I tried to be in a good mood yesterday. I woke up and read my bible and the promises of to whom I belong. I was feeling humbled and good. I went to get dressed and ended up spending an embarrassingly long time trying to get ready, all with four children vying for my attention. It took so long because I was feeling really down about my postpartum body. My old clothes don't fit and my pregnancy ones don't either. With everything going on around me, I just wanted to feel confident in my appearance but everything I put on whispered that I was just another mom who has let herself go. One who hardly gets to shower because she's so focused on her little ones. One who doesn't know what an acceptable price is for mascara because who has time to buy/apply it anyway? One who doesn't have a life outside of her 24/7 job of raising kids. One who isn't so good at raising kids anyway. I mean, why is it so difficult to potty train a three (nearing four) year old? Why is it that the same child thought it was okay to bite his friend at school over a toy the day before? He's three. He should not be biting...or pooping himself...or struggling with speaking phrases. He should be speaking in sentences.
Obviously, my thoughts aren't entirely sensible right now but they carry much truth, too. I'm exhausted by his disability. I feel really alone. I don't know anyone who is in my position- caring for a bunch of small children, one of which has a cochlear implant and is still significantly behind his peers in language, communication, behavior, and motor skills. In a few months, we'll be celebrating his two year hearing birthday and while he has definitely made progress, his cochlear implant peers are leaps and bounds ahead of him. I see it twice weekly. When he goes to group therapy, there's a room beside his with a window and speaker that I can watch the session from. As I walk him in, I greet his peers with a "Hi! How are you today?" and you know what? They respond. "I'm good." They don't have to be told to say it. They know what I'm asking. Abel still stares blankly when he is asked questions by most people. It makes me want to cry because I'm doing everything I can do for him and I just feel tapped out.
I'm not writing for pity. I certainly don't need that. I have a beautiful, healthy, spunky boy who is very loving to his mama. He is the first one to require a hug, stroke my hair and pull my cheek to his lips for a kiss. I'm his person and I love him more than I could ever say...but caring for him day in and day out is physical and mentally draining me. I want to be better for him, but I feel like my hands are tied.
Yesterday as I was battling these thoughts, I was also on my way to therapy. I got in the car to find my gas light on and my tire pressure light lit up. I drove to the nearest gas station despite having no time built into my schedule to do that. I pulled up to fill the tank and my card was declined twice so I picked another card and made a mental note to find out why. As I was getting gas, I found a dollar for the air machine (Score!) but I knew I needed quarters. I began asking the folks around me for change but no one had enough quarters. They said I could just have the ones they did have but I didn't want to do that so I began unloading the kids so I could go inside the gas station to get the change I needed. Finally, with fifteen minutes before I had to be at his first appointment in Knoxville, I pulled up to the air machine and guess what? They had changed it from $1.00 to $1.50 because of course they did. I drove to OT with a deflating tire and a deflating positive outlook.
By the way, the reason my card was declined was because someone stole my info and bought $720 worth of school supplies. Which is so poetic, right? Someone with 85 kids apparently is sending them all away on my dime. The stay-at-home mom who can't wait to usher her brood of kids into the hands of more capable teachers than herself. Ha! What a freakin' day.