Tag Archives: motherhood

Wanting What You Can’t Have

I’m reading this truly inspirational book, Women Food and God by Geneen Roth, and I’m finding something on each page to blog about. Seriously. Has anyone else read it yet?

I’ve struggled with my body image ever since I can remember and it seems I’ve been on a downward spiral about my looks for a while now. I picked up this book to, hopefully, help with that. It turns out that this book is about so much more than eating and weight and body image…especially if you’re looking.

One particular passage reads: “Hell is the lack of connection between the thought that she wants to eat the entire cake and the reality that eating the cake would send her into a diabetic coma. It’s not her eating that is killing her, it’s her refusal to accept her situation.” Now, I don’t have a problem with wanting to eat an entire cake. But I do have days where I would like a different situation. It’s true.

Days when Olivia accidentally pees on the couch and then throws her poopy diaper down the stairs only to have me step in it and then throws her macaroni and cheese all over the floor because it’s too hot and the dogs are barking incessantly because I’m not right there to let them in and Matty’s crying because he doesn’t like whatever’s on his plate and Gabe’s complaining that I didn’t cuddle with him long enough before bed and Matt’s been gone the entire day. Days like that. Where I want to be anywhere but my kitchen dealing with all of this crap. Days when if I had a genie in a bottle I’d use all 3 wishes to take the Cri du Chat away so she’d use the potty like a normal 9-year-old and eat her damn mac and cheese. Days when I just want normal. I don’t want stares, I don’t want questions, I don’t want another doctor appointment, I don’t want her to be who she is. And those days ARE absolute hell. To get caught up in that line of thinking is absolutely miserable. Because guess what? There’s no genie. She’s not going to be “fixed”. My life is not going to be “normal”.

But you know what else?

I’m ok with that. I have my day in Hell and then I get over it. I don’t dwell on the fact that my life is the way it is. Because can you imagine how awful it would be to spend every day wishing your life was different? That is Hell…and who would want that?

Here’s hoping today’s a normal day…and not a day in Hell.

Alone for the First Time

**To catch up on this Flashback Series, click the link at the top of the page**

Before She knew it, Monday morning came. He was student teaching and had to go back to work. She was going to be alone with Baby Girl for the first time since she was born 6 days earlier. She was still reeling from the diagnosis, let alone just learning how to be a Mom. But She could do it. He felt terrible that He had to leave; He didn’t want to go and leave his new baby or leave Her alone. But He had to.

The day before her father-in-law had stopped by with all the information he could find on the internet at the library. He was thrilled to be able to tell them that there was an 80-year-old woman in Australia with Cri du Chat. Apparently one could live longer than a year. Interesting. The doctor didn’t know everything apparently.

She was so unsure of what to do. She had this little girl with this syndrome and She knew Baby Girl would need extra help…but what should She do? The doctor hadn’t told her anything and this was completely uncharted territory and She surely did not know how to navigate it. Her Mom happened to have a friend whose son had Down Syndrome; Mom called her to see what she could find out. This angel of a woman told Mom to have Her call the local board of mental retardation first. They would be able to help Her navigate.

As soon as the clocked turned to 9 on that first alone morning, She called the board of mental retardation. She didn’t even know exactly what to say. When the woman on the other end answered, She just began to cry and tell Baby Girl’s story. The woman was so kind; she told Her she was brave and strong for calling so soon after Baby Girl’s diagnosis. They scheduled an appointment for Baby Girl to be evaluated in 4 weeks; until then, the woman encouraged Her to find support groups and to try to contact the national society for Baby Girl’s syndrome. With a plan, She felt slightly better. A little.

As the day went on, She fielded calls from well-wishers and extended family. She managed to get through them all; for some reason She couldn’t tell. She couldn’t get the words out to tell all of these people that there was something wrong with Baby Girl. They wouldn’t come out of Her mouth. So She faked Her way through the phone calls and pretended as if everything was ok.

Later in the day when Baby Girl finally slept, She decided to brave the internet. It was 2001 so the internet was still fairly new, but there was still quite a bit of information out there. She searched for Cri du Chat. The first website that came up was written by a woman who had given her baby up for adoption after finding out the baby had the syndrome. The woman felt guilty but was sure that this was the right decision because she couldn’t possibly raise a baby with such severe needs. That was not was this woman signed up for in life.

The second website she clicked on was about a little boy with the syndrome. He wore a helmet; he couldn’t do much; his Mom went on and on about all of the things he couldn’t do; she also included many details about his inability to eat and how he would bang his head against the wall all day long.

She lost it. She started sobbing uncontrollably. She dialed Mom.

“I can’t do it. I can’t be Baby Girl’s Mom. I can’t. I’m not strong enough. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…” She said.

“I’ll be right there,” Mom said.

Mom came right over after taking the afternoon off from work; Mom held Her while She cried and helped with Baby Girl and tried to assure Her that She could indeed be Baby Girl’s mom. She could do it. She had to.

That day, She decided that if there was ever a time when She felt better and stronger, She would make a website of some kind. She had no idea how anyone made a website but someday She would figure it out. At that moment She knew that someone had to put some positive information out there. This journey couldn’t possibly be all negative. There was, after all, a Baby Girl here on this Earth who was beautiful and who was loved. That was positive and that would be what She would write about someday.

Mommy Tip Monday

I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but I’ve been told quite a few times that I have good ideas. Who knew? So I thought I’d share them with you. I’m going to shoot for once a week…but we’ll see how it goes!! (Mapsgirl, if you’re out there, I think I see another button in my future! 🙂 )

Some of my ideas are not original; I get the ideas from magazines or other blogs, etc. I promise to give credit!! I just know it’s nice to not have to hunt for new ideas sometimes…and to know if they work!

I’ve shared with you Daddy Dollars and Gabe’s Checklist
and notes in lunchboxes.

My tip for today is very simple, yet you’d be surprised at how often my friends say “Wow! What a great idea!” even though it’s so easy. Because mornings are insane and we barely have a minute to spare to get everyone out the door, I keep a set of toothbrushes and toothpaste for everyone downstairs…even one for me. Because I swear if I had to go upstairs and get everyone’s toothbrush and paste in the morning? We’d never brush our teeth. That’s the honest truth. This saves a few minutes and definitely my sanity. Good idea, right?

**If you have a tip you’d like to share on Mommy Tip Monday, send me an email at ttownsend@bex.net and I’ll put you on!!**