November 12, 2015

Dear Self: You're Good Enough

Since M2's diagnosis, we've had so much going on around here. Life has recently taken another turn that's had us getting used to a new normal. At the advice of her current therapists, I started the process to get her an EDCD Medicaid waiver in order to get an in-home aide to help out with her. I struggled with the decision to get the waiver and an aide. I struggled with whether or not I was a good enough mom because I needed help with her.


It simply is impossible to go out alone with her and baby B, she either runs off down the street when I try to get her in the car, gets in the car but then jumps into the front then into the back when I try to grab her, runs off where ever we go plus in the parking lot, takes off down the street when we get home or some combination of those. On really bad days, she screams getting into the car, kicks the seat, and screams bloody murder and kicks the seat as hard as she can at any stop sign or light. Not to mention all that goes on once we get to where ever we're going. We can't even go for walks because of these issues.


There are no playgroups, trips to the park, going to church to meet people and get involved with the community, story times or ANYTHING unless A is home. With his schedule, that limits much of those activities. M2 also can't be left for more than a moment at home so getting anything done, even cooking dinner, is a Herculean effort that is usually an impossibility. Even taken care of baby B is difficult. Eyes must be on her at all times. For days each week, M2, B and I end up trapped in the house, even limited as to what we can do there, because it's just not an option for me to have to decide whether to leave baby B and chase M2 or let M2 run off.


Despite all this, I still had that internal struggle. I always feel like I should be able to do everything myself. I'm a stay-at-home mom, my job is to take care of the kids. I shouldn't be needing someone else to help us out. To have an aide would mean I'm not good enough. That I'm not what I should be. Plus, the idea of having a stranger in the house didn't sit well with me. I had the idea in my head that the house would always have to look perfect, I'd have to be dressed and I'd always have to be on top of my game at the peak of perfection to prove I'm a good mom. Plus, would the aide think I'm just a bad mom who can't handle her kid? What if she thought I was nuts and should just be able to handle everything myself? Would she be nice to M2? Would she understand M2's issues and be able to work with her? Would it really help to have an aide or would I just always feel on edge?

Every time I talked to someone through all the screenings, telling them what was going on, why we needed an aide, I felt as though what I was really telling them was, "I'm not good enough. I need help so that our lives will be better."


Realizing how limited we are and how little we're able to interact with the community began to change my thoughts on an aide. Deep down, I knew it was best for M2, B and for me. The stress, fear and difficulty with daily life was just too much. It wasn't fair to any of us. I pushed my second-guessing away and kept with the process. I fought every step of the way to get her the waiver. Even when I thought there was no way we'd get it, no matter how bad we truly need it.

It took three months, lots of phone calls, screenings and red tape to get the waiver approved. Let me tell you, people are not very helpful with getting services approved. Most didn't even seem to know let alone understand the process. Once the waiver was in place, it took more time to actually find an agency willing to work with a child. Most don't. Then of the few that did, only one even had someone they'd be able to send over. After more screenings, we were set up with an interim aide to start as the agency doesn't have someone available for all the days and times we need and for which we qualify.


The aide started with us three weeks ago. Since she's been here for a few hours two days a week, things are starting to change. I've left the house with the kids for the first time without A and without there being major issues. The aide is there to make sure M2 stays safe. That is her job. That takes away so much of my fear and the safety hazards we encounter in every day life. We're starting to venture out now, rather than being constantly trapped. I'm not as stressed when the aide is here. Once we have an aide for all the days and hours we need, there will be even less stress and fear. I even have an adult to talk to! The aide is kind to M2, understands the situation, and sees exactly why we need her here.

The house isn't always perfect. And that's ok. I'm not always even dressed or showered when the aide arrives. That's ok, too. She doesn't care. She's here to help, not to judge. She's offered great advice of how we can get other help we need, too. Not only is she there for M2, she supports me as well. I have an ally in making our lives what they should be rather than having to be a shut in avoiding danger. I've realized we all need the aide.


