Every day starts out the same at our house. I wake up early to get myself ready for work before getting my daughter Avery up and ready for the day. And every day we have the same struggles. She doesn't want to put on her clothes. She doesn't want to take her medicine. She's hungry and she wants to eat NOW. And that means, she's actually screaming EGGS! EGGS! EAT! EAT! EAT! over and over and over as she watches me or my husband hurriedly prepare her breakfast. Because she struggles so much in her understanding of language, she can't conceptualize that we're cooking which means she'll be eating soon. She's hungry and she wants to eat NOW.
After she eats, she spends some time in front of the TV watching Elmo as I finish packing her bag and loading up the car. When it comes time to get her coat and shoes on, there's the temper tantrum that follows. Lately, the only way I can get her out of the house is to just start heading for the door and telling her goodbye and that I'll see her later. Once I do that, she runs after me shouting "Wait, wait," and I finally get her out of the house and into the car.
On the way to her sitter's house, it's the same every day as well. She wants chips. And I wonder how she could possibly be hungry and I'm saddened by the thought that maybe the food is just somehow comforting to her, that maybe asking for chips and getting them is a way for her to feel some control in her world that must seem so out of her control. I tell her she's just eaten and that she can have chips later. And I then I try to focus on getting to our destination as she shouts CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS! for the remainder of our trip.
Every day, I drop her off and drive to work feeling sad and flustered and stressed and, truthfully, feeling like a bad mom. But every day I go to work with as positive an attitude as I can possibly muster, I smile, I get my job done, I somehow manage to focus. And people are always asking me how I can seem so calm and how I can possibly come to work with all that's going on. That, of course, makes me smile, because I know that on the inside, I really feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown. There are a million things swirling through my head and it's everything I can do not to let that all come spewing out of me during the work day. And while that's a good thing for my coworkers, I often feel like it'd be nice to have a "scream room" where I could just step in, let it all out, and then quietly return to my desk.
It's hard holding everything in all the time, and that's why I'm finding this blog so helpful. And while not all of us blog, I do think it's important for every mom - not just moms with special needs kids - to find someone or some way to release what's swirling through their heads. It's just too hard to keep it all together sometimes. I think the only way to really avoid that nervous breakdown is to let someone else know how you feel. So thanks for listening!