Monday, November 12, 2012

What's on my mind...

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 stubborn.
And hot-tempered.
And independent.
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.
Being mommy.

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.


  1. Holly,
    I read every blog you send me and love them, but some of them make me sad. Sad that you are so hard on yourself. You are the best mommy I know, the mommy that other mommies should aspire to be. Maddox is his own little man and always has been. Beckham is as well. He is just different from Maddox just as you are different from Lance.
    Lance is also a great daddy and in my opinion, a very good person. He loves you, you can see it in his eyes when he watches you tell one of you funny stories. I will always remember the song he had played at the end of your wedding ceremony. "My Brown Eyed Girl". I cried like a girl...hey...I may be almost 73 on the outside, but I'm still a girl inside.

    Just talk to Beckham's doctor about his reluctance to talk. I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with his ability he just doesn't want to talk right now...and he has Maddox to do his talking for him, why should he bother. It may very well be his frenulum, I don't really know what that is. Is it the little piece of skin that connects the top lip to the upper gums or is it the little piece of skin that connects the tongue to the bottom of his mouth? Educate me!
    I know when your dad was born the doctor had to clip that piece of skin because it grew out to the end of his tongue and when he cried, his tongue was pulled down in the middle and up on both sides. The doctor said it would affect his speech later on if he didn't clip it.

    You are so smart I know you will figure out a way to help Beckham get those words out and then it will be...why mommy, why mommy, why mommy. I know right now that would be sounds from Heaven. I remember when I used to pick you and Weeder up at Hansel and Gretel in White Settlement and take you home with me for the night, I would call out the words Weeder needed to study for home work and before he could tell me how they were spelled, you would jump right in and spell them. He never got upset with you, he would just say, "She is so smart" and he really, really meant it. Hold that to your heart when you think you aren't smart and trust your big brother. He is so trustworthy.

    I just had to send Maddox' remarks about "voting for Mitt" to all of my friends. I told them I am starting a "Maddox Says" instead of a "Maxine Says" e-mail. I even sent it to my "Democrap" friends. They know who they are!!!

    But don't get me started on politics...this mess with the cover up in Benghazi, Petraeus, Iranians shooting at US drone and now the trash coming out about the part about FBI played in it all, makes it easy to understand why those four American's pleas for help were ignored, they were all probably playing footsie with their girl friends while the Embassy was being attacked. I said don't get me started on politics!!! I'm still so mad I could spit about the 'rigged' election and I feel it was rigged! God Bless america...she needs it so bad.

    I love you Holly and if I can help you with anything, give me a call.


    PS...I know money is tight right now for everyone, so please, please take whatever you planned to spend on Mike and I at Christmas and buy something for those two boys. That would please me so much. Just buy them something, wrap it up and bring it to my house on Christmas Eve. It will be the best present you could possibly bring us. Tell Weeder and Randi we want the same thing from them, because Mike and I don't need a single thing.

  2. I agree with your nana that you are an AMAZING mom!! As I was reading your description of how you felt you were super mom with Maddox and then beckham ripped off your crown I wanted to laugh and cry bc that's a perfect description if how I felt. But you still have that crown!! You are great!! I have never been around beckham and been concerned at ALL with anything. I was talking to joe last night and telling him I have really got to stop putting so much pressure on myself. I think that'd be a good plan for both of us!! I understand your concern but I also feel deep in my soul that beckham is perfectly fine. And, you are the best mom for that little boy! For both of them!! He's just made out of a little thicker material and will be harder to mold! I bend Katie until I'm black and blue.....not molded yet!

    I love you : )

    Btw, I'm also a really good speller. We should have a contest one day. ; )

  3. HOLLY! I don't even know what to say to you. I read your blogs and things posted on Facebook, and the pictures on Instagram and I aspire to be YOU! You are extremely hard on yourself and everyone else looking in thinks you are a God send. I am in the same situation as you are with Cori and Levi. Before Cori was 2 years old I have a video of her in the back seat reciting the entire alphabet. poor Levi.....He is way different than her, and I accept that. He is a completely different person. Yes, sometimes I wonder if I worked harder with Cori (and in reality, I probably did...there was only 1 kid at the time) but I don't beat myself up over not doing the exact same for Levi. I know that we BOTH go above and beyond for our kids. There are some kids that have NO concept of letters, numbers, shapes, colors or learning until the first day of Kindergarten. They are usually just as smart as everyone else. Beck still has plenty of time to catch up to his big brother, besides....Maddox is exceptional....Beck definitely has some HUGE shoes to fill following his bubba's footsteps. There is not a single bit of doubt that Beck is a perfectly normal little boy, you just have super Maddox to compare him to.

