Telling it Like it Is

Time and time again I am told what an amazing mother I am.

“Claire could not have asked for a better family.”

“Sam and Claire are so lucky to have parents like you and Adam.”

“I don’t know how you do it. You are amazing!”

The truth is, some days I feel like I totally suck. There are days like today where my entire day is consumed with feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, and overwhelming sadness. Days like today make me question all of the choices I made as a mother. I love my kids beyond comprehension, but I am still human. And I think and hope that by writing this post I will make other mothers who are also struggling feel just a little bit better about themselves.

  • I yell at the boys all the time. They’re frustrating, overwhelming, and just do not listen.
  • I can’t do it by myself, which makes me feel like a total failure. I depend on other people to help me. We are so lucky to have a fabulous nanny who acts as a second mom.
  • I’m sad. I’m sad that my life isn’t what I expected it to be.
  • I’m sad that every time I see a baby girl I pause and force myself to stop thinking “what if.”
  • I’m jealous of my friends who have never, and will never, deal with a special needs child.
  • I’m angry that Down syndrome exists and I’m even angrier when other moms who have a child with DS say they wouldn’t change their child even if they could.
  • I’m frustrated that I spend so much time researching and formulating, emailing and talking about all of the “extras” I have to do for Sam and Claire.
  • I’m annoyed that half of my life is spent scheduling therapies and going to therapy.
  • I’m pissed off. I’m pissed that I did “my time,” and then got slapped in the face again.

Life shouldn’t be this way. I’m disappointed in myself for getting consumed with my feelings. While I don’t get this way often, I DO get this way. And it sucks. It sucks to be sad about your children and your life. When everyone is telling me what a great job I’m doing, all I can think is, “You have no idea.”

It took me days to get the courage to write this post, and several more days to get the courage to hit “publish.”

My sweet Sam… I love you. I love that you taught us how to love and hope with our entire being.

Jack Jack… You are the leader of the pack and it’s a job you don’t take lightly. You love your siblings, and I love watching you love them.

E Bear… The day you were born was a day filled with absolute joy. You have continued to bring happiness, joy, and craziness into our lives.

Princess Claire… You are everything I never knew I always wanted.

This blog is my memoir, and one day I hope to look back at posts like this and smile—smile at the naive 30-year-old who didn’t know how fantastic her life was about to become.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tama says:

    I love your posts. I love that you are so real. Special needs do suck. You have amazed me, inspired me and I am sure will continue to do so. I think there are those that yell and those that don’t. I yell. I cry that I yell and then I yell again another day. Your kids look happy and I can see love and joy in their eyes. You are amazing even if you don’t always feel like it.

  2. Mrs. Brick says:

    Thank you, Trisha. Thank you for having the courage to be honest! While I can never relate to the struggles of raising special needs kids I can relate to feeling sad about the life you dreamed of and the feelings of “what if” and I hate when my head goes there because I adore my kids! And oy the yelling! I swear some days there is more than taking and I hate those days too. I need to get back to blogging so I too can put out an honest picture of current life for future me.

  3. theStoryofV says:

    Today can suck, and hopefully tomorrow will suck a little less. And if it doesn’t- you can tally another mark on the sucky days column. You are my idol. A complete rockstar. But today… Today, you don’t have to feel like one. And I know one day you will look back on this post and say, “I WAS AMAZING, AND I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW I DID IT.” Cheers! No really- cheers- get yourself a drink.

  4. Dorothy Hoffelt says:

    There iis no more difficult profession than being a full-time Mom; you are a minority, for sure, in today’s world! There is no instruction manual, no college or technical classes that could prepare you for the overwhelming demands on you physically, mentally, spiritually, or financially. An “aha” moment for me came when I realized that when a day held a “precious moment,” it was a good day! There is no one who could do a better job of “mothering” for your beautiful children than you; you hold yourself to an impossibly high standard because you love them to pieces. May your honest words of frustration become a reminder of the strength that you “never wanted to know” that you were going to need and that you have found to be the incredible wife, mother, daughter, friend, and voice of encouraging reality for others and for yourself. The perfect parent is a myth!

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