Tag Archives: supermom

Waiting For SuperMom…

I’ve been waiting for the time to be right, hoping that I would know with unequivocal clarity.  Hoping that I would make it,  to be the best mom ever for my babes.  To be the Supermom that they deserve.   At the end of each day I sit, hoping that the next one will be better.  I  mistakes constantly. I pray that my children are strong enough not to be scarred by me, since I know that there is no way around them being hurt.  I’m just not perfect.
I fold laundry at 2am, I do dished a 4am ever so quietly, hoping not to wake the locals.   Then I sleep till 10am because I pushed too hard  and my body isn’t what it used to be.  So I feed them whatever I can get my hands on, and don’t make dinner until the last minute so the kitchen is a mess. Because I have to make everything from scratch. We have  various food allergies and housing upheaval. I have fibromyalgia, a herniated disk, a para-esophageal hernia that is going to require major surgery in a few weeks… A whole pot of crazy going on.

I spend my days trying to school them.  I love these days, but they don’t feel like enough for them, around my health and other needs. Each and every day I wonder if school would be better.   Not that I feel like a failure, but the thought is just always there. I am very aware that there are ways that school would NOT be successful, but then I worry about my inability to hold to structure and how it is affecting them.
My children are brilliant, and inspiring! Says-every-mom-ever. And I mean it!  They amaze me even more than they concern me. We are in a season of complete upheaval with construction on our home, changing our family budget, and getting health stuff taken care of.
One big change for our family happened about a month ago when we did send one of the babes back to school.  Over December we thought and prayed a lot about it.  It basically came down to this. Lucas needs clear structure and routine.  I am not very successful at either.  Lucas needs a full evaluation for insurance to pay for his therapy needs for Asperger Syndrome.  Insurance does not cover the evaluation which is anywhere between $2500 and $5000.  In public school he can be evaluated for free and provided the structure and support he needs.  Sounds like the perfect answer!!
It was still hard. So, so hard.  Lucas is the one I always keep with me. Mostly because he’s so much for other people to handle.  So dropping him off for others to care was overwhelming.  The school staff spent several hours over  2 weeks with us, in preparation for bringing Lucas in. They were wonderful.  We went over his need for support in the bathroom, and talked about his Sensory Processing Disorder. Because of his SPD, he is likely to be in pullups until he is 10-12.  The created a special plan and routine for him, based on what we suggested, with supervised bathroom visits and help with accidents. Their attention to detail for his needs was such a relief.  In his 504 plan for special needs, they also allowed him to have his chew necklace, wiggle seat and fidget toys.
Lucas has been there for a month now, and he is thriving. For the first time!  I can say he is thriving!! We still pick him up every Tuesday and take him to his OT appointments and he is in the middle of the evaluation process. In spite of my fears, it was absolutely what he needed.
Things come up with each of our children where we have to re-evaluate what we do.   We have to look at their needs. We put them above ours, and even above our ideals. We shift those ideals, as each process with our children changes the shape of our parenting; changes the priorities we thought we knew were “utmost” ten years ago.

I absolutely, despise the question “How do you do it all?”  Actually, even more than I despise the movie. The question is lame. No one really wants an answer. What they really mean is that you just have too much, way more than they would ever want. And it implies that they really have a clear preference for their own life.  Well, touche.  I prefer mine.
The truth is that NONE of  us do it all.  We choose in the moment, we grow with their needs. We stretch the muscle of our heart, the tissues of our brains… and they both ache and quake through the process.  We don’t do it all. Ever.  No one does.  Wed on’t have to.  We just have to do today.

I caught myself waiting again.  Waiting for something that will never happen. Something that doesn’t exist.  There is no Supermom.  I will never be her, and neither will you.  We have no cape and no need for one.  Who we are is who we are meant to be, and it is what our children need.   I mean, Edna said it and I agree.

Join me in putting the cape envy away.  Let’s put down our list of expectation. Of what we would look like if we were Supermoms.

The next few months look like climbing Mount Everest to me, and I don’t know how to do it. I just know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this sweet family of mine will make it to the other side… regardless of my lack of cape.

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Filed under All Posts, Family, homeschooling, Inner Sessions, Motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Unweaned….really

When I was pregnant with Selah, first munchkin of our tribe, I remember an old friend of my mother’s visiting for the summer.  Now this woman is one of the most outspoken, opinionated bold mommas you could ever happen upon.  Basically an older, slightly crunchier version of me.  At the time I was floating in the pool, gorgeous prego belly exposed to the sun.  Complete bliss.  She was interrogating me on my plans for how I would parent.  Would I have a home-birth, would I go back to work… and the inevitable… would I breastfeed? 

