Sometimes I don't even realize how low I am feeling about my boys' challenges until someone says to me- "you are doing a good job" or "I have been a behavioral therapist for 20 years and trust me, you are a wonderful parent." It doesn't occur to me that I think of myself as this terrible, inadequate mother- but I do.
It also doesn't feel like the teachers at school, peers, and many other professionals can really see what I am trying to do, how much I am trying to do. That I would love to take my sons to occupational therapy twice a week, but it would truthfully require the therapist to accept appointments at 10pm (oh and a lottery win). That I sit with my son both in the evenings after school, work and therapy, and in the mornings, working on concepts that his peers apparently fly through. That sometimes it takes 20 minutes of begging to simply get him to look at a worksheet, much less start it. That I would rather take a bullet to the brain than think or hear about all of the typical kid experiences it feels like my sons are missing out on.
So when just one person has these things to say to me- and I know that she knows what she's talking about- I feel like I can take a deep breath, and for a few minutes put aside the 4 grant applications for services still sitting on my desk, the fact that jacks developmental pediatrician hasn't called me back, the fact that I am taking him to his first cognitive behavioral therapy next week, which we are skipping another therapy appointment to attend. It helps me swallow the times that my son has hit and spit on me this week. It helps me to stop beating myself up over the fact that we are 10 weeks into intensive potty training with Nate and have had not even one single success. Or that I had to choose between taking him to speech with a quality therapist or to OT with a wonderful therapist (and I chose speech).
It also helps me swallow the guilt I feel for taking better care of myself lately- for eating well and taking the time to exercise. I am valuable to my children, my health and well being are not just for me.
To the person who reminded me of this today- thank you- on so many levels.