Trying to figure out how to be the best mama for your kids can be a daunting and never ending task. There is not a guide book, and it is the only job you will ever have that you truly figure it out as you go, figure out what works for your family, your kids and what works for you. Each child is different and has their own set of needs, likes and dislikes. The hardest thing for a Type A planner person like me is the constant adjustment and changing of parenting, deciding what works and what doesn’t for their ever changing little needs.
It seems like the moment you have it all figured out, it changes. You have tried 8 different brands of bottles and finally found the magic one that they will take for you, and then they decide oh heck no mama I’m ready for the fast flow nipple, bring it on. Or you have finally figured out the exact way to swaddle your infant like a damn origami bird to get them to sleep and then they decide they want to wake up for cluster feeding anyways. You finally have time to finish reading the “How to Get your Newborn to Sleep Through the Night” book on their 3rd birthday. Taking mental notes for if we have another one. It is hard to feel like you are succeeding at completing something when it is always a moving target and changing. But despite all the parenting ups and downs when you look at their eyes as they say, “I love you mommy” you know you are doing damn well. Even though you feel like you haven’t mastered you “normal” of what works for your family, love is the foundation to that.
When having a child with medical needs the hardest adjustment is coming home from the hospital, being suddenly overwhelmed by the extra tasks, doctor appointments, insurance phone calls and everyday life, all while just trying to love on your baby. Your living room has taken on the appearance of a Babies“R”Us store that collided with a hospital supply room. All of this is happening as you attempt to adjusting to your new “normal”. But what is normal anyways? Normal for you could be eating dinner at promptly 5:00pm and normal for the other family could be 7:30pm dinner time after playing outside all evening. Normal is what works for you, normal is what keeps your family content, what gives your children a sense of home, its just a different version of controlled chaos.
For our family it is Wednesday nights. Wednesday nights we do our daughter’s weekly infusions. Quick Side Note: Because of her Hypogammaglobulinemia (Hypogam for short) she gets infused with IGG, which are antibodies to help her body be protected against infection. The antibodies are all from donor plasma, so get out there and donate plasma people! You can help lots of people 🙂 Her brother knows and she does too, that Wednesday we get to eat dinner while watching a family movie (GASP! Screen time before bed?? YES. Yes we do sometimes). It is a family affair of her brother helping to hand me the band-aids, she gets to pull the tape off the tegaderm and daddy singing silly songs to help distract when needed. The whole process takes about an hour and a half to 2 hours start to finish. She is so brave and with all that our family has gone through with being separated during hospital stays we take any opportunity we can to feel like a family. Even if it is sitting together between a biohazard sharps container. That is our new normal, that is our controlled chaos.
I’m sure a time will come that we will need to adjust again, to find a new normal, because that is what life is about. Evolving and changing but still remembering that despite the chaos of parenting and life; knowing what really matters. Love. Those little eyes looking up at you saying, “I love you mommy” Because in their eyes your are the best, you are their foundation. So if you are in the middle of adjusting to your new normal, wether is be adding a new baby to the family, bringing home a baby from the NICU, potty training, or even sleep training please be patient, be kind to yourself. Take that time to just breathe, truly breathe, be present, and remember that this is temporary, it will all change again.