Mothering When Your Well is Empty

Mothering when your well is empty

“I am touched out!” Raise your hand if you’ve expressed those words before. I have both of mine raised. There have been far too many times when I just CANNOT. The kids demanded two different dinners, so you made three because you need to eat, too. Then they decided that whatever you so humbly made them is inedible by the time it arrives to their plates. So you passed out bowls of yogurt and Goldfish because there’s no way you will make another meal. Why are these tiny humans so unreasonable?!

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I’m giving myself three months to manage my mental health without medication.

Self-care can look different for each of us.

Two experiences with postpartum mood disorders, antenatal mood disorders and now situational depression. I’m a parent of two young children on the autism spectrum and realized that I am likely on the spectrum as well. I never anticipated that mental health would play such a large role in my life. But here I am, finally tapered off of a medication that caused an allergic reaction. Two other drugs ruled out due to the level of side effects that I experienced. My doctor and I have agreed on this – I’m giving myself three months to manage my mental health without medication.

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Navigating the Next Step

Navigating the Next Steps

Some families are baking holiday cookies, going sledding or enjoying vacation together. We’re over here navigating the next step to take in getting Baby Jo some help. How did we get here? I’m feeling melancholy tonight. I wouldn’t change my children for the world, but I also wish that things were easier for both of them.

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Bedtime

Bedtime

Do you ever say the same thing so many times that the words begin to sound odd? This happens to me most nights at around the same time. Bedtime. It’s that magical time when my children run around like wild animals and pretend I don’t exist. Sometimes I spend two hours trying to get these little animals from chasing each other in circles to asleep in their beds.

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Déjà Vu

Deja Vu

There is a two-year-old who is eliminating foods from their diet. They are showing a preference only for crunchy textures. This two-year-old is not eating enough food, getting thinner, lacking energy and constantly saying they are tired. Preferring to be alone instead of with others, this toddler has begun not to notice us every time we talk to them, reduce eye contact and spend large amounts of time playing independently. This toddler is lining up items into neat rows. To my surprise, they are covering their ears at sounds that I do not perceive to be remotely loud. The meltdowns are terrible. It’s a guarantee that the meltdowns will occur when we are trying to leave home, but they often happen in stores and as we get into the car. This two-year-old is unable to leave home without a toy in each hand and throws their body to the ground whenever things don’t go exactly their way.

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“Cuddle Me, Mommy.”

Cuddle Me, Mommy

Historically speaking, Baby Jo hasn’t been much for cuddles. She would push me away as a baby and later ran away from me as a toddler. In those rare moments she actually wanted a little cuddle time, she preferred her daddy. Baby Jo was just 3 months old when C had his first hospitalization. I felt like my attention was unevenly divided for most of her life as a result of her brother’s medical needs. The weight of that guilt dragged me down for years. It still bothers me a bit, even though I know I tried my very best.

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