This weekend we will celebrate Mother’s Day. In the midst of this quarantine and time of social distancing. It will be different than celebrations and get togethers of past, but it’s still Mother’s Day.
I’m fortunate that I have my mother in my life. We are close, we’ve always been close and I’m thankful for that. We haven’t always seen eye to eye and nothing is perfect but we always seem to overcome our differences and maintain our close relationship. I’m very thankful for my mom.
Most everyone knows I have 4 children. Thomas our oldest who is special needs and three younger girls; Alyssa, Lelly, (Daniella) and Samantha. I like my kids; I mean I love them of course but I also like them. I enjoy spending time with them. Recently my girls have been asking me if I was unhappy or “miserable” when they were all younger and life was more chaotic and did I complain about them?
I answered that yes when everyone was younger life was a bit crazy. We had no idea what was going on with Thomas. I was trying to raise him; a boy with special needs without much needed help from the “professionals” we were consulting with, while trying my best to raise neuro-typical girls in the same environment. Life was not easy. I remember being very frustrated as Thomas’ mother and as the girls’ mother being very grateful that that were typical girls.
I don’t remember complaining about my kids when they were younger or maybe I don’t want to think I did? Was it fun back then? Sometimes, it was not a terrible time of my life. Did I yell a lot? Absolutely, yes I was a yeller and so were many of my friends and neighbors much to my relief at the time. Was I miserable as my kids ask me now? No, I don’t think I was miserable.
Thanks to a very recent conversation with my best friend who was my sounding board when our kids were young; Jenn doesn’t remember me complaining about my children when they were younger. She does remember me being very overwhelmed with Thomas and his issues. Jenn also said something interesting, ” Menay, they won’t understand you until *they* have kids…it wasn’t until I had my girls did I truly understand my own mother.” Jenn is right. Motherhood isn’t something you can describe to someone without sounding dramatic, or overzealous, or even miserable. Like most life experiences you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to really get what they are going through. I know what it’s like to be a mom to a special needs child and I know what it’s like to raise typical children. Both experience are no walk in the park and one is not easier than the other. They’re different.
If given the chance would I change anything from my mothering of the past? I think I would have liked to have had more patience and time to smell the proverbial roses with Alyssa and Lelly. I look at old pictures, snapshots caught in time where I felt my mind was all over the place. And I wish I had had the presence to grab onto those moments a little harder. But I suppose most mothers could say the same thing.
Happy Mother’s Day to all my friends and family!!