Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Am I really doing an O.K. job?

Being a mom is hard work! As a child, you probably heard things like, "You will understand one day." And, once you have children of your own, the clarity begins to set in real fast! It makes a lot of sense now that I'm a mother! It always makes me chuckle, and also get a little perturbed, when a person with no children tells me what I should do with mine! Joel always says, "The best parents are those who don't have any children!" Maybe some day these people who 'know it all' will be blessed enough to find out how true this statement is!

Before having children I was guilty of thinking that, "MY KIDS WILL NEVER BEHAVE LIKE THAT IN A STORE!" HA on me! Before having children I was guilty of saying, "My kids will always say please and thank you and look clean and nice when we go out in public." Another HA! Parenting is not as easy as it seems! Add a child with special needs and the hard job just increases! Oh, and add having FOUR wild boys.....well I think that you get the picture. I feel like I'm working hard all day, and yet nothing seems to get accomplished and there is constant chaos going on about me! Some days I feel like I'm in the middle of a tornado and there is nothing that I can do. Spend a day at our house, with our boys and you'll walk away feeling the same way! Constant chaos! I really wonder what would happen if I wern't here to try to control all this chaos?! This morning I seriously considered just letting them all fend for themselves to show them how my controlling ways are what gets us through each day! I told Joel, "You guys are on your one listens to me anyway!" Then my need for having them go to school looking decent, well fed and prepared got the best of me, and I took over again.

The point that I'm trying to get at with all of this is: That many days I feel like I'm invisible. I don't seem to have a visible purpose in life. I do so much and yet it looks like nothing is even being done! My house seems to always be a mess. My children always seem to act like they are untrained in the manner department and like they can't even remember a single thing that I tell them. I always look tired and unkept. And yet, I feel like I spend SO MUCH time working on these matters, with what seems to be, no progress being made! Does anyone else feel like this or do I live in the only crazy household in America??!!

So, needless to say, this morning I was feeling somewhat deflated and in need of some serious inflating! I hate to say this, but I even told Joel that "I was ready to strangle a certain child for his constant obnoxious, and misbehaving behavior and that at least in jail things would be easier for me than they are here at our house!" At least I'm trying to keep a sense of humor! Because I WAS TOTALLY JOKING! I mean, I LOVE my children and feel like I would die without them! I even have a desire to add to this crazy bunch, if you can believe that! I LOVE CHILDREN! But, even I need a pat on the back every once in awhile! And, you all probably know how great children and husbands are at thanking you or giving you a pat on th back!

God knew that I needed a little pick me up today.

Gavin and I had an appointment with a doctor at his school this morning. We are trying to determine if Gavin should go to school next year and if he does, then we needed this doctor to determine what needs he would have while he is there. I had to go through ALL of Gavin's history (AGAIN!) and tell this doctor all about Gavin. This is not something that I enjoy doing since I've had to do this with NUMEROUS doctors and also since Gavin's history has been a long and painful one, that I don't always like to revisit verbally! Anyway, this doctor seemed kind of hardened and aloff in the beginning of our talk, which made me even less thrilled about spending the next hour with him! He asked questions, I answered them and Gavin got to spend time with his (maybe) future teacher. (Who I LOVED, by the way! She was able to set aside some of my fears about sending him to school and she even had him smiling and laughing!) As the talk went on, the doctor began to have a better bedside manner and the talk didn't seem so bad after all! He even had some good suggestions for me and he was very kind and helpful in the end.

O.K., Back to the part where God knew that I needed a pick me up today. Being a mother can be a difficult job, a job that seems like I'm failing miserably at some days! Today I was really feeling worthless as a mom and this doctor gave me the pat on the back that I so desperately needed! He told me that he thought that I was doing wonderfully caring for Gavin and to keep up the great job! That's it, but it sure helped with my outlook! He said that he does not see this very often and that it's something very refreshing for him to see. (Which is probably why he began our interview with a less than happy outlook. He probably sees plenty of, not so great care, being given to children like Gavin and he probably IS hardened by all that he sees.) Anyway, I really needed to hear that I was doing a great job today! Everyone needs a "Great job!" said to them every once in awhile, EVEN MOMS!

