Welcome to Day 4 of the 31 Days of Random Reflections on Raising and Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.
Just to prove how right I was in yesterday’s post regarding how confused we parents sometimes are, this rant actually contradicts my idea that “What to Say or Do” lists should be avoided. I hope you find my publishing this despite what I shared yesterday as amusing as I do. Besides, this one thing “Not to Say” I really, really mean.
Please don’t call me “Amazing Mother.”
I falter just like you do. Probably less gracefully, too.
Don’t call me amazing because I resigned from a long-running career to homeschool my little one. Because keeping an eye on his many health issues takes precedence over getting him out the door on time for others.
Don’t call me amazing because I spend many hours questioning and researching solutions to countless health issues. Because I also deal with mental exhaustion from continuously thinking about the next thing.
Don’t call me amazing because I make our meals from scratch. Because we rely on a handful of take-out pamphlets so that I can get a break from the kitchen at the end of the week.
Don’t call me amazing because my home is mostly organized and clean-looking. Because the shower doesn’t get cleaned weekly and you haven’t seen behind the doors I keep closed.
Don’t call me amazing because I carry my 9-year-old while balancing an essentials bag down to our car. Because most nights, I’m icing my shoulder so I can fall asleep pain-free.
Don’t call me amazing because I can make it to girls’ night looking calm, cool, and collected. Because chances are, I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night tending to my sleepless child (and there’s something to be said about cucumber eye packs).
Don’t call me amazing because I do most things with a smile. Because when I shut the door, I sob uncontrollably — just like you do — until there aren’t any tears left to shed.
Don’t call me amazing because I have a strong spiritual belief. Because I worry daily about what more we’re meant to handle.
Don’t call me an amazing warrior mama just because I fight for my son’s rights. Because some days, I just want to throw in the towel and bury my head in the sand.
Don’t call me amazing.
Because I’m not.
I am just like you.
I worry like you do.
I make a mess of things like you do.
I sometimes even raise my voice and use appalling language like you do.
If you ask how I do it, the answer is not glamorous:
I am selfish.
But, I get up each day and do it all over again.
Because, like you, I know I’m not meant to be amazing. I’m just meant to be present with the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly.
I can keep going because my son inspires me to keep bringing light to the darkness – to stay the course despite the challenges. Because, that’s exactly what he does – selflessly, unconditionally, without complaint or tears.
Now, I think that’s pretty amazing.