Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oh, The Guilt!

Guilt...it is all part of parenting. Whether you have a child with special needs or not. For me the guilt involves not spending enough individual time with each child, not reading enough to them, letting them watch too much TV, not being involved in more activities, and generally just being a lousy mom. The guilt involved in parenting Grace involves all of those and more. There is the feeling that I'm not doing everything I can for her. Is she participating in the right kinds of therapies, are we seeing the right doctors, do I have the right equipment, am I doing the right thing by putting her in main stream school?

One of Grace's therapist frequently tries to absolve me of some of this guilt. It not so much that I voice that I feel guilty, but he can tell by the million questions I always ask that I am wondering...am I doing enough...am I doing the right things. No matter how many times he tells me "Jacolyn, you are doing so much more that most parents even attempt to do. You are doing everything you can and should for Grace", I don't think I'll ever feel adequate. I will probably always blame myself if she never walks or has no self confidence or isn't happy. How can I love someone so much and fail them so miserably.

God, be my guide.

As for me, I will call upon God,
and the Lord shall save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.
He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me.
Psalm 55:16-18

9 comments:

BusyLizzyMom said...

I hate guilt it plagues me by the minute. The things you are doing for Grace puts me to shame and the fact that you do this with 2 other little ones makes me want to crawl under a rock. Seeing all that you do for Grace inspires me to do more for Elizabeth and has led me to finding new treatments for Elizabeth (CE is a good example).
You are an amazing mom.

twinmama said...

Oh yeah...I hear you loud and clear. There is an endless stream of possible things to do and explore, and things to feel badly about.

And when the therapists say that we as parents can make such an impact on our kids' potential, that just makes it worse. Because then I say to myself, "OK, so then the more I do, the more Hannah will be able to do. So I have to do more, more, more!"

All I can say is, be gentle with yourself and remember that a mother's love in and of itself is an amazing therapy.

Kelly said...

Oh Jacolyn! You have broken my heart. We all do the very best we can and it is obvious that you do that and more. No matter the picture 5, 20, 35 years from now, whether she can walk or any other difficult obstacles that she might face, there will be NO doubt about the love you share together. And the love that exists among you, her, Mack, Sophie and Abe.

Love is a wonderful thing and heals the soul.

I hope you can push that awful guilt to the side and relish in the love that your family has. It is impressive!

Praying for you tonight!
:) Kelly

Anonymous said...

When they take the baby(s) out they insert guilt! I am convinced of that. Guilt to me is a sign that you love those little ones so much that you would do anything for them. That in itself is not horrible. What is horrible is how guilt can beat you down and break your spirit. We Moms will never get it perfect....all we can do is the best we can each day and extend grace to ourselves.

I love you.
Marcy

Jackie said...

To quote TwinMoma... "...remember that a mother's love in and of itself is an amazing therapy." and you love those babies well.

But take it from a mother who tried... you can't be everything to them - that's GOD'S place. There will always be MORE you can do if you are leaving their world up to you, but they will get everything they need when you leave their world up to Him. You MUST rest... and you know where to go for that.

Matthew 11:28 (The Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

And you will teach your children to live freely & lightly - which is the best gift you can give them, not matter what they face.

I love you.

Melissa said...

You are an amazing mother!! Enough said...

Anonymous said...

It is not uncommon for all mothers to feel some guilt about their children and the time they spend with them. You can only do what you can do, and you have done an amazing job. Grace is a lucky little girl, and we are lucky to have her.
Love you,
Ni

Dumuro said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kathryn said...

Am right there with you! I have been feeling exactly as you describe in the first paragraph this last month. I feel almost a lot of panic like I am not doing right by Ellie because she is not in hippotherapy yet, and I have not been able to find special needs swimming lessons, and on and on...

sigh.

However, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do it all. And I think the fact that you love Grace so much and she knows it will heal her more than anything else. You are a great mom!