Please Allow Me to Feel the Hard Parts

Mother’s day has always been hard for me. Growing up with a single dad and a mother who was not a part of my life, (and when she was, caused a lot of heartache, confusion, and chaos) I always hated Mother’s Day.

I have had some amazing women in my life step up and try to help take the place of an absent mother, but I’ll be honest and say that nothing ever fills that void.

I thought becoming a mother would help though. I wanted nothing more than to be a mom and do everything right. I wanted to be the mom I never had.

When my oldest was a baby, I immediately felt I was in over my head with how fussy he was, how little he slept, and how much constant movement he wanted. But I just kept making excuses…

He was fussy because he never slept, I didn’t have a mom to call up and ask for some help, it would get easier.

I remember during one family party, my aunt asking me how I was doing while I was sweating and trying to change a crying, flailing baby. I responded with I was fine.

She told me that if I could just make it to 6 months with my little guy, things would get so much easier. She said he would sleep through the night and he wouldn’t be so fussy.

Well, flash forward a few years, and we still hadn’t slept; I still had a child who hated to be still, and we had a diagnosis of autism.

I was pregnant with my second little boy by then and was writing him a letter a few days before he was born.

I envisioned giving it to him when he was much older. I wrote about how worried I was that he would be emotionally neglected since his older brother had autism and needed so much help.

We were just starting ABA, and my newborn would only know therapists in and out of our home.

I felt the universe was working against me in my efforts to be that perfect mom I was striving for, but I told myself I was going to have the best of both worlds.

I was going to have a child who needed love and care well into adulthood, who may not speak much, or at all, but may show me how to communicate in other ways.  And I would have another son who would be there to take on the world, help advocate for his brother and care for him after me and his father couldn’t.

With my youngest, I envisioned I could have that mother/son relationship that develops into friendship once he grew up and the parenting gig is over…what I still long for with my own mother. But then, there was a second autism diagnosis, another severe one, one that would also most likely require life long care, one that may never allow me to have a conversation with my son.

You can judge me and say that I’m being negative, say at least I am a mom, there are so many women who never get to become a mother or who lose their children.

Believe me, I am always thinking of these women. Moms of kids with special needs know we’re lucky.

We know we have our beautiful babies to smile at everyday, to steal a hug and kiss from, to cheer for when they accomplish something others never remember having to learn or practice.

Yes, there are a million things to love and celebrate when you parent children with special needs but that doesn’t mean that it’s not incredibly challenging and sad.

Yes, I said it. I’m sad.

I wake up everyday and am filled with joy looking at two beautiful and smiley boys. But then one of those boys slams his head back into his car seat for a reason completely unknown to me, slams it so hard that he cries, and I cry too, and I’m sad.

I’m sad that no matter how hard I try, I can’t be the mom that makes everything better.

Do you know what it’s like to be a mom to children who can’t tell you if they’re hurt or sad or being abused? To never hear the words “mom” or “I love you”?

To not know how your children will survive when you’re gone, literally?

Who will know their signs for “yes” and the songs they want to hear over and over again, and what they love to stim on?

That is hard and telling us moms to get over it and that are children are healthy doesn’t help. Maybe we would grieve less if we didn’t feel so isolated.

So this Mother’s day, if you enjoyed the cards your kids made for you, the “I love you’s” they said to you, or you’re the parents who are counting their blessings for having a child with autism, never thinking a negative thought for a second, I envy you.

Many of us envy you. But please, let us who aren’t in that situation grieve together in peace.

No one told me as a little girl to stop having a pity party for not having a mother around, that at least I had a mom.

People understood that growing up without a mom in my life was hard and very different from what most little girls experienced.

People allowed me to have those feelings and still do as an adult. I wonder what would happen if people granted this same courtesy for parents of kids with special needs.

I love my children more than anything in the world, but their life is hard, and it’s very different, and I’m trying to allow myself to feel that.

So please, let me.

Written by, An Anonymous Mother

Finding Cooper’s Voice accepts guest posts from writers who choose to stay anonymous. I do this because so many of these topics are hard to talk about. The writers are worried about being shamed. They are worried about being judged. As a writer and mother I totally get it. But I also understand the importance of telling our stories. And this will ALWAYS be a safe place to do it.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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