This is a sweet mama’s guest writings. I wanted her to remain anonymous. These are raw feelings. They are hard feelings. They may even be ugly to you, but she is strong.
Okay, if you’re my age, you’ll need to clear the 80’s Cher song out of your head and get ready for some brutal honesty. We are taught to be honest from a young age but everyone tells little white lies on occasion, especially to themselves. Maybe it’s as simple as telling yourself there are no calories in your own birthday cake, or maybe it’s something bigger. Being honest with oneself, then putting that self-realization out there, is scary stuff. Women, particularly Moms, can be harsh to each other…there’s so much judgement about everything from breast vs. bottle, cloth vs. disposable, stay-at-home Mom vs. work-outside-the-home Mom, etc. As Christ-followers, we are called to love each other as Christ loved us, which means supporting one another and praying for each other even when our first instincts may be to judge.
All of that said, here I sit, exposing to you my truth: If I could Turn back time, and choose a different path than motherhood, I might. You’ll need some backstory to full understand… You see, I didn’t always want kids. In fact, it wasn’t until my early 30s that I really thought “ok, let’s do this.” I met a man I thought I loved, my biological clock was ticking, and so we got married and had a baby, S. His dad and I had problems early on but after going through counseling felt we were on the right track and so had another baby, P, when S was still under two. When P was one, I moved out and the boys’ dad and I were officially separated. Fast forward to now, I am happily remarried with two stepdaughters added to our brood.
By now you’re wondering, where is this going? Why would she possibly regret motherhood? Well, S is probably on the autism spectrum (what they used to call Asperger’s Syndrome). So now you’re thinking, that’s not enough, surely there’s more!? Nope. That’s it. I know tons of families live with Children on the spectrum 24/7 but I only have my sons 50-60% of the time and I am EXHAUSTED. Now I’ve really lost your sympathy, right? Well, that’s ok because I’m not looking for sympathy, or pity. This is not me saying “woe is me.” Again, this is me being honest with myself and you. If I could do it over again, I’m not sure I would.
People tell me God gave me my children because I am uniquely qualified to be their mother. While I want so desperately to believe that, I’m struggling. In fact, I feel decidedly UNqualified because the truth is I don’t know how to parent S. I don’t know how to maintain my patience with him, like when he becomes unwaveringly fixated on a game or a toy. I’m finding that the lack of mental health services (aka “help”) for children in this area is deplorable. One of S’s prevailing issues is that he has aggressive and violent meltdowns, during which I have to physically restrain him. When that happens, I want to cry and abandon all hope. I often think to myself, “I didn’t sign up for this.” On a really bad day, I wonder how much money it would take for me to disappear to some island somewhere, never to be found again. I know it sounds awful, but unless you’ve laid on top of your 7 year-old while he curses at you, tries to hurt you, and wishes himself (and you) dead, you can’t possibly understand.
So there you have it… If I could turn back time, I might. Before you start judging me too harshly, I want to clarify that it’s not really because of S. It’s not all bad. Sometimes, he spontaneously hugs me or shares with his brother. Those moments are blissful. No, it’s not him, it’s me. I feel that certainly there is someone out there better suited to be his mom. Someone who never raises her voice, never loses her temper, prays more, plays more. I simply don’t feel adequate. I want desperately to understand him and what goes on in his head, but can’t. I want to be the mom he deserves, but am lacking. I pray for wisdom. I pray for answers. I pray for real help. All are unanswered as of yet. God chose me for this “labor of love,” but I just can’t help but wonder why.