MOTHER OF THE YEAR

summer 2003

Lately I have been struggling to be the mother for which I have been striving.  First I admit I have been in a really dark place for a few weeks.  This has resulted in finding my Psychiatrist moved to Mobile and my scrounging around to find a doctor who could fit me in.  The huge practice to which I went which had a plethora of doctors, not one could fit me in.  I knew I was on the verge of hospitalization and I was scared and alone.  My husband was frustrated and my children were taking the wrath of my irritability.  Life was chaotic.  As a last ditch effort I reached out to a friend and begged her to get me into see her husband.  He saw me the next day, made some med changes.  Along with that I am proud to say I fought hard to get out of the darkness.  I was determined to not let it swallow me whole.

I am happy to say that things are calming down.  My anxiety and irritability are still prevalent but the blackness has turned to light.  Of course I have to deal with the side effects of my meds. My hands shake a lot.  Putting mascara on is an effort in futility.  I have kind of given up on the make up thing.  Luckily I work at Alabama Outdoors and the grungier the better there.  Work has been a saving grace as well.  It helps me get out of my head.

Where am I going with this in terms of motherhood?  We are in a whirlwind of activity.  It has been a fun fall with high school football.  John is really shining on the field and Maitland is dancing up a storm on the field.  Elizabeth has chosen to dance her nights away and Dean is participating in rec league football….on the sidelines.  This is where mother of the year comes in….

Dean made a wonderful catch in the end zone of the first game.  He was part quarterback part tight end.  After that play he started limping.  I thought he had twisted his ankle and pushed him to keep playing.  And he did.  But by Monday it was obvious it was not his ankle.  After an X-ray the doctor deemed it was a bone bruise because no fracture showed up on the film.  So, I took him to practice and pushed him to play.  We thought he wasn’t trying hard enough and he needed to push through his pain.

A couple of days later when he showed no improvement we had another doctor look at the film and still it showed no fracture.  We decided to put him on crutches to take the weight off and help his healing.  Still no improvement.  Finally I had had enough and took him back for another X-ray.  Guess what?  Fracture.  At this point there was nothing to do because it was half way healed.  So the poor guy is hobbling around on crutches, trying to put weight on it and writhing in pain.  We are pushing him to put more weight on it because the doctor says so.

But through this I wonder when you listen to your doctor and when you listen to mother’s tuition.  I knew it was broken from day one.  But no one would listen to me.  I kick myself for not pushing further.  I curse the doctor’s for not being more aggressive.  And most importantly I kick myself for not listening to mother’s intuition.  I failed him and he is suffering.  None of this helps my depression.

Motherhood is all about intuition.  You of all people know your child better than anyone.  We mothers can sense our children’s moods as soon as they get home from school.  No amount of books can beat that.  And, as a mother, we instinctively know how to respond to their moods, their ailments and their hurts.  We have to tread very carefully and listen to their body signals but ultimately we can help them heal and face another day.

And then there is the dynamics of how each child treats the other.  They pick on Dean because he is the youngest and I do more for him.  Funny thing is they have forgotten how much I did for them at that age.  I fussed at one of mine and threatened to go into a diatribe on his woes as an 11 year old.  He left the room rather quickly.  Partly because my temper got the best of me.  Needless to say my morning didn’t get off to a very good start.

Once again I am all over the place with this post but I hope I somehow brought it together.  Mothers, good luck listening to your children.  You know you have their best interests at heart.  It isn’t always easy and can be down right impossible, but listen to your heart and your gut and you will probably get it right.