Friday, January 29, 2010

Touring Europe

Surprise! I finally have something to say today because this week has been a bit overwhelming.

Another mom from the online Down syndrome community posted a status on Facebook this afternoon saying she wished she could leave "Holland" for a few days. The Holland reference is a common one in DS circles because of a poem by Emily Perl Kingsley which compares the journey of parenting a child with disabilities to a trip to Holland (when you were expecting to be in Italy).

I haven't felt like Henry's Down syndrome has been a source of stress for us, and admittedly we are some of the lucky ones. So far, he is in excellent health with no heart problems, vision, hearing or gastrointestinal issues. He is meeting most of his milestones and is by far the easiest baby I've had. But this week, I can definitely understand this other mom's sentiment that Holland can be a bit too much sometimes!

It's not just Holland -- I'm juggling too much. People ask me how I do it all (working from home, going to job interviews, and trying to keep my kids happy and healthy while caring for our home, bills, meals and mounds of laundry) and I often fear that I just don't do it all WELL. I know I'm in good company -- most of you moms out there can relate to all of this, right?

Despite my background and experience as a Special Ed teacher, my busy mom brain starts to spin when a therapist is giving me a verbal list of 100 things to try this week when I'm playing with Henry. It spins again when his doctor asks me exactly how much he is eating and whether we've followed up with the feeding clinic and the developmental clinic (I could barely get to his well visit on time today, let alone consider making appointments anywhere else!). Again when we arrived late this morning for OT because our visit to the pediatrician ran over due to health concerns with one of the other boys. Again when therapists are giving me differing opinions and advice. Again when I realize I've missed a Kindergarten event because I never went through the pile of papers. And again and again and again.

How do I do it all? I don't! Some things just get set aside. I'll catch up this weekend on bills and laundry and cleaning. I'll say yes to more play dates even when we don't have time, because I need time with other moms as much as my kids need time with friends. I'll allow myself the luxury of therapeutically blogging to get it all out. I'll give myself some grace and try to slow down and enjoy this trip to Holland and Italy and all the stops along the way.


  1. It does get a bit easier I think. I am a Mom of a 10 year old with DS and not 3 children but I do know exactly what you mean for sure! Oh the paperwork they come home with from school! I've even forgotten to fill out for lunch and it gets ssooo crazy. It's hard with any kids and working and all but it is just a bit more intense, another layer so to speak with a child who has special needs and all kinds of therapy thingies to address! Welcome to Holland- there are many beautiful experiences awaiting you!

  2. Thank you! I wasn't sure if anyone was still reading my blog, so I just noticed your comment today . . . which, as it happens, is another one of those days. I already need a break from all of H's appointments!

  3. Funny, Kara. I am sitting here at my computer "escaping" for a few minutes. Really just trying to calm myself down and into a better place. Err! My day started off wonderfully productive. And then of course I was dropped down into my own little Holland (type 1 diabetes Holland). Mix that in with a normal challenging and active 3 yr old boy and you get a crazy mom, right? Thanks for blogging. I don't pretend to know the pain, questions, and frustrations "you moms" of DS live. However, I am with you on trying to stop and smell the tulips here.

  4. Lori, you're an amazing mom and an inspiration to me. Love you!! :)