I saw this quote several months ago, and it hit me. It touched something in my soul. I immediately wrote it down in my journal, and then wrote my own words underneath.
This whole mothering thing is a tough job. It’s a constant battle of knowing what to do and when to do it. When to say a lot and when to say a little. There is continuous doubt about whether we are doing it right. The amazing thing is that, no matter how scared or unsure we are in ourselves, or how many times we “mess up”, we find the inner strength to keep going.
Then, I set my pen and journal down and didn’t pick them up again for months. Why? Because I wasn’t sure what to say. I normally have my stuff together. Not now. Right now, I feel slightly defeated. I know that’s not a positive thing to say. That’s part of the reason I haven’t written for a while. I started writing this blog almost three years ago because I wanted to be a light to all of those moms (and dads) who needed it. I didn’t want to write the sad posts about how hard this whole “Autism Mommy” gig really is because who really wants to hear that?
Last week I was determined to write again, so I sat down and grabbed my pen. This is what I wrote:
Struggle is the word of the day. As I sat down this morning with my journal and a cup of coffee in hand, all I could think about was my recent struggles to get my thoughts from my head to paper. As I started writing my rambling thoughts, there seemed to be one resounding theme…”Everything is a struggle.” I struggle with how to parent. My oldest son is being incredibly difficult most days. My youngest son is acting out. My confidence as a Mom has plummeted. My thoughts are foggy. How am I going to be a “Sassy Aspie Mom” when all I have are “Debbie Downer” thoughts?
As my oldest son with Asperger’s enters this new stage, I just hope I am able to give him what he needs. Sometimes that seems like an impossible task. I find myself wanting to pull back and allow him to become his own man. I struggle with allowing him to fail. I struggle with knowing what my role actually is at this time of his life. Some days he still needs me a lot. Other days, he doesn’t want me around at all. He is struggling to find his way. I am struggling to find my new role in his life. His new responsibilities on his path to become an adult are starting to overwhelm him, and I am struggling to help him navigate it all.
After I wrote those thoughts, I closed my journal and put my pen down. I sat and drank my coffee and then went about my day. Writing is normally my therapy, but lately, I just haven’t had it in me. I haven’t had the ability to give advice or even tell a great uplifting story because motherhood has truly been a struggle.
This morning, I grabbed my journal because I needed to write again. I wanted to get my thoughts on paper. Before I started to write, I looked back at my last few entries and realized that I had already written what I needed to say. My story was written in those small journal entries when I didn’t have anything left to give. It wasn’t uplifting or funny. It was just the true story of this “Sassy Aspie Mom’s” life. Right now things are damn hard. Parenting a child with Asperger’s through the teenage years is definitely a struggle, and my story is no exception.
The truth is, birth is about making strong competent, capable mothers, but strength isn’t given to us. Rather, it is earned through pain and tears and fear and doubt and love and compassion and accepting our mistakes and loving ourselves despite it all. It is because of those struggle, not in spite of them, that we finally begin to trust ourselves and gain that amazing inner strength that makes motherhood such a gift.
— Originally published by Sassy Aspie Mom on October 26, 2015. Republished with Permission.