 And that's ok.

There's no shame in needing another set of eyes and hands.

I am a good mom.

I do my best.

We all need a little extra help sometimes with the difficult parts of our lives.

Realizing the help is needed and taking the steps to get it isn't failing.

I wasn't telling those people I suck. I was just telling them we need help.

Having an aide is doing exactly what I should be doing: what's best for my kids.

I am good enough.


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24 comments:

  1. sounds like you are doing a great job. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone to ensure the safety of your child shows you're doing a great job

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  2. Oh my goodness!!! Love this post <3 Getting help is hard sometimes, but we all need help once in a while. So happy it's going good for you guys <3

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  3. I am so happy you got some help! No one can do it all! But I can totally relate since, as mothers, we tend to be SO hard on ourselves! you are doing an wonderful job!!

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  4. I totally know where you are coming from, I can totally relate. Sounds like you're doing a great job though, giving yourself a break is needed.

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  5. I think asking for assistance when you need it is a sign of strength -- it something so many of us struggle with! I'm so glad you were able to get an aide for your daughter. Like you said, having someone to help out is not a sign of your ability as a mom, but the fact that you went through all of this shows that you are a mom who cares about your children so much!

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  6. You are a good mum and even braver for sharing your story with us. We are all here to support you if you need it x

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  7. I love this post - your positivity really shines through your words. Thanks, I needed to hear this today x

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  8. You're doing well, I'm so glad that you thought giving yourself a little break.

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  9. Glad that you got some help. We may not want it, but there are times that we really need it. You are doing a great job.

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  10. It takes a village. There's no shame in recognizing that. All we can do is our best.

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  11. we can all use a little help. I am a mother of 6 who without al those who helped and supported me would not have been able to do all that I do

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  12. My Aunt needed the help of caregivers to provide the best possible care for my two cousins suffering from huntingtons disease. you're good enough

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  13. you are so right don't let any one tell you that you are not good enough

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  14. Elizabeth O.11/15/2015 8:41 PM

    It's always okay to ask for a bit of help. It doesn't mean you're any lesser of a person because of that. It's just really that there are too many things that needs to be done. Remember, you can't do everything alone.

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  15. You are enough and asking for help or needing it is not something to be ashamed about. As everyone else has said, all you can do is your best. That is enough.

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  16. I'm really glad you got the help you needed, and you're so right. You're not a bad mom at all. All of us need a break, especially with higher demanding little ones! Help is a beautiful thing.

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  17. Thanks for writing something that so many of us Moms struggle with. It's so easy to compare our lives to others, but we need to know that our best is good enough for our families. I'm glad the aide is working well and allowing you some more freedom out and about. Social time is important for you too, and knowing that your daughter is safe removes so much stress.

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  18. You definitely are more than good enough. You are a wonderful mother doing what is best for your child and family. We all need help sometimes. I'm so glad you've found someone who can help you out.

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  19. EVERYONE needs help from time to time! You are definitely good enough and you are doing your best!

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  20. Asking for help when needed is a sign of strength. Job well done doing what it takes to ensure your child has all they need.

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  21. It's nice to be able to ask for and get help when you need it. Kudos to those who step in.

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  22. I think that most moms feel that way, even when not dealing with a kiddo who has a challenging diagnosis. Sometimes success is having everyone survive until dinner time!

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  23. This is such a great story and can help many other parents as well. There is indeed no shame in admitting that you need help. It really helps not only her but everyone else in the family also with less stress from everyone. Thanks for sharing your family experiences.

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  24. I'm new to the stay-at-home mom scene, and even though I don't have a child with special needs, I've felt similar things. Sometimes it's a struggle just to get my boys and I to the grocery store! I loved your post, though. It's ok to ask for help!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. As a busy mom, I'm not always able to respond to each one, though I read and appreciate them all.