This week was a rough one. I totally understand. You weren’t feeling great, it’s cold, there was a holiday right smack in the middle of the week, one of your teachers was out sick most of the week. I get it buddy. But here’s the thing. Changes are going to happen. I know you have a hard time with them. I know that sometimes you get all scrambled up and can’t tell me that you’re not okay, but in those moments I need you to take a deep breath and try to find your words. Your nice words.
Walking you out of class today broke my heart. I know you wanted treasure box, but you know how important it is to earn it. And we earn it by having nice words and hands, by making good choices and by listening to all of the wonderful teachers we are so blessed to have guiding us at school. Mommy doesn’t like to have to worry about your actions. I know you know how to be a superawesomefantastic dude, because you are so much of the time. And I know that you know how to ask for a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed. So lets slow down for a minute and listen to our body.
Promise me you’ll try to choose nice words and hands next week. That if someone puts their hands on you on the playground that you’ll say “No I don’t like that” and tell a teacher instead of pushing back. That you’ll try your food and not put garbage in a friends food when they aren’t looking. That you’ll be kind. And that you know that no matter what your actions I love you so very much.
I’m proud of all of the progress you’re making, and the things you’re learning. And know that we all have bad days and rough days and days that we just don’t want to do what we need to do, but we still do them. Know that on those hard days I’ll be waiting to pick you up with a giant hug and some snuggle time when we get home. Talk to me. Talk to your teachers, we all want to see how wonderful you are.
I know you’re really upset about not getting treasure box this week but we will try again next week. Max and I will be there as much as we can to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Take a big deep breath my love. We all get through the rough days.
Every morning the boys and I say a prayer out loud together:
“Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day for learning and for love. In Jesus’ name, Amen”
That’s it. My hope is that the boys will realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. That there are other hands that make things happen and that we need to not just BE thankful for those hands but we need to TELL those hands we are thankful for them. In toddler world I have no clue if it resonates but we are gonna keep saying it every day.
There have been giant leaps in our household- Leo swimming without a vest or floaties, Max using 2 word sentences more and more, Leo can (in his own almost legible way) write his name without hand over hand help or a drawn guide, Max is growing (I’m pretty sure his feet grew two sizes over night), Leo is mastering sight words (reading here we come!!!!) and Max is conquering his fear of swimming pools.
At the same time we have had some ugly stuff- Leo overhead throwing a chair at school, Max having a full blown screaming/ stiff body meltdown because he needed to finish a task before he got his blanket back, not eating, throwing, hitting, screaming, pinching, ugly words.
My guess is that all parents have these issues with their toddlers. Always pushing boundaries, my hope is that they don’t have them to the extreme we have them here, I don’t wish that on anyone.
I joke(but I’m really serious) that I could do physical labor all day everyday and I’d be tired but Id pull through it, but the emotional drain of dealing with behaviors from my kids wipes me out. It drains every bit of strength, every bit of positivity, every bit of patience I have. And I really need to work on that.
The good days make me excited for the possibility of new growth and learning and the horrific moments knock me down. I feel like I start to expect too much from my kids and then I am let down when they aren’t up to my expectations and that is so wrong on my part. Yes, I need to have expectations of them, and yes they should be just outside of their reach and comfort zone, but I should not be placing 7 year old expectations on my 4 year old and I feel like that’s what I do when he fails. And when he fails he is crushed and his world ends. You can see it across his face. He is just like his mommy with wearing his emotions out in the open so everyone knows.
In these moments I am learning to back off, to lower my expectations to attainable things and to love my children. More importantly to make sure I TELL them I love them. They need to hear those words out of my mouth more. They need to know that I love them, even after awful behavior, they need to hear that I love them even when they act out in ways that embarrass me and break me down, and hurt my heart. They need to know that I will love them as I teach them these things are not okay, that they will happen but that we can find a better way to tackle the situation. That it doesn’t matter what happens my love for them is for always.
And I don’t TELL them this enough. Because I’m embarrassed. Because my heart hurts. Because I am emotionally drained. Because …. because nothing.
1Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply,1 because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
“Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day for learning and for love. In Jesus’ name, Amen”
Those words pretty much sum up life around here as of late.
I walk, every single day. At least a mile. My body is changing in a great way, I feel better and have lessened my stress. I am also now a month off of my migraine meds and 7 months off of blood pressure meds. I think sunshine and movement are cure-alls for me 🙂
Tomorrow is our first official IEP for Leo and the transition from a Special Ed preschool class to an inclusion preschool class. I don’t have an idea what we are in for. I do know that we all seem to be on the same page and I am hopeful that everything is going to transition smoothly. Prayers are always welcome. 🙂
Max starts ABA 5 mornings a week the beginning of May. I am very hopeful for progress with his communication and behaviors. Again, Prayers very welcome.
With these changes I have to give up my Life Group that I am part of through church for the foreseeable future. Although I did suggest Skyping me into the study 🙂 I know this is again a season of life and change that will not be forever but feels kinda long.
Leos stimming, Maxs lack of words and general stuff around here has been on overdrive. I have made the decision that what gets done (house work wise) gets done. What doesn’t, well that can just wait until tomorrow. Things seem to get done more effortlessly, still not totally sure how that happens, but it does!
I wish I had more to say. I’ll get it together better after tomorrows meeting.
Until then Peace and love 🙂
Yup, you heard me. But I guess before I can expand on that statement I should make a few more- that one of my bestest buddies NEVER LETS ME LIVE DOWN SAYING…
I never wanted to get married or have children. I was always good to go with being Auntie Katie drinking her cocktail and smoking her cigarette and loving and spoiling kiddos.
