Every mother I have ever honestly spoken with has expressed the concern that she is not doing everything she could/should for her child. To my way of thinking, it's one of those things that comes with motherhood. That insatiable need to be able to take care of every need your child has. As a special needs parent, that desire only grows and presents itself more prominently to me through the course of daily living.
I really thought I had this mothering thing down. You have a baby, and with that comes stages of life. The newborn stage, the infant stage, teething, the creeping, the crawling, the walking, the getting into everything stage. The kindergarten, elementary school, and the rebellious teen stage, followed by the empty nest stage. Supposedly, once your child graduates high school, goes to college and starts a family of their own, there is this wonderful stage wherein your child realizes that you are NOT the complete idiot they once thought you were.
I can't wait to be a grandmother. Can't. Wait. I will feed my little grandmonsters full of sugar and red kool aid, and when they are hyper beyond recognition, I will give the little darlings back to their parents, then sit back and smile as they try to wrestle their child into a fifty point harness car seat. It's payback, and I'm allowed.
But, until that time, I am still the Momma. The piece of the family unit that will always wonder if I am everything my monsters need me to be. The Momma who, in fact, does NOT have this mothering thing down. My feelings on this matter are multifaceted. Am I the mother that all of my children need? Am I the advocate/mother/therapist/nurse that Logan (my toddler with multiple special needs) needs? Am I giving enough time to #6, Logan's twin, so that he never feels left out?
My fears are that I am not enough of any of the above. I do not worry whether I am the monsters' friend. That is not my job. But if someone sat any of my monsters down and asked, “Does your mother love you?” I like to think that every last one of them would answer yes without having to think about it...well.. without having to think about it for more than a few minutes, anyway.
To a certain extent (again, this is just the gospel according to the frazzledmomma), I think that kind of wonder is a healthy part of motherhood. It causes you to reach, to learn and grow with your child(ren) and become “better” because of it. The tricky part for me, however, is how to balance good mothering with common sense, as I tend to be one of those horrid women known as “The Dreaded Helicopter Mom”.
My words of advice? I don't know that I have any. All I can say is, enjoy it. Enjoy every minute, savor your children. Appreciate them as the priceless gifts they are. I don't mean give them everything they want. That would be bad. Very, very bad. Whether your children are neurotypical, have special needs, or you have a combination of both, they are your legacy. What will YOU do with it?