David Bowie is singing in my head, warning me of changes. “Turn and face the strain.” And boy are there a lot of changes coming down the pike.
Transitions have always been a toughie for my 5yo. Transitions to leave school. Transitions to the bath. Transitions to leave the house. Many a meltdown have been triggered by these small events. And I’m gritting my teeth just thinking about the changes I’ve signed up for this summer.
First, we’re putting all occupational therapy on hold for the summer. Hear that. My stomach just flipped over. Coming to this decision wasn’t an easy one. But this is The Jenny Evolution, not my kids’. They’ve gotten solid and dedicated years of me putting them first, and finally I’m taking the step to make sure I take care of myself.
Second, my son is finishing pre-k and starting an all-day outdoor camp. We’re going on high alert and sticking this kid on a sensory overload diet. He sucks up physical sensory outlets like a vacuum so we’ll see if he can finally be satiated.
So this is the summer of me. It sounds so narcissistic when I put it like that, but it’s time to crawl out of my hole and work on making myself whole again. And I can’t do that running out of the house and then sitting in a car driving from appointment to appointment.
It’s tough to put ourselves first sometimes. I know I can feel guilty, selfish and undeserving sometimes. When these little babies are handed to us, society tells us this is going to be our most important job, and we are going to become defined as “mothers.” Except for you rebels that call yourselves household engineers, domestic goddesses, or in my case, resident medical officers.
Being a mother just isn’t enough. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. Otherwise, we can lose ourselves in the daily battle of sensory processing disorder and forget who we are as individuals. That doesn’t mean if you’re a stay at home mom, you don’t matter. Absolutely not. (And let’s not get into that mommy war anyway.)
I started this sensory journey with a set career and traded it for depression, self doubt and self loathing. And as I’m accepting my role as a resident medical officer, I’m understanding that I need something outside of my kids to make sure that I stay happy and be the best mom to my kids.
So here’s so changes. Stopping OT for the summer could be the worst decision I’ve made in a while … Or it could prove to be the best.