Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Truth About Motherhood

Emme went through a phase where she separated herself into two different people.  There was a good Emme and a bad Emme.  They often got in fights with each other where bad Emme would hit good Emme, or bad Emme would scream at good Emme.

Disturbing much?

Naturally, I brought this up to her behavioral therapist.  She explained that Emme was having a hard time understanding that people can be both good and bad.  She only perceived them in a very black or white way.  Therefore, she split her personalities into separate components so she could process herself in a way that made sense to her.

Her BT brought up the point that everyone has both good qualities and bad qualities, but that Emme is too little to understand you can have both.

She has now grown out of this phase, but I was reminded of this conversation this week when her psychiatrist asked me how the last few months had gone.  As I thought back, I could think of many negative experiences, but I could also think of many positive ones.  So I responded with "we've had a lot of ups and a lot of downs."

Emme has come so far and yet we still have struggles every day.  I worried the psychiatrist would think it was a weird response.  I mean, she's either doing better or she isn't.  Make a choice.  Am I right?

Flashback to my conversation with the BT.  It IS okay to admit that our everyday life is both better and sometimes it's not.  10:30 might be amazing and 10:35 might be terrible.  Just like we all have good and bad qualities the same is true of many things in life.

Being a mom for example.

Motherhood is often times very polar opposite.

Sometimes it's beautiful...

and moments later it can become more...let's say....interesting...

"Emme, stop picking your nose and eating it."

Seriously, honey, that's gross.

Motherhood is both joyful and heartbreaking.

Worth it, yet SO tiring.

Funny and frustrating.

Messy and more messy. Okay that one doesn't really work.

Spiritual and scream into a pillow, worthy.

These are all things you probably already knew.  Well here's some realizations I made this week that you may not know.  

I love seeing all of the inspirational posts about motherhood this time of year.  Booyah to telling us it's okay to let housework go so you can play with your kids.  Kuddos to letting perfection go out the window.  High five to the person that said you have to make time for yourself.  I dig it.  I get it.  I love it.  Except for weeks like this one. 

As much as these articles and speeches inspire me, they also make me roll my eyes.  I can guarantee they weren't written in the midst of sleepless nights, sick kids, bathrooms that are overdue, and work that HAS to be done now.  Or as I like to call my life right now "survival mode."  

I hit a point this week that I just got SO frustrated!  I get that it's okay to let things go, but they still have to get done eventually.  Eventually was this week.  I couldn't handle the chaos any longer.  Problem is, my life doesn't care right now.  My life IS chaos and it's not going to change for a while.  I feel like I'm always just skimming the surface.  There's not time or energy to really dig deep into extra... well...anything extra.  I'm lucky to get the counter cleaned up and the toys put away.  It's an amazing occurrence when Emme is sent to school with matching socks.  So amazing that I deserve an award for it because it's such an accomplishment for me.  

No one mentions that you still gotta get crap done and find time to be a fun playful mom. No one tells you what to do if that's just not possible.  I've never been schooled on parenting a special needs child while making sure my house doesn't become condemned.  Where is an article that tells you it's okay to ignore your children for a moment because there is NO ONE else that is going to do the work for you?  After all, we can't turn into hoarders here people.  That's pretty much frowned upon.  Where is a post about making it through when there is not a single moment to go grocery shopping?  Where is the talk about never seeing your husband and date nights seriously not being possible right now?

Maybe when I look back at this time, I will write an inspirational article saying "I've been there." " Hang in there, friend."  "There will be a time for organization later in life."

Now is not that time.

Right now I'm just a complete clone of Franky from The Middle.  

Unorganized, tired, poor, and not a very good cook.  It's scary how well I relate to her.

So here's my inspiration to myself right now.

YES, it's okay to let housework go, but it's also okay to let Emme watch TV with a big bowl of popcorn while you wipe down the toilet.

YES, it's okay to play hide and seek with your three year old. But, it's also okay to unload the dishwasher, once in a while, instead. 

YES, it's okay to take a nap after a sleepless night, but it's also okay to feel a little guilty that you accomplished nothing, nothing, when Emme was at school.   A little guilt is good.  It brings motivation. Now I'm just making stuff up.  Have I mentioned I'm tired enough times yet?

YES, it's okay that your life is contradictory and this article may only make sense to yourself.  

YES, it's okay that you are a mess right now because it's still a mess that's pretty beautiful.  See how I brought that back around?


Just. Keep. Surviving.  You're doing great.  


  1. "Booyah to telling us it's okay to let housework go so you can play with your kids." Bahaha! Yes!

    We aren't reading articles about the extra challenges of special-needs parenting because they aren't really out there. Let's you and I make a pact to flood print and digital media with the stuff that we wish more people were writing.

  2. Lacey, my life has been just as you described for I don't know how long...which is why I've been MIA! Seriously, today was PBS morning in order for me to finally clean our bathroom...fold dishes...blah, blah. I loved this post, & I hope your load is feeling lighter these days.