My life feels like it is stuck in fast forward these last few months. Ever since Reese's "issues" started our life has changed. In the very beginning I, of course thought the worst. I was taken over by the "mom guilt." While I can't say it's necessarily getting easier.... it's becoming more managable. Reese's delays are still there and they could possibly always be there. Only time will tell. The devastating part of all of this is the unknown. We have no idea what we are dealing with. The endless questions you ask yourself... Will she ever talk? Will she ever play like a normal kid? We see the developmental Pediatrician May 28th, I am hopeful for answers. I am dealing with so manys different feelings lately.
I am tired. Parenting is already exhausting. But parenting a special needs child takes things to another level of fatigue. Even if I've gotten a good night's sleep (which I rarely do), or have had some time off, there is a level of physical and emotional tiredness that is always there. Doctors' visits are not just a few times a year, they may be a few times a month. Therapies almost daily. Paperwork and bills stack up. It's never ending... or so it feels.
I am jealous. It's hard to admit, but it's true. When I see a baby do what my daughter can't, I feel a pang of jealousy. It hurts when I see my daughter struggling so hard to learn to do something that comes naturally to a typical kid, like climbing or pointing. It can be hard to hear about the accomplishments of my friend's kids. Sometimes, I just mourn inside for Reese, "It's not fair."
I feel alone. It's lonely parenting a special needs child. I can feel like an outsider around moms of typical kids. While I want to be happy for them, I feel terrible hearing them brag. Good for them, but it's so not what my world looks like. It's been a sanity saver to connect with other special needs moms.
I am scared. I worry that I'm not doing enough. What if I missed a treatment or a diagnosis and optimal treatment time has passed.
I am human. I have been challenged and pushed too far while raising my daughter so far. I've grown as a person, and developed a kinder heart and empathy for others in a way I never would have without her. But I'm just like the next mom in some ways. Sometimes I get cranky, my daughter irritates me, and sometimes I just want to run away. Sometimes it's nice to escape and talk about other things. And if it seems that my life is all I talk about sometimes, it's because it can be hard to talk about my daughter.
I want to talk about my daughter but it's hard to talk about my daughter. Reese is the most amazing thing to happen in my life. Some days I want to shout because of how sassy, funny and cute she is, or how she accomplished somehting new. When I'm having a rough day, I might not say much, I may just cry. But it doesn't mean that I don't want to learn how to share our life with others. It's very hard to deal with people saying, "She may just be learning at her own pace, she'll get out of it. She's fine." or "She still so young, relax." They are right she still is so young (1.5 years old). But that doesn't mean it's ok not to do the things she should be. I understand their intensions, they are trying to console me. But in doing so they are making me feel so defeated. One thing I always appreciate is whenever people ask me a more specific question about my daughter, like "How does Reese like daycare?" or "How's Reese's sign language coming along?" rather than a more generalized "How's Reese?" which can make me feel so overwhelmed that I usually just respond, "Good."
At the end of the day Chris and I are doing the best we can for our daughter and that's all that matters. Reese is making slow progress with therapy and daycare. We are taking one day at a time.