Sunday is Mother’s Day and I have been wanting to share this with you for a while. My heart is burdened for moms out there who feel they are alone in a situation, doing it wrong or second guessing themselves. You are the perfect momma for your kids and trying your best is doing a good job. We all get it wrong now and then. Even the ones who don’t like to admit it.
Peyton has been seeing a therapist at school all year. This is something I have been somewhat private about because I am not always sure how to talk about these kind of things. It’s emotional and a lot on us and I always want people to know how amazing he is so I tend to not want to focus on the trouble we have sometimes.
Peyton’s therapist is wonderful. We could not have asked for a better person to walk into our lives as we navigated first grade. She is kind and encouraging and not only does she empower my child she empowers me. Each meeting I have had with her she talks about all the wonderful qualities Peyton has and then she will talk about how good of a job I am doing. It’s impressive how she always makes me feel amazing in a situation that could make you feel less than amazing.
A few months ago we sat down and she said, I need to tell you something. She began to tell me that when she asked Peyton about things at home he said that Daddy plays with him but Mommy does not. My heart actually sank into my stomach. He wasn’t wrong. Many night Justin comes home from work and takes them into the yard to play or to the gym and I work or catch up on things around the house.
I said, I will spend more time with him and take him out once a week or things like that. Being the intuitive she is she immediately noticed the change in my demeanor. She looked at me and said, you are doing the best you can with the tools you have. I am going to give you a few new tools to use and we will work on this together. You didn’t do anything wrong. You are caring for him like you know to care for someone and he just needs something a little different.
She told me that what she thought would work would be giving him 5 minutes a day that were uninterrupted Peyton and Mommy time. It was a time to do something together, face to face, to create a special space. This was time he would grow to count on and know that he could trust me in those moments. That I wasn’t going to get up and get his brother a cup of juice or wash the dishes or change a diaper. I was going to be right there with him.
As adults we always think about fixing things in big ways rather than looking for small changes that we can make. Those five minutes a day have become a sacred space. I have learned more about Peyton’s affinity for art, his difficulties with things in school, situations with friends than I ever would have learned on a monthly night out with him. It wasn’t about the grand gesture. It was about small calculated, meaningful moments that we both needed more than we know.
Right now I am just doing this with Peyton. As we have parented longer we have realized that our kids have individual needs. Currently this is one of his. As we navigate raising these boys their needs will grow and change and we will assess those changes along the way too.
Momma don’t make your job any harder. Don’t let the mommy guilt seep in. You are a wonderful mother and doing the best you know. The next time you encounter a hard spot with your little don’t grab at the big solution to fix it. Think about that small, almost miniscule thing you can do and change it there. Remember that a boat stays on course with minute changes…
Also, I wanted to add. If you are in a situation where your child is in therapy and your therapist isn’t meeting your needs, change therapists. Childhood is too short to have your kid working with the wrong therapist. Like anything therapy is about the connection between the child and the therapist. You can go to the best therapist in the world and if it isn’t the right fit for your kid it’s the wrong therapist.