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To The Mom of a Child With a Behavioral Disorder

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This post is as much for me as it is for you, because I need to hear and believe the things I am going to say.

You are a good mom.
You didn’t make this happen.
It isn’t because you didn’t love him enough.
It is okay to fiercely love your child and not always like them.
It is okay to want to bang your head on the wall when you hear other people rave about their easy children.
It is okay to cry.
It is okay to get angry.
You are not a failure.
You are not alone.
You are a loving, patient, kind person.
You ARE the best person for the job.
You ARE their advocate.
Sometimes they hate you.
Sometimes you hate them.
Sometimes you yell at God.
Sometimes you yell at your child.
Often, they yell at you.

And it is still okay.
And you still are a wonderful mom.

Sometimes you cry when you think too long about it. You want your child to be perfect, to be unharmed by life’s tragedies. You want to be enough for them, to be able to comfort them, soothe them, hold them. But sometimes you can’t- because they can’t let you, or won’t let you. And it is okay to feel all of these things. It means that you are human. It means that you are trying to do the best you can every day, every hour.

Sometimes you have good days. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it feels like a success to have one good hour out of the day. You find yourself stretching to give them a gold star, and you don’t feel like you deserve any at all. But you do….

Sometimes you feel like it is an impossible task to avert all of the mini and major meltdowns in a day. Sometimes you feel like you have it down. Sometimes you just want to get away, to run, to have peace, and quiet. Sometimes you feel like supermom, and sometimes you wonder why you ever became a mom at all.

Sometimes you sit and watch them sleep because it is the only time they seem peaceful.

Sometimes you don’t want to go out because you are afraid of what might happen. Sometimes you want to go out because you can’t imagine another hour stuck in the house with this raging little person.

Sometimes you give in because you are just so exhausted. Sometimes a cartoon is the only replacement for entertainment that you can offer.

But always you love them. And always you want the best for them. And always you would do anything to protect them. And always you would fight for their well being.

You are enough.
You are what they need.
You are their mom because God knows what he is doing and they need you as much as you need them.
It is not easy .
It may never be easy.
But it is what was meant to be.
Somehow, someday, you will be able to look back and see the gifts that this little life has brought into your life.
You will see the joys, the triumphs, the successes and you will be glad.
You will be glad that God gave you this amazing, powerful, wonderful being to look after for a little while.

A Mountain of Stuff

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When we lived in Nome, we bought stuff…..lots of stuff. If we thought we needed something, we bought it. Despite our accumulating tendencies, when we left Nome to drive across the country to West Virginia, we fit everything we owned into half of a 16 foot utility trailer and slept in the other half while we were on the road. Somehow, while we were in West Virginia, we slowly let ‘stuff’ creep back in. When the time came to pack it all up and move, we felt consumed by it. We knew that we didn’t want so many possessions in our lives, but we felt compelled to keep it all anyway. Day after day we sorted, while the pile of stuff that we were keeping kept getting bigger and bigger. We found ourselves saying, “I don’t NEED this, but I might someday”, or “I do not want this, but it is worth something, so I don’t want to just get rid of it”. When we finally pulled out of West Virginia, we had grown from that half a trailer, to two full trailers, another trailers worth of stuff at my parent’s house, and a storage unit full of machines that we were temporarily leaving behind in West Virginia.

I still chuckle at the absurdity of driving through our field of 2 foot tall grass with our two trucks and trailers to set up a tent at the back edge of the field. We took one trailer worth of stuff to yet another storage unit and proceeded to live for the next ten weeks in a tent with the barest of essentials. Once we moved into the ‘house’ we were basically still camping, with no electricity or running water. We lived in the house for about a month, hauling water, using oil lamps for electricity, and playing cards for fun. Our life was simple, but meaningful. We spent time talking to each other, playing games, and being outside. Then we temporarily moved into a rental in town and slowly got our stuff out of storage.
Once we had most of our belongings, we started to look around at the mountain of stuff and realized that somehow, this stuff was overtaking our lives. Don’t get me wrong- I like conveniences like blenders and coffee makers and things like that- but especially as Americans, we all have SO MUCH STUFF. So we have begun the process of sorting that really should have happened before we moved. We are getting rid of things rarely used, barely used, and things that have no purpose at all. There is freedom in lightness. There is a definite need for simplicity that allows distraction to slip away and be replaced by things more meaningful. I want my life to be full of experiences, full of memories, and full of God, and less full with the mountain of stuff that threatens to consume us all. Sometimes I wonder if this is one of the many lessons God wanted us to learn by bringing us here the way that he did. By removing us from our possessions, we have begun to learn the value of a simple, uncluttered life. So we will continue purging and sorting through the winter and hopefully Spring will find us back on our property with less stuff and more soul!

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