I usually don’t get this personal when speaking publicly but I think I may actually post this. I take being a mother very seriously. Out of all my jobs this one is by far the most important. And by far the most difficult. I have had this post in my drafts for a long ass time. Maybe sharing this little bit about my story will help another mom keep going. Cuz this shit is hard y’all.
Okay so I belong to a Stay at Home Mom Group. It is the only parenting group I belong to and I only belong to that one because my bestie started it.
Now look–I did title this post intentionally and I will get to that but first the reason I don’t belong to any other groups is because when it comes to mommyhood, women can be not only touchy but preachy and dare I say whiny.
I just can’t with that. I’m not judging but that is just me as a person. I don’t sit around whining about stuff that isn’t done. I sit around and complain about it after its done. I know that part of my personality can be annoying to folks so I tend to not comment or be a part of too many mommy discussions.
You see….I learned my skills in a trial by fire. (Also I have always been the mothering type) Against all my personal admonishments, I married a man with a child. A child I would have to raise as my own (as the biomom acted as if the child never happened). A child that was special needs. I had to pull parenting skills out of my ass and create patience out of thin air. Her special need was originally called Non Categorical Mental Retardation but has since been renamed to ID or Intellectual Deficiency. And in my child’s case, she will always be dependent on others to take care of her and watch over her. She learns things at her own pace and as a parent trying to teach and raise her—-patience is a requirement.
To give you some insight. It took me six years to teach her how to put on her socks and shoes. SIX YEARS!
Now I know what most of you reading this are thinking. “But she’s special needs!” “It’s not her fault.” “You should be ashamed of yourself for complaining.”
But reading about it and being in it are two different monkeys.
Most of the things that a special needs child (depending on the kind of need) does is not their fault because they can’t help it, Yes, but that does NOT make it any easier on the parent caring for that child.
Imagine day after day, explaining how to put on shoes and socks on the right feet. Buying special socks with indicators to help put them on correctly. Day after day going through the motions and day after day having to put your growing child’s shoes and socks on (after bathing and dressing them) yourself because they get it wrong. Month after month for six years. Every day getting up early to dress the child and make sure you have enough time for them to mess around for ten to twenty minutes (because you have to give them a chance to do it) while the child pretends to put the shoes on and sweetly tells you they did it right. Day after day running in their room to see them sitting there bare foot. Not to mention the tantrums and the hiding of the shoes and socks and then the days where they take off all of their clothes for no reason and pee on the floor. For six years.
Then one day at the age of nine, the child comes downstairs with her socks and shoes on correctly.
I cried. No one understood the feeling I had that day. Not my mom. Not my husband. Not his mother. No one. Because no one but me struggled with this task day after day. For Six years.
It wasn’t just one emotion I felt. It was happiness and joy and shock and relief and sadness over time and effort spent and also a lot of… Well Damn.
After going through the struggles of raising my stepdaughter, I felt like I could do anything. And guess what? I could. Was it easy? No. But when I had my biological daughter I knew that kids learn through repetition. That it is up to me to make the right decisions for my child. That I have to think like an adult. That I have to be a parent. A mother. A teacher. A doctor. I have to do it all. And I knew that I could. Because I had been through it and made it to the other side.
All that said….when I hear someone talking about how their child won’t go potty and I know I potty trained my child before she was 2. I can’t relate. I can share my tips if I really care to. And sometimes I do. But I can’t relate. Because I know that I already made it through the struggle with a child that wet her pants until she was 12.
What I can relate to is the feeling of isolation that motherhood can bring.
I know that parenting is hard and I am strong enough to put in the work. I know that you will cry and doubt yourself and worry but that’s just in the job description. And sometimes you even want to throw in the towel but you don’t. You go in the bathroom and cry on the toilet or scream in a pillow and then go show your kid how to put their socks and shoes on for the 20 gazillionth time.
I know that most will not be able to relate to this post but someone will.
I have made a million mistakes and I am sure I’ll make more but I am the perfect mother because I put in the time and effort. I would give up my own life for my children. I sacrifice whatever I have to for them. And I make sure the decisions I make are for them and not for me. Just like me….YOU are the perfect mom too.
Update: Not everyone is a perfect mom. If your house looks like Hoarders was shot there then no not you. Mom’s who pawn your kids off on other people to raise. Nope. Those people that never comb their kids hair, your kid only has on a diaper at all times, or you have no socks or blanket on your baby in the cold….I’m not talking to you. If your baby sits in shit for hours. Eew. No. If you consider chips breakfast. Do better. If your toddlers favorite song is any song with cursing in it. FAIL> If you don’t know where your kid is. No. Not perfect.