Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Super Mom I'm Not

This is my first time posting to this blog, so bear with me. Its just that this topic has been weighing heavy on my mind lately and it hit a chord on my blog, so I thought I'd share. -------

Scattered. Space Cadet. Flake. These are all terms I'm sure have been used to describe me. Maybe because over the years I've backed out of more than my fair share of commitments. Its gotten so bad that I now run when I see a well-intended parent seeking volunteers for some good cause.

Its not that I have a fear of commitment, its just that I can never commit. If I do, the Murphy's Law that is my life automatically kicks in and all hell breaks loose. Either there's a meltdown, a rage, sheer exhaustion or all of the above involved. Lets face it, these tend to get in the way of making 100 cupcakes for the school play.

Then I'm left to make that awkward phone call telling the nice organizer I can't do whatever it is I'm supposed to do. This is followed by the equally awkward silence or heavy sigh as the person on the other end of the phone expresses their obvious displeasure with me.

Its during these times that I really wish I could scream at the top of my lungs, "Don't you get it, I have REAL problems here." But since I don't make a point of advertising our situation, there's no way for those in the outside world to know. To them I look like any other mom -- one with messy hair, more than a few extra pounds and no make-up yes, but pretty average all the same.

So, how do I keep getting myself into this situation? Because deep down I want to help. I'd like to be the one helping others instead of the one accepting it all the time. In my dreams I fancy myself the room mom, the cookie mom, the church volunteer. Then my kids could remember their mom as the one who was always involved, always there to lend a helping hand, instead of the one too harried to brush her teeth.

The solution? I have a few ideas brewing. I'm toying with the idea of sporting a sign that reads something like: DANGER: SPECIAL NEEDS MOM. APPROACH WITH CAUTION. Or maybe I can just hand out cards describing our present catastrophe. The problem is, after reading a few lines of what our average day is like, I'm not sure anyone will believe me.

That's what happens when you have children with hidden disabilities. They "look" normal, and for the most part can act normal too. So even if you do 'fess up, many people will look at you in total disbelief. Then starts the minimization. "Oh, it can't be that bad." Or, "honey, all kids go through that phase."

So I think the next Super Mom who corners me in the parking lot asking if I could "be a dear and....." will just be given a link to this blog. Maybe then she'll find a little empathy for my scattered brain. If nothing else, it will give me a good exit so I can wallow in my flakiness in peace.

I am the mother of four children -- a teenager, a toddler and tween twins. My twins both have their "issues", one with Asperger's Syndrome and Bipolar, the other with Bipolar and ADHD. This means our house is anything but quiet and reserved. I also write a blog, Raising Complicated Kids,that chronicles our experience with our not-so-average family.