Sunday, May 15, 2011

You can eat off my floor......

......there are crumbs everywhere!

This is, perhaps, the perfect title for my blog. Or maybe it should be something like, "Send in the Clowns," complete with circus music playing when people log in. Most days this is how I feel.

I had to take a bloggy break. I haven't really posted lately and I really haven't kept up on reading any of my favorite blogs. It wasn't necessarily a conscious decision but I have to say, it has been a much needed break.

It's funny....the "famous" blogs that I frequent are written by amazing women whose goal and desire is to help their readers feel good about themselves. For me, however, the opposite has happened. Instead of feeling better about myself as a mom/wife/friend/person, I began looking at myself and only seeing all the things I am not doing. I began comparing myself to these incredible women and feeling completely inadequate. After all, I don't sew, craft, sing, create fantastic art work, keep my house spotless or cook gourmet meals. I am not always patient. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. (Okay, who am I kidding? Sometimes I DO lock myself in the bathroom.) I'm not a perfect mother or wife. I have low self esteem. I don't always shower. Sometimes I don't comb my hair. I don't quilt. I won't buy my kids Play-Doh because I hate the mess it makes. I'm not particularly good at anything specific. In other words, I'm nowhere near as amazing as these other moms. They do awesome things with and for their families. They bake, they sew, they grow their own food, they leap tall buildings in a single bound. They cook full course meals. They host fantastic parties. They go on fun family outings. They take hundreds of pictures so that they don't lose any memories. They enjoy every single second of parenthood. How do I know? Because despite how incredibly busy they must be, they are kind enough to blog about all of these things.

Don't get me wrong.....I'm not criticizing these amazing women. I love them. I have spent days/weeks/months/years attempting to be more like them. Wishing my life was more like theirs. And instead of realizing how amazing my own life is in its unique way, I eventually began comparing myself to them and only seeing my shortcomings. This led to my unplanned but very much needed bloggy break.

And then it hit me. DUH! I am not these women! My family life is nothing like theirs. My children are not like their children. I am me! My world is not their world and that's okay. Not only is it okay, it is amazing! I reminded myself that this is the life we chose. We chose to parent kids with special needs. We chose to take on these extra challenges, believing we were capable of doing it. And I have to say, for the most part I feel like we do a pretty good job.


Did I bake bread today? Nope. Instead I changed a colostomy bag. I cheered because even though he is almost four years old, Nate said "momma" more clearly than he ever has. I got a bit frustrated that even though he's nearly seven, Tyler still likes to throw his food on the floor when he's finished instead of just pushing his plate aside. I laughed so hard that I cried when Tyler tried to wink at me.

Did I sew a quilt today? Nope. Instead I watched a home video of Tyler as he was going through chemo and said a silent prayer of thanks that that chapter of our lives is over. I did some research on Autism and attempted to learn how to better help Nathaniel. I listened to Emmalee read a story to her brothers and marveled at how amazing she is with them. I sat through Nate's CPSE meeting and explained why he needs to be in a full day program next year so that he gets enough therapy in his day.

Did I host a fabulous party? Nope. Instead I prayed no one came over unannounced because my house was pretty messy and I hadn't taken a shower. I did some research on colostomy surgery since Nate is scheduled for that in June. I worried about how I am going to coordinate help and childcare for when that happens and we are faced with yet another hospital stay.

Did I cook a gourmet meal? Nope. Instead Brent and I researched Behcet's disease in an attempt to understand more about his illness and it's symptoms. I emailed a new mom whose son was unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. I took great pride in my sweet little Emmalee as she set the table for our very simple dinner.

Did we have a perfect family outing? I suppose. Perfect for us, anyway. Our perfect family outings generally consist of taking a drive in the van and going through an automatic car wash. The kids love it and Tyler is always sad when it's done. We don't do restaurants because the noise and stress are too much for the boys so we got take-out instead. And then we had to cut it short because Tyler pulled his colostomy bag off and Nate had a meltdown. That's pretty much par for the course on our family outings. (I can't even imagine trying to take a major trip somewhere. Maybe someday!)

Is our life perfect? Nope. But in a way I think it is perfectly un-perfect. Our life is unique. After all, our family is unique.

Am I a perfect mom/wife/friend? Not even close. But I am me. And I am slowly but surely beginning to realize that I don't have to be anyone else. I don't have to impress anyone. All I have to do is be the best me I can be.

So this is my life. Is it glamorous? Nope. Is it sometimes crazy? Absolutely! Would I change it? Not for anything in the world!!