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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 2 headed Monster

I’m not bi-polar or manic depressive… although sometimes I feel that way. 

Mothers – picture this.  You wake up.  Babies are sleeping, and you make yourself a nice big cup of coffee.   You sip it leisurely as you catch up on your blog reading list for the morning.  You smile and feel completely blessed as you hear a soft conversation come from the children's’ bedroom.  You let them out and….

Everyone starts screaming for something different for breakfast.  They speak to you like you are a maid, not a mother.  You are given demands as one pulls another’s hair.  They wonder over to your freshly folded laundry and rip the towels down off their pile.  They tell you they want to help.  They scream and wake your youngest baby up.  They throw food on the floor and your house is demolished in less than 5 minutes. 

Bye. Bye. Tranquil morning.  Hello nightmarish day.  Feel a little rollercoaster coming on?

That light switch is constantly being turned on and off in my world.

My friend came into my room today and saw this:

She is also my friend on Facebook and knows that I spent almost this entire weekend force feeding a child that didn’t want to eat and couldn’t handle the volume of calories necessary for growth and nutrition.  In fact, last night we did something we’ve never done… we used the “pump” during the day.

She looked at my letter to my students and said, “How did that work out for you?”  I said, “Great!”  …. silence … She said, “Really?”

She saw what many people don’t.  The public persona versus the private worrier.  The *switch* that can occur on a moment’s notice.  The 2 heads of special needs.  I switch between feeling blessed and feeling frustrated

This morning I felt frustrated. Hours of phone calls with no answers.  A disagreement between doctors and pharmacists and a distrust of things that are not shown/explained to me will do that.  I don’t blindly follow.  I want explanations.  There is a discrepancy between the medicine dosage the doctor prescribed and the dosage we’ve been getting.  It is somewhere between 7 times too much and 7 times too little.  And somewhere in the middle is what Alexander needs. (Frustrated)

During my planning period I walked down to see the twins as they finished Preschool.  *switch*  They were all smiles and giggles.  They reminded me of why I fight so hard for my children.  They made me laugh as they showed me their latest project. (Blessed)

Later this afternoon, I called home to check on Alexander’s day.  *switch*  He’s eaten absolutely nothing.  sighWhat happened to my little boy who ate pancakes?  Where are you? Slipping in and out of the land of “oral?” (Frustrated)

I take another phone call.   *switch*  Alexander’s been accepted into a “preschool” program.  It will be one morning a week and is integrated with kids with special needs and kids without.  I’m thrilled that he will get all that stimulation.  (Blessed)

On the way home… the feeling of exhaustion sets in. *switch*  The antihistamines make me tired and I’ve spent the day smiling.  I find myself reflective… not happy or frustrated.

I take a few minutes to re-charge at home and *switch* The blessings flow back into my heart.  My husband is healthy.  My children are all home.  Alexander is well cared for by his nurse.  The kids are wound up and running wild.  All is right with the world.  (Blessed)

Are you getting the picture yet?  Sometimes it doesn’t happen as quickly… sometimes the *switch* happens from moment to moment.  I decided to lay it all out on the line because I believe I am not alone.  If you ever talk or read something written by someone impacted by special needs… look closely… find the *switch*
It might seem like they fluctuate.  I’m fairly good at hiding the frustrating moments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have them.  I just wanted to put a voice to all those who *switch* as life leads them… not the other way around.

Once again, I’m pouring my heart out with Shell :

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At October 5, 2011 at 7:16 AM , Blogger Kristin @ What She Said said...

I don't have a child with special needs, but I do know the "switch" you're talking about. It happens to me too. In fact, my PYHO post today talks about good days and bad days... but some days are a mixture of both as the switch happens from hour to hour or even moment to moment.

I suppose this rollercoaster of emotions is just part of parenthood. Or maybe even adulthood in general.

At October 5, 2011 at 8:33 AM , Blogger Tara R. said...

