How many special ed moms out there are overwhelmed on a daily basis?
We have our routine- wake up, get the kids dressed and fed, try to make ourselves look presentable and do what we can to show the world that we are OK. On the outside, anyway. We rush to get them to school or therapy or both. Homework, rushed dinner, bath/shower…and then we collapse. And start all over again the next day.
For most of us, we don’t slow down. We can’t afford to. I used to think if I slowed down I would never start again and I was truly terrified (excited) by the thought of curling up in a ball and sleeping for a week. But, we can’t allow ourselves to really do that, right? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? I used to love when people told me “I don’t know how you do it”. My response always was “what choice do I have?”
I am not complaining. I love my children more than anything (I had 5 and still would want more if I could) but I am exhausted. Sleep deprived past the point of insanity. I dream about sleep the way kids dream about Disney World. A night out with my husband sounds so good until our heads are in our plates and we wonder if maybe we should’ve ordered in dinner and attempted to watch a movie. A far cry from my 20’s where I was out until early morning, drinking myself silly and still had the stamina to do it all over again the next night.
Here is the thing. I think I am so overwhelmed that I am missing the moments that make it all worth it. I think we all do this and even though we know we are doing it, we don’t know how to change it. I know I need to slow down and cherish these moments or I am going to turn around my children will be adults and the only thing I will remember is that I rushed through their childhood, 99% of the time feeling overwhelmed.
The question is, “How?”
The other night my son kissed me goodnight and started getting silly. He asked for a butterfly kiss, an elbow kiss, an eye kiss and an ear kiss. We giggled. We cuddled. And it was perfect. All of a sudden, time stood still. It was one of those moments that I am freezing in my mind. Soon enough, he will be a teenager locked in his room and won’t want to give me sweet, silly kisses. They will be far and few between.
And it came to me. I didn’t have to change what I was doing, I just had to slow down. Calm down. Savor those kisses and giggles and spend more time actually being present than worrying about the future.
There will always be more laundry and homework and cleaning…
I am choosing tickle fights, giggles and silly kisses.