Raising Kids with Special Needs: Sometimes I Just Want To Be Mom

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

Certain days, it would be nice to sit with my coffee and snuggle with my kids WITHOUT feeling the twinge of guilt that I always feel.

There is just so much to be done, and my mind won’t allow me to wind down.

There may be a great movie on television that our family could be watching together and taking time out for, together.

Instead, all the while, I am thinking of the numerous therapy methods I should be facilitating for my daughter.

Sometimes, I just want to cuddle and relax with her;

sometimes I just want to be Mom.

Today I don’t particularly feel like spending twenty minutes wrestling my headstrong daughter into her orthotic therapy suit, knee-ankle-foot orthotics, and making her walk in her gait trainer.

This is an integral part of our routine, but today, I honestly wish we could just skip it.

I know in my heart of hearts how therapeutic it is for her.

I know that every minute spent in her orthotics, in an upright position, is beneficial for development.

It is essential to work on her coordination, core strength, muscle development and digestion.

I also remind myself that she needs time in her standing frame later on in the day.

We must work on hand-eye coordination, so I really should get up and charge her iPad.

Installing some new cause and effect apps on it also must be done.

Before lunch time, I need to employ her Nuk brush and work on motor sensory therapy.

Her cheeks and tongue need a good massage so that we can strengthen the muscles in her mouth, and hopefully someday, she’ll learn to chew.

Everyone is comfortable and in a state of repose on the sofa; my brain is telling me to get up and get to work!

I want to ignore it and continue resting and cuddling.

I don’t want to be her therapist today.

Today, I just want to shower my beautiful, amazing child with affection.

Today, I just want to be her Mom.

Today, I think I will do just that.

Will it come easy? No.

Will the guilt get to me? Most definitely.

But, as hard as it is to relax when I know how important these things are, she deserves to just be a kid sometimes. She deserves to just hang out and laugh with her brother.

She shouldn’t have to work perpetually.

Although all these activities on our checklist are aiding in her progress, I remind myself:

One day of rest will not make or break us.

It will not be detrimental if we leave a few boxes unchecked today.

Someday, I will be able to take a day “off” with my husband and my kids without feeling like an inadequate mom.

I will sit and enjoy our family time together and just be Mom.

Allowing myself to give kisses and cuddles and letting go of my worries for a while.

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