Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A new year resolution for a mother

DH and I are at the nutritionist for R

She is asking us to come back and see us 3 weeks from now.

I answer that it will probably be just DH and not both of us.

She arches a brow  "Going out of town?"

No, I am not

( I  resist the temptation to lie and say yes yes yes I am traveling.)

I hear judgement in her tone.

I remember our first appointment with her - when she said - that autism and heavy metals often go together

And when I say we were really careful with being organic etc - she says that then the metals probably come from my teeth fillings

All that old  familiar bit of guilt comes rushing back

As we  check out in the waiting room, I see 2 other mother waiting with the other kids

I tell DH cynically "I bet she never raises an eyebrow to the dads.. ........the dads can stay in the office .. the mums better not "

DH laughs and tells me not to be so sensitive. That she probably did not mean anything

That even if she did - who cares?

Why do I care ?

And of course I know the answer to that -

I care because she is speaking directly to my inner voice that judges me

 DH is super supportive of me working and  a great SAHD.

And yet,  it takes little to stir that insidious voice of guilt that tells me I should do more and be more as a  mother

I am so much better than I used to be

At one point like many of my ilk  I would read everything I could get my hands on on what causes Autism and what I could have done to prevent it.

That obsession gave way to the relentless pursuit for finding the best  therapies

Always, I found ways to blame myself

Now when I look back, I wonder at the amount of importance I gave to my own role

How much I expected from myself!

 A friend says "expectations are disappointments in training"

And I disappointed myself all the time.

I think its all these cliches, I grew up with.

The glorifying of motherhood in Eastern culture

And then  in the West, the culture of autism motherhood that idolized the cure moms that wrote the cure books.

But R blossomed

And so did I

And I have started to watch how I think about myself

Our thinking is plastic - the more times  we walk down a path of thinking , the stronger it becomes

So this is my new year resolution

To create a more compassionate inner emotional world

“. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” 

This post has been written for Hopeful Parents and will be published there tomorrow 


Bright Side of Life said...

What a wonderful and *thought provoking* post. I think that all mothers feel guilt because we all want the best for our kids and we NEVER feel like we are doing enough. I also think, that at the end of the day it is important to be true to yourself... don't change because you feel judged. Be who you are, always! xx

Anonymous said...

I have no fillings in my teeth to feel guilty about, but I do think my unique genetics contributed to my son's autism. How dare anyone try to make someone feel guilty about having fillings in their teeth, there is no scientific basis for that. Also there isn't any evidence that autisic kids do better on organic food. You are a good mother, and R is a good son.
I like reading your blog.

Trish said...

Umm, and she's a working mom, right? Don't let her get to you - you guys are amazing parents!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I think that was an unfair comment from your nutritionist, hope it didn't upset you too much xx

Floortime Lite Mama said...

my dear Di, Candi,Trish and Anonymous - how kind you guys are !
Thank u for the nice and supportive comments

jazzygal said...

Yes, R DID blossom as did you, so Good for you! You and hubby are doing what's right for YOUR family and no-one has the right to judge you for any decisions you make. Besides, your choices are clearly working for you :-)

xx Jazzy

Tanya Savko said...

I love that resolution a lot. Let any judgment/guilt fall right off of you. It does not apply, nor should it. xoxo

Kris said...

You are an amazing mom!! Don't doubt it for a minute.

Kim said...

That may be the most perfect resolution I have read about this year. It speaks to me as I understand the guilt. I did the same as you when Roc was diagnosed, read everything out there, which included too many books about how some mother "cured" their child. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I can so identify with reading everything and trying every treatment and cure out there years ago. "Our thinking is plastic." I love that thought. Thank you.

Custom Lapel Pins said...

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robin said...

The nutritionist! Ugh! How insensitive of her! Love your new year's resolution! :)

Anonymous said...

((hugs)) love your post

Rachel said...

I love that your write from your heart.

And how you write - is how you are in real life. There's no pretense, only honesty and an uncanny ability to seek good in each circumstance. How blessed I am to have you in my life!

I think often on the "mommy guilt" we allow to be heaped on ourselves (indeed, we do much of the heaping ourselves). Instead of enjoying the gift. I want to enjoy the gift this year.

Stories Untold said...

While I could totally identify with how you feel and may have felt all these years about 'your role' and that nutritionist can just go to hell, people can be so thoughtless and judgmental. But its the concluding bit that inspires me the most, we mothers deserve our love the most, because love does not come our way as easily anyway. You are super model mom, many things we have all learnt from you.

Barbara therextras said...

Looks to me like the nutritionist is professionally (developmentally) (socially) delayed. She can hope to learn, eventually, how not to make offensive comments, but you could help her along by inviting her to read this post.

Would it help to separate your feelings abt causation & R from your feelings abt her comment?

You & DJ we wonderful parents.

Emma said...

I can relate to the guilt part. Let me share the Serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Hope that helps!


Li said...

K, I just got around to reading this. I completely agree that mothers get judged much more harshly than fathers. I had to fire a speech therapist who constantly directed undermining and condescending comments towards me (never towards my husband). As it turned out, our son did much better with the new speech therapist so not only was she judgmental, she wasn't even very good at working with my kid.

I hope you consider finding a new nutritionist. The judgement combined with the wackadoodle theory (there is NO evidence that fillings have anything to do with autism, give me a break) make me think you could find a better person to help R and support your family.

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