All true, good moms know that we don’t get a break, a change from routine when we are home. Well, mothers employed outside the home get a break in that they are home more and not at their workplaces. But… Anyway let’s go back to WHY I’m saying this. Last week I took my eldest son to the dentist. The dentist mentioned something to me about a long weekend and my looking forward to it.
Firstly, my days melt into one. I know when Sabbath is, and that’s it. I took my mother for cognitive assessment a few years ago and one of the reasons she failed and was found to-at minimum-have cognitive decline was because she didn’t know the date.
In that case, I’m also cognitively impaired! I have to look at my FitBit or phone to know what the date is. So when the dentist said it was a long weekend, I didn’t know there was one, and secondly, “Why? Why was there a long weekend coming up!?” I’m terrible! But it’s also because we don’t celebrate this particular holiday. We commemorate the resurrection but not to coincide with the goddess Ishtar etc.
I didn’t say all that. I told her, “Umm, long weekend feels like a normal weekend to me. Except my husband is home.” Seriously, when you’re a mom of even neurotypical little ones, the routine is still the same. You wake up and prepare food. You nurture even when you’re tired. You don’t get to sleep in. Now add in chronic sickness and special children and… The emphasis on each day in a long weekend is on the word ‘long.‘😉
I’m not gonna lie. I’m at one of my lowest, physically. My husband met me sick. But today he said, “I’m worried about you. I’m worried you’re going to snap. I don’t think you can take this anymore.”
Add special children onto my plate and woo boy, only His grace keeps me moving. Truly. I think I’m probably clinically depressed, actually. I am so weepy. I cry at the drop of a hat. I would LOVE to just lie in bed all day relaxing my mind and body. I don’t WANT to take my children to the Park like we plan to tomorrow. I don’t WANT to do the ironing like I am. Well, I did 15 minutes then came to lie down for my back. I don’t WANT to do anything but to lie in bed. I don’t WANT to research AAC methods for my youngest who doesn’t speak to communicate. I truly don’t know how I’m laughing and smiling and not losing my temper as I grew up witnessing. It’s only grace.
So, because every day is a normal day, I present my one moment in a day as Multi-Tasking Therapy Mom on this Easter Sunday.
Both my middle two (and my one twin who will apparently need foot surgery when she’s five years old) have low muscle tone. My girl has a weak trunk, weak fingers, neck… So part of the home therapy I have to do with her, on top of the ADHD co-morbidities she has, includes working on her muscle tone. Seeing as her brother is also weak in those areas and I actually bought the equipment when HE was undergoing occupational therapy, I add him too. Plus, after all, it’s fun, so why not?
It is fun. And hard! They beg to do the exercises all the time even though they also complain that it’s hard. (Stop. Focus on the phrase, “All the time.” I wish I could clone six of me to fulfill every body’s desires and needs!) We know from our normal workouts that leg raises work the core. Wheelbarrow too, helps her. Not fun for my back while I’m bending to raise her legs, but worth it. Whether it’s Monday or Wednesday or Sunday, I’m Therapy Mom. So I split up the exercises. She’s meant to do them at least three times a week. I choose a few per day. And with things like them riding around on their bellies, I can oversee them while washing dishes. Multi-Tasking Therapy!
Did you catch my “all true, good moms” jibe? I wrote it because certain mothers feel that what I do shows that I’m “lazy.” Ie. If I wasn’t lazy, I’d be employed instead of educating my children. (And being Therapy Mom.) No good mom -whether employed outside the home or not- would EVER think parenting is easy. In fact, all the employed moms I’ve met think I’m some kind of saint to do this. The only way this mother could ever say this was because she never spent time with her children. And I know she was a bad mom because she was abusive to. People like to speak in absolutes. Not me. So no, not ALL moms know that motherhood means no rest whether holiday or not. Only the moms like my mom readers know. You good, true awesome moms, you! 😉
And I’m being serious. My friend who committed suicide worked outside the home but was also an awesome mom who wished she could do more. She too was chronically ill. I’m speaking to moms like her in this paragraph. We can’t do it all. We either have to split up our attention between multiple children, have a nanny, hope they aren’t being bullied at school, wish for sick leave days… I know these days aren’t very restful. And if you celebrate, it’s probably more work too because you’re hiding Easter eggs or something. (He he.) But in the same way I’m trying to be gentle on myself with the things I can’t get round to doing-like finishing ironing in one day while also reading to a twin, walking with the other and doing all the day’s PLANNED therapy-please be gentle on yourself. If you’re not beating your children with a phone cable, if your child is not choosing tk rather be in boarding school at age 9 because you’re so terrible a mom, you’re already winning.
I know what bad mothering is. And you’re not it. And I promise you, the children we can’t play with as we’d like, they won’t recall that as much as they’ll recall our gentle demeanour and loving WORDS to them. They’ll remember the stories we did read to them. They will remember that you did something for them despite your being in pain or tired. Don’t be hard on yourself when you’re doing your best. Your children will know it. And they love you for who you ARE despite what you CAN’T give or do.