“IN THE WEEDS”

The season of our son requiring everything of me isn’t going to end anytime soon. In fact, he will need me to tie his shoes year after year. He will need me to change his diapers or help with toileting forever. He will require supervision always. He won’t move out and move on. Frankly, I’m going to be in the weeds forever.And let me tell you, it can be a lonely, scary and overwhelming place.

I recently read an article where the writer was a mom of young kids and her life revolved around them.

She was apologizing to her friends for not replying to e-mails and texts because she was “in the weeds.” She was too busy looking after her little ones, who required so much of her that she was no longer a reliable friend. She suggested to her friends that her situation wouldn’t last forever. My immediate thought was: Mine will!

Early mornings and sleepless nights

The season of our son requiring everything of me isn’t going to end anytime soon. In fact, he will need me to tie his shoes year after year. He will need me to change his diapers or help with toileting forever. He will require supervision always. He won’t move out and move on. Frankly, I’m going to be in the weeds forever.

And let me tell you, it can be a lonely, scary and overwhelming place. I know every mother has been here. You’ve been exhausted from countless sleepless nights or worried about an illness going around your house or community. You’ve been pulled in every direction known to man and have no time for yourself. You go to bed too late and wake up counting the hours until bedtime. You’ve had to cancel an event that you’ve looked forward to all week because of a sick kid. But, for parents like me, the weeds are where we live.

I’m not the only one here

One thing I can say about being here is that although it can be extremely lonely, I know I’m not alone. Every moment I feel grief wash over me, I know another mother is feeling the same. Every second I feel out of place or that I don’t belong, I know there’s a mom who gets it. When the day is long and I’m tired of fighting for what our son deserves I can hear another mom telling me “You got this.” When I’m feeling so isolated and exhausted that I start crying while wiping the crumbs off of my stove, I know that sadly there’s another mom sitting on her bathroom floor crying with me. Every dream I let go of I know another mom has done the same. I know I’m not alone in the weeds and, oddly enough, that brings me some comfort.

Tears of joy

Another thing about the weeds. There’s joy. And a lot of it. I know that every moment I’m pushing our son to be stronger there’s another mom enduring hours of appointments to achieve another goal. Every time I’m over the moon about something seemingly insignificant I know without a doubt there’s another mom crying tears of joy with me. Every smile is catalogued into my memory. Every giggle is recorded in my mind. No moment is wasted or taken for granted, and I know with every fibre of my being that there are other moms who feel the exact same way. There are far too many moms who know that each and every day is a gift.

You may be here. You might be in the weeds too. It may be a short visit or a lifetime. But just know that I’m here. You aren’t alone. I’ll be here, with you, for a while.

Melissa Schlemmer is a mother of three boys, a blogger and an advocate for children with special needs. Her youngest son has a rare metabolic condition called PMM2-CDG.

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