Beth Berry recently wrote a blog entitled, "Dear Mothers: We Can't Keep Pretending This Is Working For Us." Ms. Berry actually climbs out on a limb and declares that modern day American mothers are oppressed!
She asserts that the expectations for mothers have gone beyond exceedingly high and have crossed over into unreachable and unrealistic. She notes that mothers themselves are complicit in this scheme because we have decided to invest in the noble struggle in order to preserve our identity as "good mothers."
And Mrs. Berry isn't even focused upon special needs mothering. In today's world, more often than not, you are expected to take the sole lead in caring for your child with special needs in your home. You are sometimes the only voice speaking on your child's behalf. You are placed in the position to roll up your sleeves throughout all the developmental phases and do the extensive research related to your child's needs, as well as organizing and systematizing that information, coordinating and overseeing that the needed resources are in place, while ensuring that the revolving door of professionals who serve your son or daughter are actually following through on meeting the set objectives. Talk about r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-l-i-t-y!
As a backdrop to those commitments, you often find yourself alone, isolated, and misunderstood, without adequate supports, irrespective of how much effort is expended, while continually under the glare and scrutiny of other people second-guessing your choices. You've likely even fallen into the trap of second-guessing and doubting your own mothering choices. You've also likely considered the idea that you just might be required to fulfill your parenting role until you take your final breath.
There are so many factors you can't exercise complete control over, including...
You face a number of very real constraints. Nevertheless, remember, you are a powerful creator who can forge your own path, amidst those larger constraints.
Here are some questions to ask yourself...
In the early years after my son's diagnosis with autism, I neglected to exercise the power of choice that was available to me. At my worst, I found myself incapacitated and grounded to an arrow bed in my living room for months on end. I had raced "past go" numerous times on the game board of life, had pulled the jail card and found myself confined with chronic illness and adrenal insufficiency. It was up to me to change the habits that were creating unhealthy self-sacrifice so that I could finally draw the "get out of jail" card.
Fighting with life and carrying the world on your shoulders is never the answer. If you are anything like me and you find yourself caught in this prison of your own making, it's time for you to retire the mantle of mother martyrdom.
The truth is that you are indeed carrying more on your plate than mothers of typically developing children. However, you hold the power to decide what serves you in your life and what no longer serves you. In order to preserve your precious life force energy for the long haul and gift yourself a life worth living, it's vital that you begin today by participating in an honest inventory to see where you have needlessly scattered your energy and how you can call it back. It's never too late to gain awareness and pivot by setting up new patterns that honor your vitally important calling as your child's companion and guide in life.
For more tips on how to become an Empowered Special Needs Mom, access my free video course here: FREE VIDEO COURSE
Karen Hasselo is a passionate advocate for empowering individuals on their personal growth journey. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, she shares valuable insights and guidance through her blog, inspiring positive transformation and well-being.