Then I met Joel, and fell hard, then got to know him and realized this guy made me rethink the whole wanting to get married thing. Like I could actually see myself living with him forever- say what?!?! I missed him if we were apart, he didn’t disgust me when he brushed his teeth, he was (and still is) pretty easy going, and up for adventures. I was like yeah, this guy. I asked him to marry me, and a few days later he said yes LOL. I know I know.
So we were content, started a journey moved to Spokane and one day my body told me it was time to have babies. I was like- yo uterus, check yo self. I DONT WANT KIDS. But, I totally did. So we took a leap of faith and poof Leo. And then a couple of years and a miscarriage later, poof we ended up with Max.
When we moved back to California Leo was about 3 months old. We had to get settled in a house and get Joel back to work, and when he was 7 months old I went back to work part time. It was a nice mix- I got to hang out with my lil monkey guy and be productive in a grown up world. Then I changed jobs and went to work full time. I’m not going to lie, I was JAZZED about Leo getting to go to daycare. He’d have friends, and make crafts, he’d have holiday parties and learn songs. How exciting, and selfishly I was so excited to be bringing home a paycheck, having a reason to get schnazzed up every day and forming relationships with grown ups that I had very recently been mourning the loss of.
I lost that job about a month before Max came into the world- our company sold and I was tossed into being a full time mommy. We kept Leo in daycare for a while- he was doing so well….. and then his slide started and things changed. Max was about 3 months old when financially we had to pull Leo out of daycare. Shortly thereafter all of the testing started and we started on his journey to new ways of hearing and learning. It was a lot- a newborn and trying to shuffle him around. But I still had the desire to work. I always thought, we can get through the testing and get him into a class or school that will help him grow, I can find a job put Max in daycare and it’ll all be good.
I was dreaming.
I still dream.
I’m not going to lie. I’m 2 years into this stay at home mom job and I still don’t get it. I’m not sure if it’s different when you’re not shuttling your kids to therapies, and preparing the house daily for at home therapy, but I just don’t get it.
Don’t get me wrong- I have been BLESSED to see my kids take their first steps, say their first words, eat everything under the sun, put clothes on for the first time, blow bubbles in the bath for the first time. I am watching them grow and change. But I do feel like the world is passing me by. Like I have no way to connect to people who aren’t mommies.
I also can’t even seem to get a call back when applying for jobs. So I guess that’s a sign from God that I’m where I am suppose to be. But I still don’t totally get it.
This is not a job for the faint of heart, for the unsure, for the tenderhearted, for the tired, for the grumpy, for the perfectionist, for the holder of the O.C.D., for the foul mouthed, for the determined… or maybe it is.
It’s thankless, it is 24/7, it is all encompassing, it is repetitive, it drains everything you have in your reserves, and people choose it. CHOOSE IT. I still don’t get it. But it has chosen me. I do not believe “God never gives you more than you can handle” I believe he pushes your boundaries of comfort until you have no choice but to ask for his leadership. That struggle even in its darkest hours, when you want to throw your hands up and walk away a little something creeps in and softens that anger/hatred/mad you have at that moment. That not choosing this path but being placed on it is not happenstance, it’s not by mistake it’s because you have a gift you are not yet aware of. That you are going to meet people also on this path that are going to enrich your life, challenge your thinking, expand your heart and show you love and compassion you aren’t accustomed to being shown. It’s because it’s not about you, or me. It’s about a journey.
And while I’m on it, and I hear that women choose this I want to ask them why. Why with everything there is in this world to try to do, why would you choose this?!?!?!? And I look at my children and I know, because they are so very worth everything I could possibly offer to another human.
So I say a prayer and thank God that my heart changed when I met my now husband, that his love made me want to build a family with him and that our beautiful children need some extra time and hands and that their needs have put me in a place I will never be comfortable with, but I know I am fully needed.
I’d say to follow your heart and your mind. They know you better than anyone, any book, any class, anything you can read online. There are things I joke about- but I’m kinda serious (lol) about having a brand new baby, but we all fall into a rhythm, find our stride, fall flat on our face and pick right back up because that’s what we do.
I have to follow my heart more often than not with the boys. All of the charts that tell me how big they are suppose to be were thrown out the window they were born- at 9lb 7oz and 8lb 12oz respectively. The charts that tell me what milestones they should be hitting based on age I had to throw out when they reached certain ones super early and still haven’t met others. But my heart has always known if we were “on track” or not.
With that being said, we are headed back to the Regional Center today, but for Max. I’m pulled in two different directions about this. I know he’s having speech problems- again a child of ours can’t mother freaking talk, but boy oh boy can Joel and I. There are other concerns we are having with him that lead to a talk with our Pediatrician and scheduling with the center. If he needs help and they can start it now, it will be wonderful because I know he will progress so fast. We have very very smart boys. But if he does need help, we have another child that is going to take extra time and patience and I am afraid of how I am going to handle all of this.
I do not believe “God never gives us more than we can handle”, I believe he gives us opportunities to ask him for help, for grace, for love and for the chance to learn. And that there are totally days where we can’t handle it and those are the days we have to pray and make choices and ask for help- and I know that is one thing I totally need to do more of.
I texted Joel this morning and said if we can make it through this season of life alive, still talking and in one piece I think we will be okay forever. Having two toddlers- to my amazing friend with triplet 2 year olds- you are amazing, and I know you are just living life and walking in the path God placed you but woman I applaud the grace you have with even the toughest days- is hard. Having two toddlers that need extra help with communication is enough to make you want to run away at times.
So to all of my beautiful girlfriends that are in all stages of mommydom, know that your heart is your best guide, but that other mommies are always here with hugs, coffee, shoulders to cry on, high fives, happy dances and listening ears. Know that you are loved, even in your worst moments, that you are so much more than you think you are on a daily basis and that you are doing the best for your family.