Parenting isn’t for sissies

August 1, 2017

I know a lot of parents. I grew up with two of them. Sure, they had their challenges. But I knew I could do it better than them. Right? Right.

Then my sister had kids. Surely I could do it better than her! She was letting those kids run all over her. I’d NEVER let that happen to me. They fought every morning before school. I knew what I’D do. I’d make a chart. Put their chores and responsibilities on this chart and have them get stickers for completing. I knew I could SO do this better than her.

THEN I HAD KIDS.

I totally called my sister when mine reached 6 and 4 and apologized. Profusely. Up and down and 10 ways back. All those years of unsolicited advice I thrust on her!!! I can’t believe she was still friends with me!

My kids are 19 and 17. How did I get here in one piece??? I’m pretty sure my hair is solid gray (underneath the color I use to keep me in the dark). I’m surprised I have any hair left from pulling it all out.

Not that I don’t love and adore my kids. I do. With all of my heart. They are my pride and joy. Its just getting to this point… My battle scars are REAL. My diffuser is filled with Lavender oils and my music is elevator music for a reason.

Chaos. Remember Get Smart? I’m like Maxwell Smart and my kids are KAOS and all of my girlfriends, mentors, pastors, etc, are Agent 99. I spend my life bumbling around trying to solve all of these KAOS cases (finding out one kid lied about where they were, the other trying to please by cleaning the wood floors with Pledge and all of us slip-sliding in the foyer). And my friends always listening, sharing their stories and helping me solve what I feel is the unsolvable.

I’m still trying to navigate this world that everyone else seems to be doing so much better than me. But I do have some insight now that mine are in their latter teen years. Especially having a son with Down syndrome.

And I’m not here to make you feel inferior. Quite the contrary!! I’m here to make you feel better about your parenting skills and your life. I don’t make cupcakes, nor do I do Elf on a Shelf. I don’t have a craft room (I have a box full of crafts that I never got around to — you know the handprint kit for kids? Still in the box). I’m not a gourmet cook. My family is lucky if I can thaw something from the freezer. And those days when I’m digging in the freezer and I come up with something I forgot was there is a culinary delight! At least for me.

What I do hope to share is my mistakes, successes and advocacy stories. I’ve spent my whole life in the disability world, but especially the last 17 years, advocating for my son. I’ve learned so much, good and bad.

I just sent my son off to his first last day of school as a senior! He’s such an amazingly independent guy that I now have time to blog! I don’t know how all of those moms of little ones have the time. And I always wonder why moms of older kids with disabilities never do. Guess I’ll find out!!

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