“The world is full of women blindsided by the unceasing demands of motherhood, still flabbergasted by how a job can be terrific and torturous.” Anna Quindlen
Last week, I shared my heart about the struggles, heartache, misunderstandings, and even envy that can come with being the caregiver of an autistic child. While, I don’t regret sharing my raw emotions, my feelings, my hurts, my struggles (as this is the reason I blog), I do realize I missed one extremely important point…
Being a mom is tough…period!
Just as there is not an instruction manual on how to raise a child with special needs, there also is not one on how to raise any child. Women all over the world prepare for childbirth, for each stage of development, for doctor’s appointments, and well-baby check-ups. Whether we are reading What to Expect the First Year or Aspergers and Your Child, it’s all the same. We are all flabbergasted.
Because in all those books, the ones that tell us how to feed, when our child should crawl, walk, talk, how to help the child who doesn’t crawl, walk, or talk; there is nothing that tells us how the same child who can evoke so many feelings of love, can at the same time torture us beyond belief.
How that as much as we think we know how to change a diaper, burp a baby, or warm a bottle, you are never prepared for the temper tantrums, meltdowns, and bad attitudes that can come from the same child who hasn’t gotten his or her way.
Flabbergasted. Not just mom’s of those with special needs. But, all moms.
Because being a mom is tough…period.
We all have children who have told us how much they hate us. Who have threatened to run away. Who may embarrass us in public. Who are 7 going on 37. Who come home with bad grades. Who come him in tears.
Those moments when we love them beyond belief, even when they have left us feeling tortured.
Tortured by our emotions. Tortured by embarrassment. Tortured by failure, and completely flabbergasted.
Every single one of us.
Because being a mom is tough…period!
Regardless of who our children are, what limitations they have, or their ages, every single one of us wants to desperately get this mom gig right. We want everyone to think we have it all together, when really much of the time our kids leave us flabbergasted and confused. Make us feel like one big, fat failure of a mother.
When our daughter yells that she hates us, we wonder where she could have ever gotten those words.
When our children’s grades dip, and we have to hire a tutor because this “new” math just doesn’t make sense to you.
When you thought you provided all the tools to equip your kids to make wise choices, and they still made all the wrong ones.
When these wrong choices leave you feeling defeated, disappointed, and crucified in a cloud of judgment.
When you are speechless and utterly useless because you have no clue how to handle those tears. No clue how to answer the questions. No clue how to handle and embrace the tough circumstances.
All of us. Every single one.
Because being a mom…any mom, is tough!
“Through all the pushes and pulls, stresses and strains, and triumphs and failures are perspectives.” Lysa Terkeurst
And, in the midst of my pushes, pulls, stresses, strains, triumphs, and failures, that is exactly what I got-perspective. One that reminded me, none of us have this mom gig all together, perfect, or completely “right.” All of us are trying to do this mom thing as best we can, with no instruction manual, often with little sleep, some times with a lot of caffeine, and yes, even unsolicited advice, judgment, and a dose of envy.
While we may not have the same struggles, we all still have them.
While we may not all have children who can’t go down a slide, or go to the grocery store, we have children who struggle with something.
While we all may have some nicely written instruction manual on our shelves at home, we are still flabbergasted, confused, and tortured.
We all want to do this parenting thing right. We all have worries and inadequacies we are trying to hide. We all have parenting moments we are not proud of, have been embarrassed, and even kids who may want to run away.
We all have a tough job.
Every single one…period!