- I have a fairly overwhelming life. I do not work outside the home, but I do volunteer work. I'm on the PTA board, and I provide all the staff members at my boys school with treats every month.
- I have a teenager, and although she's a pretty good kid, it still takes lots of observance and talking to keep up with what is going on. Plus, she's very into piano and singing and has lessons every week. It's just more to put on my calendar.
- I have a son with a variety of disorders: Asperger's, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and probably more that just haven't been fully proven yet. He takes lots of patience and energy; my brain has to constantly be going..remembering what will help him to either calm down or not be so depressed and angry.
- I have another son who suffers from "Lack of Attention" disorder. He's the youngest, our baby. But he was born into a family where one child does her own thing, she is praised for her extra activities that she does very well in, and overall behaves very well. He was also born with a brother that doesn't always like to play, he doesn't always want to talk, he doesn't always want to be around him. When his brother does want to play, it has to be his way...replaying scenes from tv shows, movies, videos, or even video games. It is frustrating for him, especially since he is still only 7 and really not able to fully understand. He just thinks everyone is against him. He was also born with severe allergies...environmental and food, plus a severe case of asthma. I am constantly listening for wheezing, looking for hives...sheesh!
- I have a wonderful husband....who is gone all week. He comes home on Friday nights, and leaves again on Sundays afternoons. On the rare occasion that he has a week off of work, we either relaxing all week or just catching up on sleep, or we help my parents with whatever they need help with...computer work, housework, remodeling projects.
- I have parents who luckily live very close, I see them daily usually...but they're not in the best of health. My dad has had multiple heart attacks, blood clots, he has trouble breathing, he can't stand up straight and uses a walker...but he has a great sense of humor, he does woodworking projects, and loves trains! My mom isn't as old as my dad, and although she looks like she's in great health, there's something underlying within her that isn't right...what that is, she hasn't told me. I just know it's there.
- All of these people, these responsibilities come with more stuff: errands to run; doctor appointments to schedule, then attend, then follow up; more prescriptions to buy than you can believe; runs to the airport, runs to the grocery, runs to the drug store, runs to both schools, run to anywhere and everywhere!
- And don't forget my own responsibilities! There's laundry, dishes, vacuuming, paying bills, sweeping, dusting, laundry, laundry, laundry, clean bathrooms, clean kitchen, laundry...and so on, and so on.
I'm not great at any of this. I have to have my own doctors, my own appointments, my own medication because there are days where all of this is simply too overwhelming. I try to get to the fitness center daily...not only is it a great stress reliever, but my parents also go there so it gives me a chance to check up on them. People ask me all the time how I do everything that I do...the answer is, I just do it. I love my kids, I'm a fierce protector, and the best advocate around. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my kids (except make them a snack at 2am, and yes, I've been asked!) Over the years, I've learned tips and tricks...ways to make my life easier. I'm a lazy person, really. I have never really gone above and beyond. Actually, I never really thought it was possible for me to be like that in a positive way. The last (paying) job I had, I took initiative, tried to make changes, and instead it just created drama. So I just gave up.
A couple of years ago, I decided to volunteer at the boys school. I was a tutor to 3 little kids (2 from Burma, 1 from Pakistan), and all I had to do was to read with them. I would read a story, then they would read the story back to me. You see, most of these kids don't have anyone at home that speaks English, so in order to help them learn more English, I spent 30 minutes every week reading to these precious children. I know it doesn't sound like much, but there were some weeks that I looked forward to those reading sessions more than anything. It was where I felt appreciated and those little kids really liked me! Plus, I won an award for Volunteer of the year!
Sometimes at home, mom's can get overlooked, just doing their job and doing what is expected. Our family is so busy that sometimes appreciation goes by the wayside. It's not on purpose, but with so much going on, it's easy to get in mode of just getting things done and not realizing who helped you along the way. But maybe sometimes, as moms, we just have to recognize how many needs we are fulfilling....and then remind ourselves how great it is to be needed....