What is Important to You as a Mom?
I thought I would be the best mom. That was my plan, anyway.
Before I had kids, I had this idealized version of my future-self floating around in my head:
- I would only feed them homemade foods that were organic and healthy. No fast food for my little angels.
- I would limit screen time and keep them in full supply of crafting materials and educational activities.
- I would have them on strict sleep schedules in their own beds.
- I would continue to exercise and be the fit mom who looked good in her mom jeans.
- I would host the best birthday parties and play dates - everyone would want to come to our house!
- I'd have my kids in every activity available - soccer to Sunday School - we would do it all!
- I would be the perfect PTO/Pinterest mom who was the envy of all other moms.
Then motherhood hit me for real, and I'm a completely different mom than I ever planned to be.
I have two little boys - six and five years old. Colin is five and has autism.
Guess what Colin likes to eat? Grilled cheese sandwiches. And ketchup is a food group to him. The closest this kid gets to a vegetable is when he cautiously picks a carrot up off his plate and places it on the table, far away from his beloved ketchup. In recent news, he has started to eat his ketchup with a spoon as opposed to his fingers...I'll call that a parenting win.
We have always co-slept because that's the only way anyone got any rest. Being a walking zombie is a real thing, and no, it's not as attractive as it looks on the Walking Dead. "Why yes, I am tired, but also, this is just how my face looks now."
I don't really limit screen time...but in my defense, Colin has learned his alphabet, colors, and shapes from You Tube, so I figure that's educational. Finley also has a You Tube channel, so that's a thing at our house.
My kids drink their fair share of Coke. I think they're holding out for a Coke commercial...they're gonna have to find something to pay for their Coke habit. We are finally able to go to a restaurant to eat, and those happen to be fast food ones. I'm so proud of Colin - because just a year ago, he wasn't able to eat out at all.
I often think back to that 27-year-old version of myself and just laugh. The fact that I thought I could map out what motherhood would look like - I had no idea!
I had no idea that I would have boys 12 months apart.
I had no idea they would be horrible sleepers and require that I buy stock in Folgers in order to function each day. (I'm still holding out for that coffee sponsorship, too...Folgers, Starbucks, Dunkin....whoever will support me. We might be an autism house, but I'm not brand-specific here!)
I had no idea Colin would have autism.
I had no idea that autism would change me as a person.
It's just funny to me how different Mommin' is from what I thought it would be. Yes, healthy food is important, but a little ketchup (or a lot!) never killed anybody. Limiting screen time is important, but I won't beat myself up over the daily Despicable Me or Finding Dory.
So what is important to me as a mom?
I want my kids to know that they are loved and supported and cared for.
I don't really care about doing all the "extra things" that I thought would mean that I was a good mom. I couldn't care less about Pinterest at this point in my life (and it's really freeing, I must say).
In all honestly, I don't have time to do all the things that 27-year-old Deidra thought was necessary to win the Mother of the Year Award.
Having a child with special needs has really put life into perspective. I have slowed down. I see how superficial some things are and try to look past all that. My kids are fed. They're loved. We are doing all that we can to make sure that Colin can reach his full potential and be the best version of himself that he can be. We are doing everything we can to make sure that they are living their best lives. They're happy (for the most part!). I'm maybe not mother of the year by any standards, but I'm trying to leave others' standards behind and live by own.
Follow us on Facebook @theSLPmom