Holland Sucks Sometimes

**republished and updated from 2010**

I hope anyone out there who has a child with special needs, or even some of you that don’t, have read the Welcome To Holland poem (if not click here). It has brought me so much solace over the years. I even have it on my fridge so I can look at it daily for comfort.

But you know what? Holland sucks at times. Even tulips can get old after a while. I bet there are Dutch people who get tired of the windmills. This past week has been one of those times for me here in my own Holland. There are times when Olivia is so overwhelming that I can’t handle it. I take many deep breaths and the words “forever” blast through my brain. As in, will I still be asking her to stop picking her chin and face…forever? Will I still be cutting up her dinner…forever? Can I do this…forever? And it’s so lonely. I feel like I’m the only one who feels this way. I feel guilty. I feel terrible. It’s such a lonely place.

I know I can do it forever. I want to; I hope I get to see her as an old woman. But there are days, sometimes weeks, where I just want to have a “normal” 12-year-old. One that can do her hair in the morning; take her own shower; do her homework; tie her shoes; use the bathroom; play outside. I could go on and on…but what good does that do?

Luckily for me, these bouts of suckage don’t last very long. I work through it. I try to have a sense of humor about it. It’s really hard though when she comes downstairs, after staying dry all day at school, and says “I peed on my bed.” She KNOWS better. Or when she takes everything off the hangers in her closet 3 times in one day. And this girl has more clothes than you and I put together. She KNOWS better. Or when she tears up a book because she likes the pictures. Or doesn’t want to play outside even though it’s a beautiful day; she wants to be in her room. But you can’t leave her in her room because then you go outside for 5 minutes and when you come back in, she’s opened the pantry and now there are Oreos and chips strewn all over the floor.

You see what I mean? It just gets overwhelming and exhausting. Then my patience is fried and I yell and then feel terrible and apologize. But still. It’s not her fault she was born this way. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me at all; most of the time I’m thankful I ended up in Holland. But everyone would like a vacation to Italy now and then…right?

Below is one of those songs that I can listen to and remind myself that it will be ok. I know Celine Dion is as about annoying a person as there ever was, but she’s got pipes my friend. And the lyrics…they sing to me. So today I’m playing this over and over again to remind myself that tomorrow…or maybe even later today…I’ll love Holland again.

That’s the Way It Is by Celine Dion
I can read your mind
And I know your story
I see what you’re going through, yeah
It’s an uphill climb
And I’m feeling sorry
But I know it will come to you, yeah
Don’t surrender
Cause you can win
In this thing called love
When you want it the most
There’s no easy way out
When you’re ready to go
And your heart’s left in doubt
Don’t give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that’s the way it is
When you question me
For a simple answer
I don’t know what to say, no
But it’s plain to see
If you stick together
You’re gonna find the way, yeah
So don’t surrender
Cause you can win
In this thing called love
When you want it the most
There’s no easy way out
When you’re ready to go
And your heart’s left in doubt
Don’t give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that’s the way it is
That’s the way it is
When life is empty
With no tomorrow
And loneliness starts to call
Baby don’t worry
Forget your sorrow
Cause love’s gonna conquer it all, all
When you want it the most
There’s no easy way out
When you’re ready to go
And you heart’s left in doubt
Don’t give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that’s the way it is


23 responses to “Holland Sucks Sometimes

  1. This is a well written post Tiffany! You’re right, not any day is always wonderful and perfect! You write with such sincerity and honesty. I’ve always loved your genuineness. I also adore one of your last statements “remind yourself…that you’ll love Holland again.” Isn’t that so true of a bad day or week?…we’ll question and wonder if it’s always going to feel like “this”. But life, us, our minds, we end up finding a way to cope and feel happy again.

    I’ve learned that “feeling” and “being” are two separate things. Such as a person can “be” happy but not always “feel” it. I think that’s a good explanation of our bad days in Holland.

  2. Right now, go outside and jump on your trampoline. Right now! Go! Jump and jump and jump til you start laughing. Jump until you feel giddy. And while you’re jumping know that we are all here for you when you have those blue days. And know it’s OK to be mad about a blue day and to not want to even think about the next day.

    But maybe, just maybe, that next day won’t be a blue day, but a better day.

  3. Great post – thanks for sharing your feelings! I know for sure that you are not alone. Hang in there! πŸ™‚

  4. Yup, it sure does suck sometimes. Thankfully those sucky days become few and far between.

  5. Wow. Thank you for sharing and I am glad that there is someone out there that can relate to the way I feel at times.

    Thanks so much

  6. As always your honesty is inspiring. Everyone needs a break once in a while. I bet even those who have always been in Italy wish they had break once in a while. I bet they are secretly jealous all the amazing things that happen in Holland.

  7. You give such hope, such comfort to others with this post. Thank you for sharing your very personal experience with such raw, heartfelt honesty.

  8. I personally have a love/hate relationship with Holland. As you said most of the time I’m happy I’m there, but oh so many days I wish I could leave. I wouldn’t trade my Ella for the world, BUT….. well you know. Thanks for that post, beautifully written!!!

