It’s a brisk Friday morning when my phone dings. It’s Spot! Of course! We talk every morning before getting our Littles off to school — but this morning she has a request.
“You know, you could contribute a piece to the site.” This, in Spot’s language, means:
Why don’t you break out of your comfort zone and try writing something?.
IMMEDIATELY I’m filled with self-doubt and anxiety. Why me? What could I possibly contribute to a special needs fandom? What knowledge do I possess? WHY me, Spot?!
She assures me that I have plenty to contribute.
Soon thereafter the thoughts come pouring in. It is, of course, as I’m driving my Middle Little to school. He’s non-stop chattering about the approaching Halloween holiday.
Can I just have a thought to myself? No, you’re a mom, my brain fires back.
See guys, Spot is my person. I have cried many – a – tear with Spot. She knows my good, my bad, and my downright ugly. So, when she believes I can do something, I figure it may be worth a shot. So, here it goes.
I am a mother — an overwhelmed and tired mother — of three amazing children. I am a mother who gives her best day in and day out with what seems little recognition in return.
Although my kids don’t have autism, they have their struggles.
My oldest has struggled with dyslexia since we can remember. My Middle Little is easily overwhelmed with any pressure. Blades of grass on his feet or spicy toothpaste can be meltdown-worthy. Then there’s my 1-year-old sensory-seeking (aka daredevil) child who was given the nickname Survivor when she was just a few months old. I have my hands full! Raising these three has been the HARDEST thing I have ever done, and I wouldn’t change a thing! But I also have my struggles.
See, shortly after my third child was born, I suffered from postpartum depression,
When my evil depression started to ease and I finally started to enjoy summer break with my Littles,
BOOM, a freak hurricane
came through and wiped out our small rural town. We flooded and lost everything but the things we were able to salvage after waking to a foot of water in our home.
So, there I sat
at my mother’s house
with my three kids, my youngest being only 6 months old at the time. No home. Very few possessions.
What the fuck?! Why?!
I’ve never experienced anything so gut-and-heart-wrenching
as bringing my family’s stuff — destroyed by flood waters — out to the roadside. The oversized pink teddy bear that daddy brought home before my youngest’s birth that would never be loved. The gorgeous cherry wood bedroom suite, a family heirloom cherished since my great-grandmother’s days, that’d never know the love of another generation. My awesome bandana and swimsuit collection…
SO. MANY. TEARS.
And just like that, the depression seeped back in as quickly as the floodwaters did my home.
It’s a year later
and we have since returned home. I still suffer from bouts of depression, and that’s OK. To any parent reading this, it’s OK to not be OK all the time. You hear me? It’s OK to not be OK. If you’re tired and overwhelmed, please know it’s OK and you’re not alone. If you don’t feel good enough, you’re not alone.
Frankly, it’s pretty hard to feel great about yourself
in this day and time when just about everybody is constantly trying to prove how fantastic their lives are on social media (even though they may be suffering behind the scenes).
Real life example: While my Facebook friends are online posting their tropical vacation photos, complete with fancy umbrella drinks in-hand, here I sit on my bathroom floor (Spot’s, Ms. Eff’s, and my comfort spot of choice) with tears in my eyes, trying to steal a moment for myself as I sneak-eat Reese’s peanut butter cups with my children STILL asking for snacks through the damn door.
“Help a motha out, shit!” I cry, looking up at the bathroom ceiling.
It’s overwhelming being a parent sometimes.
Now that you have a little of my backstory, let me tell you
A Little about Spot.
She is incredible! She has experienced the downright scary and brutal realities of being a special needs mom. Those of you who’ve been following Bubbles and Chaos, she’s only given you just the tip (of the iceberg or of the penis, whichever you prefer).
So, for all you who are suffering out there, if you take one thing away from reading this:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Let us all stand together and be each other’s rocks, and, my goodness, please tell someone about your struggles — a parent, grandparent, friend, and if they all suck… Spot is here to support you. Don’t isolate yourself. You never know who is suffering alongside you, or who may be desperately worried sick about you.
Speak up, all of you amazing brave fighters!