For me there was no question.  There’s no doubt that it’s the best thing for my baby.  I personally couldn’t imagine messing with bottles in the middle of the night when I can just break out the boob.  The idea of ‘running out’ of formula sounded like a pain in the butt.  No way, I’m way too lazy for that. Not to mention the fact that I’m seriously too  cheap to pay for formula when breast-milk is free.  I’m not judging anyone who chose differently.  For me it was never even a question. 

So, clearly the answer was an immediate yes.  Then the next question was “How long will you breastfeed?”  That one hadn’t really come to mind yet.  I thought about it for a second.  I have vague memories of this woman being the epitome of mother earth mixed with the whole “hear me roar” thing.  Super power mom.  I know she nursed her babies longer than I probably would.  So I asked how long she did.  She had 6 children (I think that’s right) but she said that the one she nursed longest she had to wean eventually because the dentist said his teeth were getting cavities.  I looked at her in shock…

Me: Well how old was he?

 Supermom: I think he was in first grade.

Me:  Are you kidding me? (insert dumbfounded look of shock)

Supermom: Well, How long do YOU think you should breastfeed? ( justifiably defensive at my rudeness)

Me: Well I hope I stop before her teeth rot out! (paddling off to the deep end with brain reeling)

Now I think of this exchange often.  First of all, I’m still embarrassed at my rudeness.   (K and L, please don’t stop reading, I love your mom!)  Sometimes I think I should carry around a shoehorn for how often I put my foot in my mouth.  Yes, it was a bit extreme but  was it really that bad to have extended breastfeeding?

I’m ashamed to admit that I nursed Selah to 9 months and then weaned out of laziness.  Not saying that  9 months is ‘too short’.  I just know in my heart that it was for me that I weaned her.  Even at 9 months I would often have unexpected leakage issues.  I was working part time and forced to pump in the car.  It was embarrassing.  One night a single guy at church pointed at my shirt and said “Um,  you’re ahhh, ummm..”.  When I looked down and saw the left side of my shirt drenched I knew then and there that I was done with it.  Selah was an independent baby and didn’t seem to care.  She’s not scared, although I wonder if the finger sucking issue is connected.  I’m not getting down on myself.  I just know that now I would do it differently.  I have to be honest and say that my judgement on Supermom caused me to overreact and fear being seen as an ‘over exuberant’ nurser. I didn’t understand it. 

  With Jacob we went to 15 months, mainly because of his huge list of food allergies.  It was quite convenient to always have something for him, ummm… ‘on hand’, so to speak.   So when, at 8 months, I found out Lucas was on the way I kept it up as long as I could.  At six months into my pregnancy the cramps I was having during breastfeeding started to worry my OB (having had both Selah and Jake on the early side, with preterm issues).  So we weaned and he never looked back.  Ironic is the hindsight.  Maybe if I had kept up the breastfeeding I wouldn’t have been pregnant for 42 weeks that time! Who knew…

So here I am.  Lucas.  Last month we got down to nursing once every couple of days.  I got irritated with the inconsistency, and the fact that my nips were starting to be tender.  I decided he was done.  And he didn’t protest much either.  I was a bit shocked that we went all the way to 18 months without even thinking about it being any different.  I thought about Supermom.   I could see it.  Just keep going and don’t worry about it.  Somehow doesn’t seem like a big deal now. 

Well, that was last month.  We went about 4 weeks without nursing and suddenly I’m faced with the fact that my child actually has become UNweaned.  Last week he got a cold and out of the blue he was begging to nurse.  No big deal.  It was probably soothing.  I know my body will still make milk for months.  So, nurse we did.  And it really isn’t a big deal. 

He’s back to nursing just in the morning when he wakes up.  I never offer to, but he’s asking every morning.  To be honest, I just don’t see the point in denying it.  I look at Selah who is in kindergarten, and Jacob at three.  Nope, I love me some Supermom but I still don’t think I can do that.  On the other hand, what’s the big deal? 

I think the only issue I would have is if breastfeeding is for your identity.  Trying to prove something.  Or some neediness on the part of Mom.  I don’t think that was why Supermom did it.  I think it just kinda worked for her and wasn’t a big deal. 

On the other hand, I have seen a mom make it a big deal.  Following her 4 year old around at the park offering to nurse at every turn ‘just in case she wanted it’.  I mean, if the child still feels a need for it, let them ask.  If mom feels a need for it….where does that put you?  Do you need that to be important? Is it your soapbox, your identity?   That kinda doesn’t sit so well with me…

As it stands, my unexpectedly un-weaned 19 month old is welcome to keep nursing for now.  With homeschooling, working from home and general mom and wife duties, he may just see it as his best opportunity for some peace with mom. Why would I deny that?  And I have to say, it’s the only time I get a glimpse of him as a baby anymore, rather than the toddler in constant motion.  So nurse we will. Till….whenever….

I think Supermom would be proud. 

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