Happy holidays to the mom who:
Is spending it in her child’s hospital room
I know you wouldn’t be anywhere but your child’s hospital room today. I also know you wish this was a “normal” year and you could be with friends and family today. I know you are missing out on traditions, memories, and laughter that you desperately need today. To be honest, you probably couldn’t care less if you skipped all holidays this year.
Is hosting this year
I know you have spent the past few weeks shopping, planning, and cleaning as though the queen is visiting. I’m sure you will spend today more focused on the cooking rather than the gathering happening around you. I’m sure you wish someone would just hang out with you in the kitchen.
Is spending it away from her children
I don’t know what has separated you from your children today. Shared custody? Work? Illness? Whatever it is, I know you are missing your kids today. I know holidays don’t feel complete without them here. You might even prefer to skip the holiday season all together. Or maybe you plan to celebrate tomorrow, next week, or next month.
Is spending it with immediate family
Maybe this is what you prefer. Maybe you wish you could be surrounded by your extended family today. Separated by long distances. Separated by limited travel time and limited travel funds. Separated because no one has room for 60 people to gather.
Is spending most of the day breastfeeding a baby, or pumping round the clock
Whether you are tucked away in a bedroom or out in the open, I know today you will live by the schedule tht rules your life every other day. I know you may have a family member or two who will question you.
- Didn’t he just eat?
- Do you have to do that here?
- When are you going to wean?
I hope your eyes don’t roll hard enough to give you a headache today. If you opt to be tucked away for any number of reasons, like an easily distracted baby, I know being tucked away also can be a much needed break for you.
Is dreading the unsolicited parenting advice
Your family means well. And you love them. But some of them haven’t raised small children in multiple decades. Some of them have selective parenting memories. Some of them have never raised a child like yours. Shockingly, children like adults, have different personalities and a one size fits all approach isn’t necessarily effective.
If you’re raising a child with special needs, there is an extra layer that goes with this unsolicited advice, (and sometimes medical advice). The layer of gross misunderstanding.
- Why is she acting that way?
- Don’t you think you’re coddling him?
- We never had this problem with you.
- I don’t think he gets enough therapy.
- She must be tired.
- Don’t put him down, I’ll hold him.
They mean well. Isn’t that what we always tell ourselves before we try to brush aside their advice and steer the conversation in a different direction?
However you observe the holidays this year; whatever your struggles; wherever you’re spending this season; I see you. It’s quite possible I’ve been you. Or I am you.