Thursday, May 7, 2009

Space Invaders

I need my space. I can't help it, it's just the way I am. Don't get me wrong, I love being around people. I am a very social person, just ask my husband; he thinks I'm too social. I just need my 2-3 feet of personal space around me.
During my first pregnancy I remember feeling like I was possessed. There was this creature moving around and kicking me. I was really weirded out by this.
My space issue became a real problem when I had my first daughter. Babies need to be held....constantly. She was either nursing constantly or needed to be held.......I said constantly right? No one tells you how demanding motherhood actually is and babies don't come with an instruction manual. So, we all manage to figure things out by trial and error, some of us have more error than others.
Space was and still is a huge issue for me. Children have no concept of personal space; especially children who have sensory deficits. My girls need to not just be next to me, they need to be right on top of me. I have gotten used to it....mostly. What really sends me over the edge is more than one person sitting on top of me and the fighting between them about their designated space. My kids aren't babies anymore, meaning there are big people fighting on my lap! This is a space invasion! My son, on the other hand, is like me and is constantly yelling at his sisters to get out of his space.
This has become so much more of an issue as the kids are getting older because they need me in a whole different way now. Now they need me to listen to them in addition to needing me to be physically close to them. It is sensory overload for me!
I came to realize that they need me in a way that is almost impossible for me to give. I do give to them the best way that I can, and that has to be good enough for them and for me. I do need to take care of myself in a nurturing way so that I can nurture them. If I am depleted, then there isn't anything there to give. I am always trying to strike a balance between everyone's needs and trying to fulfill them the best way possible.
As mothers day approaches I am always struck by the dichotomy of the day. As a child I always hated mothers day because my mom got all the attention. My mother's answer to me was, "every day is children's day". Funny, it never felt like it was my day every day. Now as mother, a daughter, and a daughter-n-law I try to make the day nice for everyone. My mother told me recently that the first mothers day after her mother died she didn't want to celebrate that year because to her - mothers day was about her mother; so then there was no reason to celebrate anymore. We did celebrate after that but I guess it was never the same for my mom. Now as a mother myself, I see the day for my mother and mother-n-law and like to try to make some special time for each as well as carve out some for myself.
Mothers day is a day designated for us to celebrate being a mom. Even with those little and big "space invaders" who call us mom.


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