It is easy to write about the “champion mommy” moments. Fortunately I’ve had enough of them not to be devastated by another crop of moments, most mommies don’t care to share. The sad, inadequate, moment of truth moments such a the following…
Charlotte came to me after she got home from school to say “you’re not taking care of me enough Mommy because Chris and Bess are little and Nick has a cast and you’re not taking care of me.” Wow! Horror! Sadness! Then I seriously realized how amazing it was for a six year old to be so expressive about her feelings and needs. Am I thinking this to make myself feel better… Maybe but it’s true!
I knew she was feeling left out. I had tried taking her on errands with me and snuggling more but sometimes it is not enough and she let me know it. She didn’t act out or be mean to her siblings. She talked and cried and I held her. When her crying let up enough so that she could hear me, I apologized and reassured her as best I could.
It is not easy for the siblings of children with differences. Right now Nicholas is getting additional attention. How could he not? But that means I also have to work harder to make sure his siblings’ needs are met too! I can do more for Charlotte. I will take more time with her doing the little things. I will pull her closer and hope that is enough. I won’t be taking her shopping to try to buy some happiness. I will simply do better.
As parents, it’s not easy to admit when we’ve missed the mark but we have to be observant and willing to act on what we see. Even when that means modifying our own behavior and saying “I’m sorry”, instead of blaming the child and making excuses. Maybe it’s a different kind of way to be a champion mommy after all.