Mother guilt is pretty much a given when it comes to motherhood. Its just a part of the whole deal.
I’ve had my fair share. Sometimes it comes from pressure that I put on myself and sometimes in comes in the form of comments from other people, friends, family or even the kids themselves.
I try to maintain a healthy work/home balance but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m actually pretty crappy at it. In fact – I totally suck at it.
I have spent the past I don’t know HOW MANY years advocating for Harley and trying to get him the help that he needs in the school system at any cost.
I did everything I could think of to help him manage better at school and spent years paying for countless therapists to try to encourage some sort of progress on paper, but all I kept seeing was a defeated and sad little boy.
He has always struggled to read, to write and with maths. Actually, he has battled with pretty much every element of school life. The socialising would still be the part that he has the most difficulty with but being that he is autistic- that aint about to magically change anytime soon.
We were driving to school last week when he oh-so-casually mentioned to me that his teacher suggested that he gets his eyes tested because she noticed him squinting at the board and also at his workbooks.
“How long have you had trouble seeing honey”? I asked him.
“I’ve never really been able to see much” he replied.
So I took him to the optometrist that very afternoon to learn that he also has the beginnings of the same eye condition that has plagued me for most of my life (but hopefully it will be able to be corrected in time so it doesn’t reach the point that mine have).
Blind as a bat I believe the technical term is!
And to think that it didn’t even occur to me to get his eyes checked – cue the mother guilt … in spades…
I took the afternoon off work today to go with him to collect his new glasses and was almost in tears as he excitedly skipped through the shopping centre reading out every shop sign and describing to me everything that he was seeing in great detail.
I asked him on the way home why he hadn’t told me earlier that he couldn’t see well and his answer damn near broke my heart.
“Because I just figured that everyone else was seeing the same as me but I thought I was dumb and that they were just smarter than me.”
I glanced at him in the rear view mirror and noticed him look down at his feet.
“Plus, I didn’t know what to say to tell you Mum. I couldn’t find the right words to describe it, and I knew that you have to work really hard for our money and I didn’t want to waste it on glasses because I know you can’t really afford it”.
I was gutted.
Sure, I’ve had to say no to the kids a lot lately because bills often eat up the majority of my pay, but I had hoped that he knew that I would’ve done whatever it takes to get him what he NEEDS.
But I managed to sit him down this afternoon and explain that I will always find a way when it comes to my kids. And that I was so super proud to have him as my spectacular spectacles buddy.