I'm a Good Mom, Really
Let me start by saying I am speaking more to myself in this post than I am to all of you reading this. It all started when Claire's SLP told me that I am a good mom last week. She went on about how I advocate and work with the school, blah blah blah. I had the thought, why is it that I have such a hard time accepting such a nice compliment. The answer was obvious, because down deep, I don't agree. I think it is easy to be critical of yourself, it is what our culture promotes. Having a daughter with Rett Syndrome seems to have created endless possibilities for the guilt and self doubt. When Claire starts leaning one way more than the other I say that I need to get it together and make sure that she is getting a solid 20 minutes a day of stretching. I blame myself as she slowly looses some skills and don't allow myself to take credit in her victories. Today I find myself at the crossroads of the end of school and summer, cue the extra load of guilt that I typically dump on my shoulders at such a point. Everyone else is out having fun, going to the beach or doing whatever. I can't leave the house with the two girls by myself because it isn't safe at this point. To add to that I can barely stop crying because I am either thinking about the two little girls that recently passed who are younger than Claire or I have some how missed reading Claire's mind and now she is deeply upset and once she stops screaming she starts sobbing because she hates Rett even more than I do. Despite this all, I have decided that I am a good mom. I am a good mom because I haven't given up and quit. I might have given up on certain tasks, but as far as the big picture goes, I am still fighting. Even if all that looks like is setting a goal of trying to make it another 30 seconds before I loose it and get frustrated, I am still a good mom. I am not sure how I got disillusioned into believing that in order to be a good mom your kid has to be making progress or doing something fruitful, but I can say that I am choosing to not buy that anymore. There, I said it, "I am a good mom just because I am trying". With the recent deaths in our community I have seen a lot of mom's struggling with the whole mess of emotions that comes with Rett. I really want to encourage you all to join me in believing that you are good moms, because you are.