Looking back at my earlier parenting years, I can (sort of) laugh about all the nights spent awake, asking trusted Google questions like “ How can I get my baby to sleep through the night” or, “My daughter isn’t walking yet, is this normal?”
I think about all the worry, over thinking, and stress that I endured, questioning if there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am here to say and I will say it LOUDLY that YES! There is hope!
To the mama whose baby wakes multiple times a night, to the mama who got the phone call that your kiddo hit another friend at school, and to the mama whose kiddo needs speech therapy or an IEP.
You will get through this. There is a light. And you will look back on those times with a sense of confidence, relief, and a little humor that at the time, those moments felt like the worst thing possible.
Many of you may not know this because you can’t see it just looking from the outside, but one of my daughters struggles with anxiety.
She has been on an IEP to help her in school when her anxiety increases and results in a shut down. During the initial stages of recognizing that she needed extra support while at school, I was on the HOT MESS express! I went through a multitude of emotions- fear, anxiety, worry, anger, and frustration. I felt so worried for my little kindergartner and how her anxiety would affect the rest of her school years, how it would affect her confidence, and her friendships.
We are now into the third year of her being on an IEP. She currently receives the lowest support possible to remain eligible, and she has had only one incident since this school year has started. She is THRIVING in all academic areas and her friendships continue to blossom. She is a typical, well-adjusted kiddo. While we do still see situations that her anxiety increases, we have been able to work through them.
The reason I am sharing this experience with you is to reassure you. To let you know that no matter the struggle you and your child may be facing right now, it will get better. I promise you this.
From worrying about developmental milestones, to wondering when you will ever get a full night’s sleep again, to dealing with a picky eater. These “problems” have a way of resolving themselves, and if they don’t and your child needs extra support (IEP, speech therapy, etc.), I promise, that will be ok too!
There was a time when I felt like my child being on an IEP was the worst thing ever. Now that we are beginning to talk about her not being on an IEP, I have fears about that.
You will get through this!
When you’re in the thick of the mess, it seems like you won’t make it through. It feels insurmountable, impossible. But then, gradually, you are able to look behind you and see how far you’ve come. Suddenly, the insurmountable has become possible. The thing you felt you couldn’t ever get through is behind you.
I am also here to say that “the kids are alright.” Despite feeling like a hot mess express during those early stages of her IEP development, Sophia kept on living life as she knew it! Even on a “bad” day, she was okay. Whatever trouble your kiddo may be experiencing right now, he/she is and will be alright!
I use the experience above as a reminder when the tough days come. Because they do come. And the self-doubt and worry creep in again. And then I remind myself how far we’ve come; we got through that experience and made it to the end. And when the next thing comes, we’ll do it all over again.
Because the kids are alright. And so are you mama!