First, Last and Everything Else

The past few days have been full of “first’s”. Some awesome and some really not awesome, but first’s all the same.

On Saturday, my son went to an Eskimos football game without having a panic attack. He was surrounded by people, in a really noisy and crazy environment and he didn’t panic even one time. Maybe we’re finally starting to win this battle with SPD. Woot!!

Tonight I coloured the girly’s hair for the very first time in their little lives. They’ve got pink streaks and there are no words to describe their happiness. They are so excited and ready to show off their new looks at school and one even commented that this will definitely help her fit in. Hopefully, that’s the case as it’s tough always being the new kid.

On the weekend, someone from our past showed up and did some things that were totally unexpected. Out of all the kids we’ve had over the years, we’ve NEVER had one come back “to get us”. It was unpleasant, and a little nerve wracking but we made it through. Thankfully that first is over, and I’m hopeful that it will also be a last.

On Sunday, I put on a shirt that has never fit before in a size that I have never worn before. Well I may have worn it when I was 12, but I’m still counting it as a first.

And now I leave you with another first. It’s the first blog post that I ever wrote. It was the first time that I found my voice.

“Moms need Friends … Not Critics”

There’s tonnes of talk going around Facebook and Twitter right now about Mom’s not supporting each other and making judgements on choices that they’ve made. I think it’s all been addressed pretty well by many people, with the general consensus being “just mind your own business”.  I would like to take it a bit further …

What I would like to talk about is Mommy judgement in general, and the total lack of support that we give each other. Why is it that when we look at Moms in different situations that we have an instant judgement of what they’re doing or not doing? Why can’t we look at each other with eyes of understanding and grace? Why can’t we just give a reassuring word, a smile or a helping hand? Why can’t we just honor each other as Moms doing the best that we know how?

I’ve been glared at, laughed at, ignored and ridiculed on many ocassions based on the way I parent and the way that I handle certain situations. People always have an opinion and don’t seem to ever be too scared to share it with me. I used to feel like I had to explain my choices or decisions, but have given up. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW OR WHY I’M MAKING THESE CHOICES, SO EITHER HELP ME OR SHUT-UP.

I’m a foster parent AND the parent of a special needs child. Because of that, I’ve had to work through ALOT of crazy stuff. I’ve taken care of lots of different kids, with lots of different histories … some good and some horrifying. I have to make weird choices and decisions all the time based on what they’re going through or where they came from. Please respect and support me when I parent my kids as I’m quite often saying them to protect you, them and your children.

If I say, please don’t let my kid hold your cat, don’t comment and say “it’s okay, my cat likes being held”. Trust me, it’s not okay. When I say, boys on one couch, girls on the other, there’s a reason. When I say, no movies or TV shoes over PG, even though they’re teenagers, theres a reason. When I say, please don’t jump on my little boy, don’t tell me that all boys need to wrestle. What you don’t know is that one of those kids may have a history of killing pets, and CANNOT help himself. You also don’t know that one of those kids may have been sexually abused since the time she was born, and seeks out inappropriate touch to fulfill a need for affection. And that cute little innocent boy sitting in front of the TV may like to role play and is obsessed with weapons and gang activity, and watches TV to get “ideas”.  And finally, the little boy that can’t wrestle just may punch your child in the face because he doesn’t like to be touched. Things are almost never how they appear on the surface, please keep that in mind before you overstep.

I will never forget the day I was shopping in Superstore with my 2 little ones. My son was about 18 months old and my daughter was about 5. I was super tired and my Hubby was on shift work, so I HAD to shop for groceries alone, there were no other options. At this point, I also had no idea that there was something “wrong” with my son so I really didn’t know how to deal with the situation that was about to occur. I entered the canned goods aisles and started putting stuff in my cart. My son immediately started throwing it out on the ground, everything I put in, he threw out. I just assumed he was misbehaving, so I picked it up and put it back. My son was throwing, my daughter was giggling, and I was coping. Suddenly my son started smashing his face on the buggy and screaming. Repeatedly smashing his face while throwing things. I stood there in shock for a second and then I saw blood. I immediately shoved my hand between his head and the cart and tried to figure out what to do next. He’s now screaming and bleeding, my daughter is crying in fear and I’m standing there not knowing what to do.