So, to all you great Moms out there.....Keep up the great job that you are doing! It might not feel like you are making a difference, but you are! I hope that you have a great day and feel loved! Oh, and Thank you Mom and Joel's Mom, for being great mothers to Joel and I! WE LOVE YOU!

Hopefully this refreshed feeling sticks with me for awhile, especially since Spring break begins tomorrow and I'm going to need to feel refreshed with having ALL my boys home with me! I'm sure their teachers are breathing a huge sigh of relief! :) They deserve a big pat on the back as well! Thank you to all the teachers out there! Your job can't be much easier than a Mom's job!

"Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord." Philemon 1:20


The Myers Family said...

Vander Wall Family,
I have 2 boys with ADHD and one with ADD so I know how you feel. We have a wild house here and sometimes I feel like I want to or need to leave to get away for a while. Its not very often I get a pat on the back or hear the words you doing a great or good job thank you. I wonder were their manners go when they decide not to use them out in public. I am here if you ever need to talk and get your frusteration out.

Hope said...

You deserve a lot more than a pat on the back. I am glad the Dr did praise you. It's hard to care for a large family and a medically fragile child with special needs. You are doing an amazing job. The reason I started reading your blog is because of the way you handle things, with strength and grace.

Hugs to you!

Lacey said...

We all need to pat ourselves on the back once and a while for what we deal with. Everyone also has deflated days where you could just crawl in bed, Lord knows I have, but when we think of our kids, autistic, downs and everything else, we wouldn't change it would we? :)

Inspired said...

Great job doesn't even cover it! I'm glad the Dr was able to give you the boost you needed (and definitely deserve!). I can say that I "relate", but good grief, I only have it one fold. Not that Rena feels like raising 10 kids even though she is an only child : )

Hang in there because in my book, there is no better mom than you : ) (just don't tell my mom I said that).


Alicia said...

While I can not relate to you about what it is like to have a house full of four wild boys, I can relate to how you feel about nothing you do seems to make a difference. The messy house, the chaos, the constant saying "no" "don't do that" "stop". The no one listening and no one giving you that well deserved pat on the back. And talk about looking tired and unkept! My wardrobe used to consist of business casual work clothes... now? Sweats, t-shirts, and a couple of pairs of jeans for going to appointments! Hair always pulled into a pony tail or a bun just to keep it out of my face! UGH!!

All that to say... I feel you sister!

I am so glad you got your pick me up pat on the back today. Isn't it funny how it is the small gestures that make our day? You do deserve SO SO SO much more! I Hope and pray that Spring Break goes well and no one ends up in jail! ;)

(((Hugs))) to you friend,


Princess Abigail said...

"Before having children I was guilty of thinking that, "MY KIDS WILL NEVER BEHAVE LIKE THAT IN A STORE!" HA on me! Before having children I was guilty of saying, "My kids will always say please and thank you and look clean and nice when we go out in public." Another HA! "

I couldn't agree more with the comment above! I had so many idealistic objectives for my family-to-be before I was married, and today they have all been swirled into the clouds by the reality of being a full-time working mum with three kids, one of which with special needs. I am so with you on that one - and I had a good giggle at the quote above because you and I are so alike in that respect!

One of the reasons I read your blog is for the inspiration you bring to me, the happiness and matter-of-factness with which you deal with your life. There are no frills, you say it as it is, and you get on with things. I like that. Not many people have that ability. And I can tell you are doing a splendid job as a Mum in general, and with Gavin in particular. You have nurtured him into a splendid little boy - give your shoulder a jolly good pat from me! You truly deserve it.


Shan said...

Man, if I had a nickel for every time I asked myself, How good am I doing? Am I a good Mom? Am I doing what I need to do?

I would be a rich lady.

I think you're fantastic:) That is a lucky houseful of men you have there! That said, why must they act like deviants? Josie last night had the worst table manners, her pleases and thank you's have vanished, she talks back. She's only 5! I'd like to think they act like that with us because they know our love is unconditional and it's "safe". Safe, but tiring!

Hang in there!

Annette Gysen said...

It's nice when a doctor--who, like you said, sees kids with Gavin's challenges all the time--recognizes how well you take care of him. He really does have something to compare with, so when he tells you you're doing a great job, he knows what he's saying!

Michelle said...

So I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes as I read your blog. Thank you for you rcomment. It's nice to know I'm not the only one! In His Love...

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