This is one of those mornings. I woke up immediately overwhelmed. This is not an unusual occurrence. I have every intention to get up with my alarm so I can have 20-30 minutes to wake up and get organized, so I can greet my beautiful baby boy with a smile on my face when he wakes up around 6:30. I know – we are lucky – he tends to sleep until then most mornings. He even normally sleeps through the night.
But I turn my alarm off, every morning, and I am awakened by his cries instead. And we have to hit the ground running. And I am not the mom I want to be. First thing. Failing.
I feel like I could go-go-go, every single day, from 6 am to 10 pm, and I still wouldn’t make a dent on my very overflowing plate. I didn’t even shower yesterday. How am I back to this? We are currently trying to find a new balance. We got nothing done in our house last year – or with our finances – or in the yard – or anything….We have to now figure out how to live a life with a healthy child who still has fairly significant needs. Failing.
I am frustrated with the feeding. I am frustrated that, a year in, I have still not found my peace with this. I feel our medical team is giving us very little direction, and I am left waiting. We have a feeding clinic evaluation at ChildServe, but they couldn’t get us in until mid-December. I don’t want to wait until then to start helping him, but I am overwhelmed trying to do the research on my own. In the meantime, he is still very inconsistent with what he will take orally, and we keep pumping it into his stomach, which feels more and more…wrong to me. I am starting to look into blenderized diets because our GI doctor wants us to move away from infant formula (of course – makes sense) but I do not want to give Kiran pediasure. Even this is overwhelming. I did get the number for a nutritionist, so hopefully she will be able to help me get started when I can find the time and energy to call her. Failing.
I am frustrated with how little I know, still, again. Kiran has outgrown his infant bathtub and sling seat – honestly, he’s been too tall for it for a couple months now – but I have no idea what kind of bath seat/support to get for him because he is still not able to sit without fairly significant support. And of course, I just keep hoping he’s going to sit up soon, and we can just make do for a little while longer. But I need to do something different to make bathtime more comfortable for us both. Failing.
I take him to ChildServe today for a physical therapy evaluation. It will simply feel like another reminder of just how far behind he is developmentally. He started rolling from his tummy to his back just recently – days before he turned one – and it’s exciting, and we celebrate it…but it also makes me want to cry. Failing.
I just feel like I’m failing, in every area. I feel like I have exactly zero things together. And every time I take time for myself (like now, writing this blog in order to maintain my sanity), I feel I am taking much needed time away from him. I could be researching bath chairs. I could be finding recipes for the blenderized diet I want to switch him to. I could be reading up on tube weaning. I should be doing all of those things, and it does little to assuage my guilt when I remind myself I will not be a good mother on the insanity ward either.
Why is it, as a mother, I see all of this as a failure on my part? Kiran is Kiran, and he is who he is because he had a heart that was working incredibly hard for the first ten and a half months of his life. Of course he will have feeding issues. Of course he will be behind developmentally. It makes sense, from a medical standpoint. There is a valid reason behind it. And yet, I can’t shake this feeling that I am failing him, every day, because of these very things.
I know, in my head, I am doing absolutely everything I know to do, to help him make progress in these areas. In my heart, I just feel like I am not doing enough. It is never enough. I just don’t know how to give him everything he needs while maintaining some sort of balance in self-care and also living a good life.
The most important thing I want for Kiran is to live a joy-filled life. I want him to know he is loved. I want him to laugh. To experience many things and people and places. I just want him to soak up every moment – it is what I want ultimately in my life too. I don’t want to be this mom – the mom that is so stressed, frustated, overwhelmed – so focused on getting him from one place to another – that I forget to snuggle him and laugh with him and enjoy him, every day. I don’t want to forget to take him outside for walks. I don’t want to forget to read him stories. I have always struggled with balance, and I guess I just want to figure out how to err on the side of too much joy and silliness, rather than too much work.
But I am failing.