    You is Kind.
    You is Smart.
    You is Important.

    xoxo - Chin Up Momma!!

    PS, I loved the post from your Nana! What a sweet lady. You can tell just by her words that she thinks the world of you! I loved the story of you spelling your brother's spelling words before he had a chance!! I am a HORRIBLE speller! Maybe, you and Amanda can give me some spelling lessons!

  4. You ARE super mom! I look at the way you love your boys and how proud you are of them and hope that I am the same way with my girls. Your Nana is right when she says other mothers aspire to be like you!

    Like everyone else has mentioned, Maddox is just exceptionally smart - you know that. Your boys are not the same person, that doesn't mean that one is more brilliant than the other. Their talents are just different. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to let it bother you. He is still so little, you will have plenty of time to turn him into another genius. I will say a prayer for you to get your answers at B's appointment so that you will have a little stress relief. I know you need it!

    Just keep listening to your Nana. She knows what's up!!!

  5. Thank you all for the encouragement! I really, really needed it and appreciated it more than you know.
    (and thanks for the sweet texts from other friends and family too)

    I did a lot of crying today but I decided to let myself... and tomorrow I am going to pick up my pieces and move forward.
    In my heart, I know that he is fine... but I was born with worry in my blood and the need to control everything.

    But God is in control, not me.
    And tomorrow, I will faithfully move forward with this motto.

    Today we tried to have a family-fun day, watching the cattle drive in the stockyards and then a trip to Target, but wouldn't you know a 2 year old started talking French to Beckham... and then translated it back to English.
    He just sucked on his cup and looked at her like, "carry on...."
    But like any good mom, I pulled her hair, spanked her and tripped her mom.
    That's a lie... but I did cry into a pair of gloves and them hung them back on the rack... because, you know, I am not in the market for gloves right now. :)

    And I cried in the bathroom of Riskey's. And sobbed to Amanda too.

    But Nana is right, I really did have the best big brother, and I think Maddox is just like him in that respect. I can blame a lot of the non-talking to a helpful, always anticipating the wants of, and sweet big sibling.

    And all the rest is in God's timing.

  6. Hol- I feel like I was reading MY story there.
    Spencer could sing row row row your boat at 12 months.
    Started recognizing letters at 14-15 months and new alphabet and sounds/ random recognition before 2. I too thought: I'm good! But that thinking has made me feel like you (failing with #2) because I think it was all because of me and that means Stella's slower speech development was due to my lack of focus on it with her. But a lot of it is the child. A lot like my post the other day about Stella... I realize that spencer will not be the "nurturer" she will definitely be, or ever be able to learn choreography like her (she had vbs song motions down at 13 months lol)! That counts right?!?! Our world needs a variety of "building supplies" and if we were all pipe cleaners who will do all the bending an molding? Our strong willed #2s that's who ;) I also think that they are each blessings given to help mold and change us, understand different personalities and be considerate of others with different learning styles than ourselves. Just take comfort in knowing that B will not be a follower and willwl stand up for what he believes! -Jenna

  7. You are a wonderful mom! I read your beautiful posts and wish I could write like you, I see you wonderful pictures and think why do I not have pictures of my kids like you do.
    I have found with each child I have become more relaxed. With my first one I worked with her all the time because I HAD the time. With my second I did the best I could but really I was tired and he did not pick up stuff like my first had. With my third I had no energy and she was so stubborn...everything is done in her time not mine. I hate to admit it but I really did not even read her books before bed becuase I was done at bedtime. She started kindergarten this year and is doing fine.
    Thinking of you~

  8. I love what your Nana wrote. She is beautiful and wise!

    I have also cried in many public bathrooms. Sometimes you just don't have it all out yet, and it happens where it happens.

    I just love you, your heart, your spirit, your truth. You inspire ME. You are one of the best mamas that I know. Like you said earlier today, you gave it all over to God, and I hope that has helped you some. It's hard. Life is hard. When it comes to our children, our hearts can rejoice, but when they break, they REALLY break.

    You are doing everything you can, and you are loving your babies with all of your heart. Everything will be ok, I hope you know that with all of your being. Please don't fret or worry. Jesus I trust in YOU!


  9. you are a really great mom! we are always the hardest on ourselves and because being a mother is your most important job you tend to be more critical of yourself when it comes to your babies. i know how you feel, wyatt only says momma and dadda and moo's like a cow. it is a little heartbreaking when you hear of other kids their age saying a lot more or even on command. i just tell myself i bet they cant throw a ball as good as wyatt can or take a toy apart and put it back together like he can :) hang in there, your doing a great job, both your boys are loved and they love you just as much if not more!! ~leslee

  10. You are so much more than enough! You are a great mom! Parenting is so hard when it is done right!