About three months ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to work from home.
18 hours a week, I am able to consult worried mommas and daddies from the comfort of my couch, bed, or front porch if I want.
I no longer have to pay for gas or have the urge-to-splurge at my fingertips to grab snacks or drinks on my way in to night clinic.
I get to have dinner, at home, with my family every night.
(something that I gave up over the 4 years that I worked night clinic)
Every single day, my house is clean... I do better at keeping up with the laundry and, in theory, I spend more time with the boys.
I get sappy, often, over the feelings of gratitude I have towards the company that I work for and the schedule they gave me.
But with every perk in life, there's a down side.
Simple things, like my self worth has been compromised at times.
(And by "compromised", I would say that it is on the same level as the pine-sol that I scrub floors with and the dirty diapers, today.)
I am constantly tired and it is rare that I put on makeup these days.
If it weren't for the 2 days that Maddox goes to school, I would probably live in my pajamas.
(Even the threat of dropping Maddox off at the same time as the ex, doesn't pressure me into dolling-up anymore...)
I am not depressed, as you might start to diagnose me-- for most days I am very happy and feel over-overwhelmingly blessed...
but sometimes a girl just needs to clear her head-- and needs a simple"chin up buttercup", so that's what I am doing here.
I have told you many times about my husband's [lack of] skills of affirmation, and though he has never been one to point out my mistakes or highlight my downfalls, he does not tell me that I am enough either.
So I need to talk it out.
Pacify me a moment, while I share what is on my mind.
I have secretly spent the last four years patting my own back for all that Maddox has mastered.
What I taught him.
Maddox walked into his 18 month appointment and counted 3 stars on the wall to Dr Hayward. I posted a video of the child on Youtube at 22 months identifying all of his letters in random order and he started reading the week after he turned 4.
In my mind, these things were all a representation of the mother that I am.
He has never pushed the boundaries and much like a piece of pipe cleaner, I have basically molded him into the little boy that I thought he should be, without much resistance.
Don't get me wrong, we have had our harder times with him, but in the big picture-- he has been easy to parent.
We started school this year for the social interaction and structure that MDO offered, not to learn.
He is already brilliant, I thought.
I work with him.
School, however, has been so amazing for us.
Not only is he learning so much every day, he understands things much better now and I see ideas "click" that I believed he originally had just memorized.
He sings songs about Jesus, and has open conversations with God, and in that alone, I know this program has been worth every penny.
I whole-heartedly believe that this particular school, with these 2 specific teachers, were handpicked for us.
You already know that I walked into the meet the teacher a babbling mess of tears, but every day since then, I have had nothing but great vibes and comforting thoughts as I drop him off.
Sometimes as I am walking back to my car, I thank God we got "that" class. Even though the other one is probably just as great, I love his teachers so much...and I believe that they are perfect for us.
At times, I wonder where he would be had I found this program sooner.
Did I hinder him by trying to be super-mom and being so against childcare for so long?
Is he really just right where all of the other 4 year olds are...
Was this never me at all?
So for that, his school has helped me realize that I am not the super-mom that I have thought I was... Maddox was just born a sponge and eager to learn.
Which is a rude awakening.
The one thing that I felt like I have mastered and excelled at, was really never me at all.
That's what's on my mind.
And then there's, Beckham. If this idea crossed my mind with Maddox, B nailed in the theory.
He has not only stripped me of my super-mom crown, he broke it into a million pieces and spread the jewels far and wide.
I should preface this by saying that I love this child to the millionth degree.
And when I say that he is more difficult to parent, I am not saying that he is bad.
Actually, many people have never seen him cry or act out at all.
He is sweet and lovable and funny...
But he is particular.
And much more reserved than his brother.
He is certainly not the pipe-cleaner that I know how to parent, but more the Popsicle stick-- capable of becoming an amazing piece of work-- but a completely new media to me.
A constant learning process.
Next week we go to his 18 month check up which is why my anxiety is on high-alert today.
I try to not get upset at his lack of verbal skills and I do my best not to compare him to Maddox.
I remind myself that he is mastering motor skills at a rate much quicker than Maddox did, and though he can not speak English, he has created his own system of communication and is verbal.
He understands everything, follows directions or commands with ease... but he can not talk.
He says four words.
"Momma" being the most recent, and "dipe-dipe" the only one that is not a family member's name.
I look through pictures and his eye-contact is so much less than Maddox's was.
I tell myself that they are different children.
I remind myself how much he laughs, and loves and how happy he is.
But then I see how resistant he is to anyone but Lance and I ... or my mom and David.
I find myself staring at the fact that he runs on his tiptoes and his gait is still very "in-toed".
I feel inadequate when he bites himself out of fury...
And Lance tells me "I know too much", when I am googling the fact that his top frenulum is attached, wondering if it is related to his delay in speech or a piece of a puzzle unbeknown to me.
I feel like the process of stopping breastfeeding took away a connection that soothed him, a bond that was beyond communication and words between he and I.
But he was 17 1/2 months for Pete's sake, and we were already keeping it under wraps from the non-nursers, for fear of being ridiculed.
Mostly, however, I feel like I am failing him.
Like I could be doing more.
I feel like this delay is my fault.
I feel like I have not taken advantage of this great work schedule that I was blessed with, and Maddox's 2 days a week at school to focus on him.
I am scolding myself for the hours that I spend on Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest that could have been making a difference... maybe?
I feel like I chose to go back to school during a very important time in his life, and maybe that too, has hindered him in some way.
But they're all important times... and he is just not the sponge that I was first given.
Honestly, I don't know that I will ever grade myself as "enough" in anything I do.
Especially my most important job of all.
I realize that my baby is happy and healthy, and for that I am grateful.
I know that there are real problems that mom's face much larger and more serious than my own.
And some kids just talk late.
But I am nervous about next week.
And I have many fears that will haunt me until that appointment.
I want to know that he is fine
...and I want to feel like I am enough for him.
So that's that.
That's what's on my mind.
And will be until Wednesday at 10:00.