the sound proof room, and we made it past those years somehow. have you heard of Darius Rucker, he has a song called It Won't Be Like This For Long, and it's just so true it makes me cry!

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    1. The sound proof room made me smile, thank you for that! :-)

      Will have to google Darius Rucker, that song sounds good! Thanks huge for your comment!

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  4. You should not feel the least built guilty! What mom, special needs kid or not, HASN'T wished her kid could return to school? I certainly have. It's hard to be "on" for two weeks. You're a normal mom for being relieved Sunny returned to school, not a bad mom. And please, don't compare yourselves to other moms, and think about how they'd be feeling. Your feelings are YOURS, and that makes them valid. Hugs you, mama.

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    1. Thank you so much Ellen. You are probably right about all of that but some days the guilt is still there. I really hope it will subside more and more. It is good to know that others get it, it makes me feel less alone! Thank you!! Hugging you right back!

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  5. Joy - I know exactly how you feel. I think all mothers, special needs or not, feel this way at one time or another. I so want to savor the time I have with my Bird (weekends, holidays, etc….) but I often find myself watching the clock until bedtime so I can just SIT DOWN. You don't need to apologize. One of the best things about having a blog is being able to get things off your chest so that you can move on. Much love, friend.

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    1. Aww Lana, this is it, exactly. I am so relieved that I am understood and not judged! Big hugs!!

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  6. I'm coming in really late on this, I know...but I'm with the others. You are not whining. You are honest. Honesty is so important. You understand your limits. Parenting is tough stuff mixed with a lot of wonderfulness.

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    1. Tatum, it is never too late so thanks huge for your beautiful comment! That last sentence should be printed and framed somewhere, it is just the TRUTH!! xoxo

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  7. We made ourselves make a promise to our son, Dexter... When we became too frustrated, because he wouldn't do what we wanted, we would walk away for a moment and not become frustrated at him. He has cerebral palsy - it's not his choice to not sit unaided! It's so hard sometimes... Your post sounds so familiar to me! Your love is obvious!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, sometimes we all just need to have a little break. I see that you understand and that makes me feel better.

      I wanted to hop over to your blog but I cannot find it via your google+ account. Maybe you will come back and provide me with the link.

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