I’ll Try Harder to be Better

I haven’t been the best wife, daughter, friend, mom to you and…I’m sorry. 

You see, today my son’s therapist mentioned she noticed him biting his hand.

‘Self injuring’ was the exact term she used, and he did it five times within their three hour session.

She told me to ‘keep an eye on it’ and to notify her if ‘the behaviors worsened’. 

That’s been on my mind all afternoon.

Retracing every step leading up to every ‘behavior’.

Wondering what could have set him off…

Wondering what we could do differently tomorrow or even in the very next breath to avoid another ‘behavior’ as she so clinically called it. 

I never thought I would be preoccupied with ‘self injuring behaviors’.

I really thought my biggest worry as a mom would be making sure I had dinner planned, scheduling appointments around nap time to allow for enough cushion, or making sure I had a birthday gift for a last minute party I completely forgot about. 

Yet here I am.  

As you chatted with me about how you were running late this morning and forgot to close the garage door I’m consumed with the fact that today at lunch my almost 4 year old couldn’t maneuver a spoon well enough to feed himself.

I need to remember to mention that at OT when we go next week.

We really need to work on that. I wonder if there is an adaptive spoon/fork I could order on Amazon that would help.

The spiral begins but I catch myself quickly enough to hear you mention how you really hope your husband will pick up supper on the way home.

“Yes, Chinese does sound good for dinner”,  I manage to chime in before you ever noticed I had checked out. 

Today, when you came over you were irritated that I had ordered clothes for the kids without you.

I know it’s something you really enjoy doing for your grandkids.

You and my sister love going to kids shops and picking out cute things for her kids. But yesterday my little guy really struggled wearing a pair of pajamas he’s worn a hundred other times.

Something about how the elastic in the back of the ankle (footed jammies) was rubbing.

I know you would love for us to go together. To take the kids and hold up shirts or jammies with different prints to see what he likes best.

The thing is, he won’t pay attention to the shirt, or pants, or pajamas.

He will probably not even notice if a full on parade comes marching through the store. But guess what he will notice…that elastic on the back of the ankle of footed pajamas. 

I’m really sorry I snapped at you when you came home from work.

It had been a long day of therapy, continuing their tactics at home to ensure the ‘best possible outcome’ and you just came in so carefree.

Sounds crazy I know, but my world seems to be teetering on the edge of survival and a vicious rabbit hole of what ifs.

You carry this heavy load much better than me. You see our sons potential.

You know the importance of doing all the things all at once, but you balance it so much better than I can.

I’m sorry I tend to take out my stress and worry on you in the most unflattering of ways.

I guess I feel like I need to share the fear, the worry, the weight of the path set before us. 

Our world is so different in so many ways that unless you live it, you have no idea.

When trying to explain my fears or concerns I’m often met with ‘Don’t worry…he’ll get it. All in his own time’.

While I understand that is meant to be 100% supportive and encouraging it feels dismissive and as if my concerns are insignificant and invalid. 

I know that everyone’s hard is their own hard. Oh I get it 100%. I’m not discounting your daily struggles or frustrations.

Please just be patient with me if I seem preoccupied.

These days I feel like that cartoon of the guy balancing several spinning plates.

We’re new to navigating this journey and while we have the very best tour guide I could have imagined it’s a journey we weren’t at all prepared for.

So, one day at a time, minute by minute I’ll try to be a better wife, daughter, friend, and mom. 

Written by, Monique Humphries

I’m a south Georgia mama to two beautiful babies. My husband and I have been on a wild ride with our little guy, but we’re figuring it out day by day. Our little girl loves her ‘bubba’ so much, and so do we.

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 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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