Taking care of yourself is something that is needed in order to be successful at taking care of others. However, try telling this to a mom who has a hectic lifestyle. Try convincing a mom who has 2 children, 1 having cerebral palsy and the other showing signs of challenges that I have yet to explore.
My days can go one way or another. 1 day can be nice, smooth and easy and the next day can be chaotic, emotionally and physically draining. This is how my life has been since the year 2015, a non-stop rollercoaster. I have never in my life experienced every emotion known to man until I had my oldest son, Anthony Jr. aka Moo.
Anthony spent the 1st 3 weeks of life in the NICU due to a traumatic birthing experience. Once I got him home, I assumed we were clear. I just knew my experience was going to be just like everyone else. I was sadly mistaken. There were a host of doctor’s appointments to find out why he wasn’t eating, severely underweight, not hitting milestones etc. I spent numerous hours in hospitals, doctor’s offices, only to be told each visit that he would be a vegetable. To hear people that didn’t create him tell me he wasn’t going to be anything more than a vegetable broke me all the way done.
From the day my son was born, taking a break was never in my plans. I knew I had a child with challenges and it was up to me to go full throttle in making sure he had all he needed and then some. I had a life that was and still is fragile and I all that he and I both went through for him to be here was very important to me. At the time I truly believed that neglecting myself for him was appropriate. I would later find out how wrong I was about said theory.
As time grew, I started to show signs of depression and anxiety. I started to feel guilt anytime I tried to do something for myself. I even asked myself to stop being so selfish and give any and everything to my son. I really believed I wasn’t worthy of having time away from motherhood.
By the time Anthony Jr turned 8 yrs old, we were close to being 10 surgeries in. The latest being bilateral hip correction which (may I add) was the absolutely worst procedure to date. While in the hospital recovering, Anthony Jr. coded and that was the moment I realized that I was extremely unstable emotionally. After Anthony was discharged and began to recover and was released from that GOD awful spica cast, I made it a point to start therapy. I needed someone to help me get myself together and quick. My depression and anxiety was starting to be at an all time high and I needed to recover before I crashed and burned.
Therapy was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Those sessions really opened my eyes and showed me that being superwoman and trying to fix everything was not my job. Diving into wife and mother mode directly after work was not healthy. My therapist made it a point to drill into my head the importance of ridding anything no matter who or what that meant harm to my peace. Therapy helped me understand that taking a time out to pour back into myself was the most important thing I could do for me. Each time I gave an excuse for why I couldn’t take time out, my therapist would hit me with some knowledge that I couldn’t deny was accurate and truthful.
Currently, my son Anthony Jr. is doing fabulous and defying most of the odds they said he’d face. I make it my business to get my me time by any means necessary. I no longer allow other’s to take my from my ATM if their intentions are not to make deposits. Whenever I do cry, I make sure to cry with a purpose and I no longer say yes when I really mean no. As for my baby boy, Lyric who is showing signs of Autism, I am in a better place with dealing with that. I have placed him into a therapy group that will help him until I get a formal diagnosis.
Founder/Operator of Our Children’s Story