Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Mommy Wars - SN's Edition

For over twenty years now, I've been at this Mommy thing. I knew all about the traditional Mommy wars. Just to name a few ...

  • Home-All-Day-Mom vs. Work-Away-From-Home-Mom
  • Formula-Feeding-Mom vs. Breastfeeding-Mom
  • Whole-Foods-Only-Mom vs. Any-Food-Will-Do-Mom
  • Co-Sleeping-Mom vs. Baby-Never-Enters-Parents-Quarters-Mom
  • Public-School-Mom vs. Homeschool-Mom vs. Private-School-Mom vs. this one never ends.
Just writing a few of them out creates anxiety and exhaustion. ;) And I didn't even tackle the discipline ones! But really deep down we're all just a bunch of Mommas who are doing the very best we know how, with the resources and options we have around us, paired up with the precious kiddos we are caring for. Right? Can we all agree on at least that? And we are all in need of GRACE. Oh how we need GRACE. And we need to OFFER GRACE to one another.

So here I am with 20-something years of Mommy-ing under my belt {ok who am I kidding I'm not a belt wearing Mommy} and I find myself thrown into a whole new realm of Mommy-ing. I truly wasn't prepared, because I thought it was purely a season of "temporary Mommy-ing" via fostercare. But when we let God write our stories, sometimes they turn out way differently than we ever dreamed.

We met this Sweetie at a conference I was
speaking at. Her Momma shares here.
It wasn't long before I realized there's a whole other realm of Mommy Wars out there! Yes, the SN's edition. And ya know what? They can be just as hard! And if it's your first time in the rodeo, they can knock the wind out of you before you even figure out how to pace your breathing. Sure, they might look a little different, but they're there and often broken down into a few categories. 

You've got those who aim for as much and as many kinds as their insurance and second job will allow. They might be running to three different towns on a given week, not to mention all the follow up at-home sessions in-between. Sometimes mom and dad hardly get in a few moments each day alone together because it takes both of them to manage all the needs of their various kiddos. For families whose children spent time in environments that no therapy happened for their first several years, they might feel an added enormous sense of pressure to pack in as much as humanly possible once their kiddos are with them. 

And then there are those who take a more relaxed approach to therapy and aim to incorporate a more "living and doing approach" where therapy takes place more often at the community pool or around the house with creative adaptions rather than in designated offices. There's entire Pinterest boards full of ideas on how to incorporate every-day activities into beneficial opportunities for these special kiddos.
Momma of this Little Man
provides a daily dose of smiles for me. 
Neither approach is above the other. Every single family I know are giving 110% to help their families thrive. They each go about things a little differently. All of them are in crazy deep to do all they can to care for those God has placed in their families whether by birth or adoption. And ya know what? They each need GRACE and encouragement and support. I know I need it. Daily.  

This comes to a whole new level in the SN's community. There are those who sincerely feel that Pediasure {or products like it} might in fact be poison. Others are grateful it kept their children alive when it was the only option to use. Then you have the HOW your child is fed. Is all that feeding therapy really worth trying to do oral feeds? Isn't there a time and place for G-tube {and a variety of other} type feeds? Oh, it doesn't end there. Then you have the debate over what to feed through tube feeds. I'm not making this stuff up. And Mommas on every angle of the issue are typically passionate on where they stand. And some of us new Mommas go around tip-toeing because we never dreamed the world of SN's would be so divisive. We're just learning to walk and we aren't even sure how to get our balance, let alone what our pace will be on the journey. Oh how we need GRACE. And we need to extend GRACE. 

You can hear from this
Sweet One's Momma at her blog
I must admit, this one blindsided me. Early into my SN's parenting journey, I was oblivious to much beyond a wheelchair. Google became my best friend. Terms and items would be thrown about and I wouldn't have a clue how to make sense of it all. Once I started getting a grasp of what our kiddo might need I realized there are very strong opinions out there about what type of each is best. It's wonderful there are so many options, until you realize that choosing one option might not be accepted well by your SN's mom friends who choose a different option for their child. I promise I'm not making this stuff up. :) 

This Miss just got new wheels!
Her Momma shares here.
Next week we are FINALLY getting our sweetie some new wheels that will fit her growing body. I agonized for months over what to get. Part of the challenge is that they have to get you through several years and no one knows how her needs might change in that amount of time. Do you get a traditional wheelchair? Or do you go with a more stroller/push chair type option? Thankfully, I have a couple of Mommas who poured out GRACE to me and helped me identify what might work best for "our kiddo" and "our family" in "our season" of life right now. Whew. GRACE! ... it's a beautiful and much needed thing. 

This Precious One's Momma has held
my hand and encouraged my heart across the miles.
She shares here.
Medicine & Oils
You have the traditional medicines and then you have the oily Mommas. Now if you're thinking "OIL? .... I thought oil was for frying food in a pan.", be careful if you look into that option. You see, there are many branches in that area. If you ask one brand of Momma about the wrong brand ... well ... just duck. {I kid ... sort of.} In all seriousness though ... I believe with all that is within me that each Momma is trying her very best that she has for each day to care for those entrusted into her care. Can we serve up some GRACE for each other? Can we focus on providing a safe place to share ideas and learn new things without an all-out debate on what is more pure? Can we pause for a few moments and remember that the precious kiddo that brought us into the status of even BEING a SN's Momma ... yes, that kiddo ... he/she is a child of God. They were uniquely created with a specific purpose that is far greater than we'll ever know. So when you interact with your fellow SN's Momma friends, take a moment to remember that their child is that too. And I guarantee you that Momma could use a dose of GRACE. Along with a helping of encouragement. 

As I wrap this up I'm reminded that not all SN's Mommas have kiddos with "obvious" SN's. It's easy to see a child in a wheelchair and realize they must have a disability. Yet some kiddos who walk independently are facing their own mountain-sizes challenges on the inside ... and I guarantee you their Mommas need GRACE too. We all do. 

One thing for sure is that I've met some amazing Mommas on this new road I'm traveling. Seeing pictures of their kiddos reminds me there are others who are facing some of the same things I am every day. I'm so thankful for the GRACE they've offered me as I've worked to find my way.

Do you share about your SN's Mommy journey? Please link up in the comments! 

1 comment:

  1. I could definitely identify where I "stand" as a SN Momma in this post. I try not to be judgmental of others' choices and grace is key. Thank you for sharing, friend. Once it's out there we can start to give grace more abundantly.