Sunday, August 14, 2011

I don't want to be my child's therapist all of the time

I’m constantly researching new ways to help Jacob learn.  I watch videos on therapies and read books. I have started to notice that I can’t even be in the same room with Jacob without evaluating him.  I watch how he looks at me or how he is reacting to his daddy or brother.  I see if certain sounds make him scared or if certain songs I sing make him look at me for longer than a second.  I went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese the other day and there was a 9 month old baby there and I was watching her clap her hands and smile at her mommy.  I found myself comparing every detail to Jakey.  I always find myself comparing.  In the nursery at church I watch all the younger babies looking at their mommies when they come pick them up.  It’s hard.  I want Jacob to look at me like that.  I want to say clap or patty cake and for him to just clap.  But that never happens.  The more and more I learn the more I try to be his therapist all day long.  It’s grueling and defeating.  I think I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to be his therapist all day.  I want to work with him, of course, but I think I am going to have to draw the line some where or I am going to go nuts.  I can’t be therapist and mommy.  I have to learn to stop over thinking, over evaluating, over working him and sometimes just be loving mommy, but even saying that I feel like if I’m not working at it every minute with him then I am letting him down.  They say that therapists work through play, but as a mom I know it’s not entirely so.  The way I play with my kids isn’t with constant reinforcement and constant repetition, its just being silly and loving and pretending.  So where do I draw the line?  When do I turn therapist off and mommy on?  That’s my question.  What do you do moms out there?  How do you ever stop thinking about it for even a minute?  I just wonder when and how this will get emotionally easier.  Every song at church makes me cry, every commercial with “normal” kids makes me cry, and every time I see a baby younger than Jacob and meeting milestones I think of Jacob and just feel so sad.  Today in church we studied Psalm 42 and that during every tragedy God is with you, and that God either allowed it to happen or caused it to happen for reasons that most of us could never understand.  Additionally, God loves us.  God is not malicious.  He has a purpose for all of this.  I get that.  Even before I got Jacob’s diagnosis I knew that God would do what he wanted with our family and I trusted that.  I still trust God.  It gave me reassurance to know that other followers of Christ can be hurting and sad and still love God and trust God.  I think that’s what I was feeling guilty about for a while.  Does my sadness mean that I don’t trust God?  No.  God allows us to be sad or hurting.  The thing that is so awesome is that God is always with us during these tragedies.  He will never leave me.  I will continue to trust that He is doing what’s best even though I don’t understand it.  It gives me peace to know that God loves me and He is right here with me every step of the way.  Today I have to also include that while playing patty cake for the bazillionth time Jacob actually kept his hands together when I let go after clapping them for him.  This was a huge step because usually he immediately pulls his hand apart like I was hurting him or something.  Additionally, he has found a new way to communicate with me.  When I swing him and I stop his swinging he kicks his legs at me to tell me to swing him more.  Its so cute.  He never looks at me or implies he wants anything except reaching for the bottle and finally he was trying to tell me something.  Very cool.  Baby steps....

1 comment:

  1. Allison, this blog is a blessing to me (and others reading it) for the reminders and the examples of Faith "through it all". I hope it continues to bless you as well, as you described in your explanation of why you've started the blog; clarification and alignment with God's Word. Your posts are sermons that feed my weak places and make them stronger.

    Today you have such a strong point, balancing and separating the therapist role and being Jakey's Mommy. I think you have spotlighted a very important issue, and as I read it, I applauded you in my heart. I will pray. Knowing your specific struggles helps me and reminds me to pray, so even when it must be so difficult, thank you for writing what is on your heart. We love you so much, and we feel helpless also. Being let into your struggles helps us, and I know it is miniscule compared to your experiencing them.

    I love you and continue to be in awe of your strength in the face of this challenge.