Now imagine, you come around the corner and spot this scene. A half loaded shopping cart, with groceries strewn all over the floor, a freaked out and sobbing toddler, a baby with blood streaming down his face as he continually smashes his head into his mothers hand, and a Mom standing there dazed and confused. What would you do? If you were like EVERY person that walked by me, you would’ve glared at me, and kept going. Or you would’ve commented, “take your brats home”, like a lovely woman did. Or you would’ve just stared and shuffled by kicking my groceries out of your path. I would’ve killed for someone to stop and say, “Can I help you”? But not one person did. I ended up just taking him out of the cart, taking my daughter by the hand and walking out while he bled everywhere. One wonderful person did yell these thoughtful words to me as I left though, “that’s really nice lady, leaving a mess like that”. I kept walking and crying.

I later learned that my son has a sensory processing disorder and he was way over-stimulated and was reacting the only way that he could. Once I knew that, I was prepared for the grocery store, and that never happened again. But when I took him shopping wearing a weighted superman cape, a pair of sunglasses and a toque with earflaps, people still stared and/or laughed. I can’t even tell you how many times people asked me why I didn’t put anything in the top of my shopping cart when the bottom section was overflowing. I don’t want to explain it anymore, so please stop asking me questions. Just smile and nod and move on….I’m doing the best that I can for my little boy.

Moms that have just recently lost their husbands still have to be Moms and just don’t have the strength to “parent” right now. Some Moms would love to breastfeed but can’t because their cancer treatment drugs can be passed through breastmilk. What about the Mom struggling with depression that’s too embarassed to ask for help? Do you think these Moms need judgement or advice? No, they need compassion and understanding.

I think it’s time we go back and do the things that we’re trying to teach our children. Be patient. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Lend a helping hand. Love one Another. Be kind. BE A GOOD FRIEND.

Common sense has been pushed to the wayside for political correctness and for fear of doing the right thing. Do not judge when you don’t have all the information. Your judgement just may push someone over the edge when they were already barely hanging on.

What first’s have you enjoyed this week? Here’s to many more of them … the good, the bad and everything else. Cheers.

This is Day Six of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

4 thoughts on “First, Last and Everything Else

  1. lauratfrey August 26, 2013 at 10:33 pm Reply

    I remember that blog post and I think about it when I see kids acting out. I have asked moms if they needed help, based on this post. So far, I’ve been told no, but at least I wasn’t making things worse!

    • this mom's got something to say ... August 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm Reply

      That makes me so happy to hear that. It truly does take a village and sometimes it’s just nice knowing that someone is on our side.

  2. northshorejoey August 27, 2013 at 2:13 am Reply

    We learn from all experiences, at when a crisis hits us, not everyone will help, sad but true. I can only say that each positive and negative event can teach us how to cope, relate, react or to simply laugh. I feel too many people are too into themselves to look forward to someone trying to cope in a difficult situation.
    I remember one time grocery shopping a man at the end of the isle, fell and hit his face on the cart and people around him, closer to him than me, all walked away, as it didn’t happened. I walked up to this man, asked if he needed help, instructed the lady next to him, more like demand, to get the grocery staff and call 911, report back to me. At first the lady refused when I got into her face, yelled at her and demanded she come back with store personnel and 911. I continued dealing with the embarrassed man, lost his balance on something, broke his jaw, and required stitches. This happened in isle next to kleenex and papertowels, perfect..right. Took advantage of where I was, applied pressure until this woman who barked at me, had store personnel with 911 on the line.
    In the end the stupid lady apologized, as she needed someone to bark at her, the store was fabulous as this man got the help.

    What I learned about this experience was not everyone will rise to the occassion, and not everyone will react to orders being barked at them, so life is about adjusting to that minute. I wish people could be kinder, nicer, funnier and show random acts of kindness. All you can do is your best, if you know you tried your best, thats all that matters. If we worry about what others think, we wouldn’t leave our homes, so go out and do it, and don’t look back, move forward.

    Love your blog…you make me think, smile and laugh…you’re kind person who has a giant heart.

    • this mom's got something to say ... August 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm Reply

      I’m glad you take a minute to be there for someone else. I look forward to the day when that’s normal and not a rarity. Thanks for reading!!

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