Mother’s day is a day filled with bitter-sweet emotions and memories for me. Raising 3 children under the autism spectrum has been more than a journey; it has been definitely life changing.
Today someone posted in a popular Facebook page for moms: “Describe motherhood in three words”. Answers varied from: “Love, joy and happiness” to “Tiring, Hard & Rewarding”. I took a few minutes to digest those answers and think about my own life and how I would describe motherhood in three words.
I don’t think any amount of training or knowledge or preparation would have helped me for this task ahead and to be perfectly honest, most of the time it is about making it to the next day alive and half-sane. Other days, it is about making it to the next hour alive and half-sane...
You see, my boys do not understand when I am trying to help them or protect them from danger. They see it as someone trying to stop them from doing something they really want to do but because they are unable to process the consequences of such actions, they do not understand that all I am trying to do is protect them. So in a few fists of anger and meltdowns, they can push, kick, and even bite.
It is very easy to love someone who loves you back. It is very easy to love someone who is grateful about the help you might be providing them. It is very easy to love someone who can tell you and show you how much they love you and how much you mean to them.
But what happens when the persons you love the most cannot tell you that they love you? What happens when you crave hugs from one of your children who dislike closeness due to sensory-related issues? What happens when you are so exhausted at the end of the day and your own children are unable to read body language that could help them understand why mommy needs rest and a little time for herself?
What happens when you feel that all the hard work you do every day seem to go unnoticed and unappreciated?
And then, you remember this isn’t about you. This isn’t about some Mother of the Year Award either. This is not reality TV. This is LIFE. This is about understanding that you are doing your VERY best under extraordinary circumstances and that you are just simply a human so please… do me a favor and cut yourself some slack during those days when you do not feel that you are a good mom.
We have to continue pressing forward, working for our children… despite the meltdowns, despite the serious challenges, despite the fact that they might never know how much their parents love them and want their best interest.
Isn’t that what love is anyways? Loving someone without expecting anything in return? Loving someone when they are the least lovable? And then HOPE…. HOPE things would turn out okay in the future for them?
Motherhood for me is not a chore and my children are not accessories. Motherhood for me in three words is “Trying my best”. Is it trying my best good enough? I don’t know but it is the only thing I can do and the only thing I have control over.
And the rewards you might ask? The rewards are given to me in the form of a smile or even a hug when that hug does not want to reach me. The rewards may seem scarce, but I know my kids try their very best too and their efforts do not go unnoticed.
It is Mother’s Day and in a few hours, my handsome sons would be up trying to prepare breakfast and bringing it to my bed as a way of honoring me on this special occasion. I will be anxiously waiting for them... And shedding a tear, not because it is Mother’s Day, not because they are bringing me breakfast to bed…but because I made it another day, with them… AND for them.