** This blog comes with a disclaimer. You need to know right from the start that I love my children exactly the way God has created them. And I know they are a precious gift. So don't judge me for what I'm about to blog!
I thought I just invented a word, but google shows 742 hits. Soon, there will be 743... Anyway, I thought of the term this evening coming home from hippotherapy. I have suffered from mompetition from the moment I got pregnant with Zach and I think I've been on the losing end ever since. I mentioned all this to Mark during dinner and he was like, let it go! So easy for a dad to say! Who are you afraid of, momma bear or papa bear? Exactly, momma bear because our love is fiercer. I'm not saying papa bear doesn't love his kids - but our's is fiercer more often.
Anyway, I mention all this, I guess as a way of repenting. I am guilty of mompetiton more often than not - and with 2 special needs kids, it seems that most of my mompeting is who has it worse. So awful, I know - you'll hear about on Not-Me Monday. But tonight's round started at hippotherapy. (See, right there I have it worse - I have to take both kids to physical therapy on horse back!) This mom brings her son and sits next to me and she recognizes me from church. She gently asked what my kids' exceptionalities are. Right there gauntlet has been thrown, if only in my mind. I don't have a diagnosis. I know what they don't have, but I have no clue what they do have. I asked the mom about her son and she told me. She was careful to point out that he is "high functioning". Well, there's a point for her. My kids are clearly not high functioning - at least at anything appropriate, I don't think WWF wrestling counts.
So as the conversation continues, she keeps earning points. Her son is in outside therapy. Mine aren't. Her son goes to the exclusive special-needs school in Bradenton. Mine don't. She doesn't work. I do. On and on it went. Then to make me feel better, because she knows she is winning, she does more for her child, and that she's probably more mentally-balanced than I am, she starts going on about health problems to make me feel better... Her son is diagnosed with asthma. Been there... I restrained from counter-point with talk about seizures or the other junk we deal with... I imagine she didn't know I was mompeting and that she didn't intentionally try to make me feel bad - it just automatically happens to me!! I go there!! And like Mark said, I should let it go. But I can't because this is where my attitude starts to spiral downhill and I start beating myself up. Like I'm not doing enough. (And I'm probably not because right now I should be playing with them and not blogging.) I also know at this point that rationally, I should step back and laugh at myself, but I'm feeling like such a slacker that I can't.
We head home and the song, "The Voice of Truth" comes on the radio. And I just start sobbing because the song is sooooo right - the voice of truth tells me a different story - God knit my children together - just the way he wanted them. But I can't stop crying and feeling sorry for myself. At this point I realize that once again, I'm psycho. And when it's time to teach the kids how to drive the car, the first thing they will do is turn on the radio, sob like a lunatic, and sniffle - because that's what Mom does when she drives!
This whole incident reminded me again of ____ (I can't think of the word/expression/idea). I need to realize that God is in control and use this as an opportunity to once again release my boys to His plan for them - and me. I need to sympathize/empathize with other moms - not compete. Motherhood is way to hard to compete against someone else! But just for kicks (and to make you win - compare you motherhood journey to mine). I bet I will "win" this mompetition:
* How long did it take you to potty train? (I am on year 4 with Zach)
* When did your youngest walk independently (Ryan was 3)
* How many hours a week did you spend at therapy for each of your children? (3 hours/week with Zach and 2 hours/week with Ryan)
* How many receptionists of specialists know your voice? (We have at least 2 that recognize my voice - neurology and genetics)
* How many medicines have you used to try and control a child's seizures? (Ryan has gone through 5)
* How many knots the size of baseballs are routinely on your kid's head? (Ryan has at least one a week - and that is with the protection of the goober hat)
* How many of you stopped saving for your child's education because you realized they won't go to college? (I have and that SUCKS!)
* Which of you has a 7 year old in 2nd grade who still has on his IEP that he will identify his colors correctly? (I do...)
* Which of you wishes her child were autistic? (I do so I could get more services.)
Ok, I'm doing it again. It's time to enjoy my boys and play a riveting game of "cars" and it's time to appreciate the precious gifts the Lord has given me. And despite what I write or lead you to believe, I love my children fiercely and on most days, I wouldn't trade them for the world. And, what mom out there hasn't said the same thing?? So here's to laughing at the situation instead of crying!!