Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mommy's Role

I always figured the way I would raise my kids would be some kind of a cross between Kevin's mom from 'The Wonder Years' and Lucy Ricardo. Some sweet snuggles, home cooked meals, wise and loving lessons, and then a few ridiculous bursts of chaos and temper. Also I'd probably leave my kids with the neighbors a few times a week to chase my dreams of singing in a nightclub.

And I'd say with my little kids I'm pretty spot on. I can sit Vegas in time out with one hand and make pot roast with the other, expertly kiss a boo-boo and decide if it needs a band-aid or a silly song, and read Pete the Cat so many times it makes my eyes cross and my ears bleed. And yes, I definitely enjoy hanging out at my local community theater or with friends away from my kids for reasonable amounts of time.

But it's harder with Little Man. I don't always feel like I'm able to just mother him. I feel like I do a mediocre job of being his Mommy because I'm busy also being Doctor, or Therapist, or Advocate. I think I miss some of the sweet easy moments of his childhood because I'm too busy scheduling his next appointment or researching private schools and therapy. I feel disconnected from mothering as I grasp his chin in my hands and study his gaze while I administer a syringe of medication. Instead of assuming my kid wants to snuggle with me after school, I worry that he's coming over to me to bite or tantrum and hit. Basically it's more common for me to be worrying about what can and does go wrong than to be content and present with what is happening right now.

Just typing that makes me cry angry, guilty tears. I hear the admonishments in my head to "cherish the moments", but how can I when I'm thinking twenty steps ahead every day? Little Man's needs are becoming so overwhelming lately. His tantrums are bigger and angrier, his medical needs more urgent, and the gap between him and any kid his age is more pronounced than ever. I feel like Mommy has taken a backseat to all the other roles he needs from me recently. My love for him never changes, but the way I mother him... I just feel inadequate. I hold on to the hope that my actions and decisions are what is best for him. That he understands somehow that I'm still Mommy under the stress and worry and fear and other roles I take on for him. Definitely not the Mommy I thought I'd be for him, but hopefully the Mommy he needs.
Little Man and Mommy

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