“If you think my hands are full you should see my heart.”
I was writing my next blog post when I decided that I wanted to take a moment to share my recent thoughts and reflections about motherhood.
Although I’m still very new to this motherhood life, this year has been a challenge and I’m sure there is more to come. The last few months all of my motherhood “expectations”, whatever that is, got a serious reality check. I learned about strength and resilience. I learned about patience, devastation, overwhelming loyalty and kindness. It’s all been a life lesson I’m sure to never forget.
I recently watched a Mother’s Day special with celebrities speaking about their mothers, some of whom were mothers themselves and there was one consistent thread throughout. SACRIFICE! The recognition that mothers sacrifice so much and would sacrifice any and everything for their child. This was often talked about from the child’s perspective and like them I could list a million ways Gemma had sacrificed so much for me and continues to do so for Caleb. Yet as mother I couldn’t think of any sacrifices I’ve made for Caleb. Instead I felt like most of the mothers on the show when they spoke about the choices they made that were best for the child. Most of them were working moms who had to work. They had to leave their kids with grandparents, friends, sitters. They did what they had to do….I don’t feel like that sacrificing, that’s providing.
Being a mother I don’t feel like I’ve given up or done anything exceptional, I’m just a mom. Caleb has to eat, Caleb needs clothes, Caleb needs therapy, I’m not a mother if i can’t provide those things for him. There is no guide-book or reference material on how to do the job that is the hardest and longest ever in life, so you get up and do the best you can each day.
One of the mothers on the program said something and it gave me chills, it’s actually the reason I felt moved to write for this Mother’s Day. She said “When I had my children. I did not know what I was doing but I spoke to God and told him I don’t know what to do so I need You to use me and THROUGH me raise these children.” My Aunt told me something similar when our journey through autism first began. She said this isn’t about me, God has a greater plan for Caleb you’ve just been chosen to get him there. This described perfectly how I felt each day getting up and walking through this journey with Caleb. I don’t know what I’m doing but somehow with each step I do what needs to be done. I am still often amazed at the nice emails and messages I get from people after they read my blog because to me I don’t know anything else. Caleb is my one and only so I have nothing to compare what motherhood should be. And why would I?
These babies are all different and autism doesn’t make our family any more special than the next. If there is anything I would tell Caleb when he gets older it’s that some days were harder than others but we absolutely had a great time, better than some people but that doesn’t make us better just like our hard times haven’t made us less than.
Maybe my “sacrifices” are yet to come, I am only 3 years into this. I just know that no matter what happens I’ll be ready to do whatever is necessary for the greater good of Caleb.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas who find the strength every day!
Shirts courtesy of C.U.B & Co.