Now back to the lesson. My husband and I had a meeting at M's school yesterday to discuss his IEP. M is in first grade and has sensory processing disorder which means he needs a little extra help to get him through a long day of school. We sat down with his homeroom teacher, resource teacher as well as the principal to go over strategies that will help him become a more successful and well adjusted student. Although I was stressed going in, it was a great meeting and I was elated to discover that M is surrounded by such supportive individuals.
Being a parent of a special needs kid is tough. There is a lot of guilt involved ("Is it my fault he has these issues?") and there is a feeling that if you keep looking hard enough, you can find that magic cure to make your kid "normal". So you don't ever stop thinking about the next kind of therapy you can try, or the next specialist you can visit. It becomes consuming. And it's never enough because, if you stop worrying about your special needs child, then it's like you are giving up or giving in. And I don't want to admit defeat.
Obviously, I sometimes I feel like an inadequate mom. At the end of everyday, I reflect about all the things I could have done differently. I rarely take time to highlight the really good things I've done for my children. This critical internal dialogue goes on day after day. I'm my own bully. Trust me, she can be a mean bitch.
M and I were talking after school yesterday and he said something that made me want to stand up to my cruel self. "You came to visit Mrs. I today. You know, my teacher said I have really nice parents. She said you guys help me a lot and let me express how I feel. She thinks I'm a lucky boy. I am lucky, mom," he blurted as he looked me straight in the eye. We hugged. I teared up, and at that moment I realized I have been too hard on myself. Here was this brilliant, happy, insightful little boy telling me he loved me and his dad unconditionally. Sure we've screwed up at times, but we have succeeded in making our kids feel special and loved. Now that deserves some praise.
I resolve to give the bullying the boot, and I challenge my fellow mommies to do the same. Be your own cheerleader. Give yourself a pat on the back each day for a job well done. I've earned it, and so have you.