DH and I are at the nutritionist for R
She is asking us to come back and see us 3 weeks from now.
I answer that it will probably be just DH and not both of us.
She arches a brow "Going out of town?"
No, I am not
( I resist the temptation to lie and say yes yes yes I am traveling.)
I hear judgement in her tone.
I remember our first appointment with her - when she said - that autism and heavy metals often go together
And when I say we were really careful with being organic etc - she says that then the metals probably come from my teeth fillings
A wave of that old familiar guilt comes rushing back
As we check out in the waiting room, I see 2 other mother waiting with the other kids
I tell DH cynically "I bet she never raises an eyebrow to the dads.. ........the dads can stay in the office .. the mums better not "
DH laughs and tells me not to be so sensitive. That she probably did not mean anything
That even if she did - who cares?
He is right on the second thing, of course-
Why do I care ?
And of course I know the answer to that -
I care because she is speaking directly to my inner voice that judges me
DH is super supportive of me working and a great SAHD.
And yet, it takes little to stir that insidious voice of guilt that tells me I should do more and be more as a mother
I am so much better than I used to be
At one point like many of my ilk I would read everything I could get my hands on on what causes Autism and what I could have done to prevent it.
That obsession gave way to the relentless pursuit for finding the best therapies
Always, I found ways to blame myself
Now when I look back, I wonder at the amount of importance I gave to my own role
How much I expected from myself!
A friend says "expectations are disappointments in training"
And I disappointed myself all the time.
I think its all these cliches, I grew up with.
The glorifying of motherhood in Eastern culture
And then in the West, the culture of autism motherhood that idolized the cure moms that wrote the cure books.
But R blossomed
And so did I
And I have started to watch how I think about myself
Our thinking is plastic - the more times we walk down a path of thinking , the stronger it becomes
So this is my new year resolution
To create a more compassionate inner emotional world
“. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Floortime Lite Mama is the mother of a wonderful child with Autism. She blogs about Love, Life and Autism at Floortime Lite Mama