  9. Oh, yes… I’ve been here many a day!

    On those blue days (or weeks!) I tell myself this won’t last. I tell myself that other people with children who don’t have special needs also have issues with their kids, only a little different. I tell myself that blue days are ok. All mothers have them no matter what. I ask myself, “Who says that kids don’t have to wear bibs into their teen years?” “Who says diaper training has to be by 3.” When I look at things this way, I begin to smile because even though on those blue days I want to be a mother like all mothers, secretly, I know we have our own rules, our own schedule, our own little quirks, and that ok. That’s what makes my family stand out. We don’t strive to be the same. We’re ok being who we are because that’s truly the way it is.

    I agree with Mary above… I believe people wish they could have the happiness you have in Holland because you and your family are truly living.

  10. I had never read that Holland poem before – it is beautiful.

    I didn’t get to go to Italy either. Although I’m not in Holland, I got dropped in Luxembourg – the step-country to Italy. πŸ™‚

    You bring to attention one of the many reasons I love blogging. The wonderful support system that comes with a post that calls for help.

    I don’t pray for patience – latin meaning “to suffer” but I hope you find joy on the days where suffering seems to be the hole you can’t dig out of.

  11. I often feel the same way. I know that I shouldn’t, but I do.
    It is said: “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”. I often think he thinks I am Mother Teresa or something!
    I obviously cannot say I know exactly what you are going through, but I certainly can relate to your feelings. Don’t feel guilty, it’s good to clense the soul. πŸ˜‰

  12. I know I won’t understand this to your extent, but I think that all kiddos test our patience through their whole lives. Some things make it harder, but god only gives us what we can handle. Which means that he thinks a lot of you, just like I do!
    It really never ends for any of us. If it ends, it means that one of us doesn’t exist anymore and that would be the worst.
    It is normal to have these feelings once in a while.
    You are amazing and so is your beautiful daughter.

  13. First let me wrap my arms around you in a huge virtual hug! No truer words have ever been spoken and you are NOT horrible for laying them out there. Getting frustrated and then feeling guilty about it is what makes you a great mom. It’s when you stop feeling bad or guilty that you need to worry.

    We do all need trips to Italy now and then. So, take them. There’s nothing wrong with getting a break. It makes you a better parent when you can regroup and come back with a fresh attitude!

    Hang in there lady. I’m here for you:)

  14. I know we have different Hollands, but I feel your heart on this subject completely.

    Your positive outlook and tireless heart may draw people to your blog, but it’s your honesty that hooks us. You are the real-deal and I love reading your posts.

  15. Oh, friend. I can’t tell you that I now how you feel because I haven’t been there. But you are so articulate (and that poem is so beautiful) that I have a glimpse and I am sure that is tough. But remind yourself that you are tougher. You have such a bright outlook — that is clear. Be kind to yourself on those days when you wish you were in Italy. That’s human. You’re human. And you ARE a REALLY good mom.

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  17. What a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Tiffany, you are such an inspiration to me. You are such a giving, caring, positive, strong person. I stand in awe. Truly.

    You are allowed days (many more than you actually take, in truth) where you feel sad or angry or defeated.

    Just know that you have friends who are willing to open their ears, and send you love.

  18. Gosh girl…u made me cry=…( Every word I read I felt it as if I were confessing my feelings. The “forever” part is just so overwhelming at times I think things in my head like ” I wish you would walk already” or “you should be able to feed yourself” it hurts for me to think these things but I’m human and I get tired and overwhelmed. I try to remember that and always pull myself outta the slump but Holland does suck sometimes and it’s ok that it sucks sometimes!!! But like you said we’ll love it again!!

  19. I love how honest you are. It’s what makes you real and what makes you such a great mom. No one is better at this than you are. Hang in there. As the saying goes, this too shall pass. Sometimes I just repeat that over and over to myself. I know it doesn’t compare, but my R can almost break me at times. Seriously. There was a dark period, the entire year she was 2, that I swear I almost didn’t make it. Just hold on. Vent to us. We’re here listening.

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  21. It’s funny, two of my posts in the past week have been titled “Normal” and “Forever”. Obviously, we’re living the same life. πŸ™‚ Or very similar lives where we love our daughters with the ferocity of a mother bear but where we also need a little time, just a little, to ourselves, a moment where we’re not cleaning up a mess she made or reminding her not to pick at herself, or just appreciating a moment of quiet that isn’t leading to a moment of chaos.

  22. Tiff,
    Half the time I feel this way about my kids who look typical (although at least one looks typical but is not, in addition to Mr. “Hey sometimes I like having a disability, b/c EVERYONE at school knows me”). This week we had an infraction, a card flip, crying at school, several homework meltdowns, and an “I just can’t even discuss it right now,” placed squarely across all four children, both typical and not. Please take me to Italy with you.

  23. Yeah it does SUCK sometimes!

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