I have a son with special needs, and life can be a roller coaster of ups and downs on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Frustration, exhaustion, exhilaration, joy, and all within a short span of time. It is good to know we aren't alone.

(visiting via PYHO)

At October 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Blogger Dawna said...

I'm dropping by with PYHO today, and I have to echo what Kristin said. I don't have special needs children, but do feel as though I'm on a roller coast, as well. Some days... Well, most days, it feels as though my 3 kids (5, 14, 18) just can't get in sync. One causes me to feel my blessings, while the other two frustrate me. Or I'm feeling my blessings with two and the other is right there with the challenge. Been feeling the frustration a lot with the eldest teen lately...

I'm beginning to think it's a 'mom thing'.

Sending BIG hugs your way!

At October 5, 2011 at 9:44 AM , Blogger By Word of Mouth Musings said...

Look at all those 'blessed's'
Love that no matter what life throws, around the corner there is a blessed moment.

At October 5, 2011 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Shell said...

I understand that switch. I'm there all. the. time.

At October 5, 2011 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Jessica @ My Simply Complicated said...

Oh man - I think you've opened my eyes to the *switch* in many other circumstances, too. It's not often that we think about how we're feeling in the moment, rather how we're feeling overall and it always tends to be more *frustrated*.

I'm going to start trying to break down the little things - remind myself to feel blessed because I truly am!

At October 5, 2011 at 10:07 AM , Blogger Amiyrah said...

This was a great post. We recently found out that my son might be suffering from ADD and before the diagnosis, it was hard to find the blessings in a day full of tantrums and confusing conversations. You've reminded me to really look for them, especially at the end of the day. Thanks.

I'm visiting from PYHO, by the way. I'd love for you to come check out my post :).

At October 5, 2011 at 11:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read the beginning of this post, I wondered how you snuck into my house! LOL

As I read on - I really empathized with you. I think most moms have the 2 headed monster thing going on, add in the fact that you're a teacher (another head!) and have a special needs beauty and WHEW!

Pat yourself on the back, give yourself a hug for not being numb.

At October 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Meredith said...

The switch...

I think this was such an important post, because I think we all have those switch moments...

I wrote about this kind of thing when I was studying 1 John 1 :4, fullness of joy . . .
and how hard it is to find that fullness of joy in the middle of the dirty kitchen, the disobedient toddler . . .

But how taking a step back and looking at the whole picture . .. WHOA... Fullness of joy.

So. I understand. *hugs*
And it is hard . . . as people with HOPE, we forget that sometimes we can just be REAL.

You are amazing.

At October 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM , Blogger Anastasia said...

I also don't have a child with special needs and I have a switch too. I get frustrated and I don't even know why sometimes. You are a warrior and I admire you handling this at all and wish you luck and love. Don't be too hard on yourself.

At October 5, 2011 at 3:39 PM , Blogger Non-Stop Mom said...

I don't have any kids with special needs, but having 5 on my own leads to a lot of ups and downs on a daily basis. It's hard to focus on the positive, but it's something that all parents need to do. Actually, everyone - parents or not.

Awesome post!


At October 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM , Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

Yes. Sometimes there is just something right under the surface and only the most perceptive of people can pick it up. Sometimes it really needs to be picked up.

At October 5, 2011 at 4:44 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

I was going to say that I don't think you need a child with special needs to have all these switches happening throughout the day and then I read the comments! :) I do have a sweetie with special needs, but lately, she's not the reason I feel like I'm on a roller coaster, it's more often my older kids being crabby or whiney after school or my youngest yelling that she wants to WATCH A MOVIE!!! haha! I loved this post by the way!

At October 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM , Anonymous A Mother's Thoughts said...

Oh, I understand where you are coming from. The daily ups and downs of being a mother that takes everything on, trying to be parent, spouse, friend, example, role model. Life can get overwhelming, one step at a time!



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