Proceed with caution, I’m letting you in to hear my inner voice and it’s going to tell you I’m a lazy mom.
As I write, I am sitting in my vacation rental in the sweet little town of Wiarton, Ontario – home of “Wiarton Willie” and the basecamp to the Bruce Peninsula. If you haven’t been to this area before, it’s a gem and DEFINITELY worth the trip. Gorgeous.
But I’m having a Mama moment that’s worth sharing. It has been an amazing trip so far thanks to Liza and Olivia – sisters who have facilitated every activity and adventure we have taken on for my Owen and Will to experience. Without them, this couldn’t have happened. Especially considering that I can’t even do trips to the grocery store on my own with the boys because of all the things that go awry. So suffice it to say that this has been an incredible experience for all of us and I am SO grateful.
I got a bit too much sun yesterday and wanted to have a low-key morning, as we’ve got a mini trip planned up to Tobermory complete with a sunset boat ride tonight. The girls wanted to check out Sauble Falls Provincial Park and wanted the boys to come along. How amazing is that?!!!
Five minutes after they left, I lied down in bed to grab a nap. Within minutes, I felt the Mama Guilt. In fact.. I’d even say it was shame. It washed over me. My brain AND my heart know I’m deserving of some time to myself. I know with confidence that I have earned the right to have a few hours without my kids because I spend every waking minute with them and they’re 18 years old. It’s a lot. But there is still this little nagging voice that gets me out of that bed and makes me run around and do dishes, as it tells me that I’m being lazy. Or I’m taking advantage of the girls. That it’s my job to be a tired mom.
Now, writing this out is the only process I needed to set this right again in my head. I know how ridiculous it is to believe that little voice. So why the hell do I live with that little jerk in my brain that won’t leave me alone?!
Here’s the thing. Just a little bit after that nap-attempt I got a phone call. The dreaded phone call. It’s the other shoe dropping. “Stacey – don’t panic. We’re all okay. But we just got back to the van and it won’t start.”
I won’t build the suspense, but I’ll cut to the end to say the Park Warden boosted the dead battery and it all worked out. But that phone call put me into my PTSD mode. That sounds so dramatic but it’s true. I know I have to train myself to change the way I speak. A friend, Michelle S-B always teaches to re-word what we say to “In the past”… I used to get bad news as soon as I relaxed (even though this is happening NOW, I’m not supposed to manifest it or keep it real and relevant by speaking about it as a present reality). But what I am more inclined to say is that this always happens. Whenever I let my Mama-guard down and mentally relax, I get a call. Something bad has happened and I have to cut my trip short, or I’m not allowed to feel happy because someone has called to give me their worries or stresses to live with. It never fails.
Today feels like that again and it’s no one’s fault. But it does feel like the universe wants to keep me on my toes. Keep me hyper-vigilant. Keep me up-tight and anxious. It’s like this week gave me a glimpse of what other people must feel like with neuro-typical kids. They vacation and let loose. They relax. Their kids are happy and go along with the plan (somewhat). It feels like this holiday was a cruel tease. Because that phone call kind of put me in my place and it’s snapped me back to reality. To my reality. I might just not be meant for a relaxed life.
I’m not a martyr and I’m not trying to be doom and gloom. I’m really not. But I think a lot about this and wonder if it would just be easier to acquiesce to the fact that my lot in life is to serve my three children. And if I REALLY accept that in my bones, then maybe the sometimes-sadness, or jealousy, or desire to have a bit more of a life of my own outside of caregiving.. maybe that will fade away and I can truly be happy knowing that this is it. There isn’t more for me than this. And THIS really is okay. If my kids are happy and doing alright, then my joy is in that.
I really don’t know what to think but I do know that right now I’m cursing my brain for being this type of deep thinker. Despite all the stresses and things I have to navigate, my inner thoughts are always mulling over these deep thoughts that just make life so much heavier than it needs to be. Please don’t be that arsehole that tells me to ‘loosen up a bit’ – because I wish it was that easy. Trust me that I annoy myself probably more than I annoy you with this crazy talk.
I don’t REALLY believe that inner voice that’s telling me I’m a lazy mom, but I can’t help but believe it’s telling me something.
I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.