I’m a Good Mom, Really

Let me start by saying I am speaking more to myself in this post than I am to all of you reading this. It all started when Claire’s SLP told me that I am a good mom last week. She went on about how I advocate and work with the school, blah blah blah. I had the thought, why is it that I have such a hard time accepting such a nice compliment. The answer was obvious, because down deep, I don’t agree. I think it is easy to be critical of yourself, it is what our culture promotes. Having a daughter with Rett Syndrome seems to have created endless possibilities for the guilt and self doubt. When Claire starts leaning one way more than the other I say that I need to get it together and make sure that she is getting a solid 20 minutes a day of stretching. I blame myself as she slowly looses some skills and don’t allow myself to take credit in her victories. Today I find myself at the crossroads of the end of school and summer, cue the extra load of guilt that I typically dump on my shoulders at such a point. Everyone else is out having fun, going to the beach or doing whatever. I can’t leave the house with the two girls by myself because it isn’t safe at this point. To add to that I can barely stop crying because I am either thinking about the two little girls that recently passed who are younger than Claire or I have some how missed reading Claire’s mind and now she is deeply upset and once she stops screaming she starts sobbing because she hates Rett even more than I do. Despite this all, I have decided that I am a good mom. I am a good mom because I haven’t given up and quit. I might have given up on certain tasks, but as far as the big picture goes, I am still fighting. Even if all that looks like is setting a goal of trying to make it another 30 seconds before I loose it and get frustrated, I am still a good mom. I am not sure how I got disillusioned into believing that in order to be a good mom your kid has to be making progress or doing something fruitful, but I can say that I am choosing to not buy that anymore. There, I said it, “I am a good mom just because I am trying”. With the recent deaths in our community I have seen a lot of mom’s struggling with the whole mess of emotions that comes with Rett. I really want to encourage you all to join me in believing that you are good moms, because you are.

2 thoughts on “I’m a Good Mom, Really

  1. Colleen, you are not only a good mom, you are an amazing special needs mom. We have so much more on our plates then the “typical” mom and we know that first hand because we have typical kids too. My husband and I will usually split our kids on weekends – divide and conquer – if you will. Our 2 typical kids with 1 parent and our Annie with the other – guess who has the more demanding job. We all just do the best we can. I know the guilt, it kills me too, all the time. I feel like she should be engaged, moving, learning 100% of her waking hours, only problem is this is totally impossible. I tried this when Annie was very little and trust me when I say our house was in misery. Now we do all that we can but rule #1 is that everyone is happy – which is also quite a challenge some days. Hang in there momma you have a really tough job and your doing amazing!

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