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Challenge: Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Mama Grief Runs Deep

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Mama grief runs deep.

It creeps in late at night, when she can’t sleep – because she’s worried about every little detail from the day.

The time she lost her temper.

The show and tell item she forgot to pack.

Rather than believe we’ve succeeded, we question every move we made, how we spent every minute, every chore we didn’t get to.

And if grieving the day weren’t enough…

Every winter, grief sneaks like a looming storm cloud. Maybe it’s the holidays, maybe it’s the earlier sun down; all I know is every winter I spend my nights laying in bed, crying myself to sleep and doubting myself as a mother.

Are we doing enough in therapies?

Should we be adding new supplements?

Is the IEP good enough for meeting his needs? Should I be advocating harder for him? Do my other children get the time they need from me?

The list goes on and on. It’s a noisy spiral of information that I can’t turn off, and it makes me sad and nauseous and I lose hours of sleep – a loss I grieve deeply.

I’m nervous now, because I know it’s coming soon; like an envious green monster, jealous of my peace – it sneaks in during the wee hours of the night, and I can’t shake it off.

Last night, my son came into my room at 2:15. He grabbed my hand and asked me to come lay with him. He didn’t want to sleep alone – maybe it was a nightmare, maybe he was just restless – either way, he was awake.

But in those moments, where he comes to me, and then falls asleep holding my hand, sometimes with his head on my belly – that’s what I need to remember when I can’t shake the grief.

He wanted me.

He trusted me to make him feel safe.

We’ve built this amazing bond after years of fighting my way into his world, and now he’s pulling me into it. I laid there, and enjoyed the quiet – his calm breathing, the peace – and tried to remind myself, don’t forget these details; you’ll need the memory of this moment in a few weeks.

No matter how many wins we’ve had, no matter how many “nevers” he’s checked off the list we thought we were facing four years ago, grief sweeps in and overshadows all of that – even if only temporarily.

I’m actively working on remembering the strides he’s made so that when I feel grief grasping on, when I see that storm cloud forming – I have a list of my own, ready to flash in front of her to suppress her this winter.

The fact that you’re reading this and nodding your head means you’re already aware that she’s coming.

You’re doing a great job, mama.

I see you putting in the work. So does your child.

Remember your successes. Break loose of her grip, celebrate your wins and shove her aside.

We’ve got successes to celebrate.

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