It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

“It’s okay to not be okay” my favorite clothing store recently released a hoodie with this saying on it. I’ve seen it before, but I think now it’s the first time I’ve I’ve really seen and thought about it. What does that mean? Do I agree with this statement? As a mother, or even as a human, I have never given myself the grace to let myself feel the feelings I am. I can tell you all the bad things my ex’s have drilled into my brain but to be honest with you I am just as hard on myself if not more so than they ever were.

Growing up my mother made it look so easy to have it together. I know now that that is just what mothers do. They act like they have their lives together even when they’re falling apart. They take care of everyone else even when they don’t have anything left of themselves to give. If they’re hurt they take care of your wounds first. If you’re crying they give you the tissue to wipe away your tears first. Moms can’t be falling apart, if they do who is going to mom??!!

But that is BULLSHIT. Even though you are a mom, you still deserve to have feelings. You are still going to have rough days, you are still going to cry, and you are still going to get depressed. Being a mom isn’t a bandaid. It isn’t the cure. Sometimes motherhood can even make these feelings worse. You’re stressed from being a mom. You wish someone would bring you soup when you are sick. You just want to scream and cry and throw yourself on the floor, but someone told you you’re an adult and you’re not allowed to have big feelings like that anymore.

I am constantly reminding myself that I am the adult now. When I am feeling whatever negative feeling I’m feeling I tell myself to push that way down. No one cares if you don’t want to get out of bed today. Shit needs to get done. The kids still need to be fed, changed, and dressed. The house needs to be cleaned. I need to work. Etc etc etc. It never ends and it is never enough.

If you are in this same boat with me today, I just want you to know it is okay to feel like this. It is okay to not be okay. We aren’t just moms, we are human. We deserve the same amount of grace that we give everyone else every single day. The kids still may need to be taken care of, so take care of them. Get them dressed, fed and changed. But don’t take that shower. Don’t change your clothes today. Put on some cartoons. Do one thing for yourself on that day you are not okay.

This all doesn’t need to just apply to moms either. Sometimes dads may feel this way. Or people who aren’t even parents. I think we are our own toughest critics and everyone deserves that opportunity to just take care of themselves and not worry about anyone else.

Having a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD)

I remember when I was little my mom enrolled my sister and I into a ballet class. I was super excited to finally be able to be like the beautiful ballerinas I seen on tv. I loved ballet class, my sister though? Not so much. I remember my sister screaming before every ballet class. The tags were bothering her, and the tights were too tight. At the time I just thought she was being over dramatic, now I know and recognize this as sensory processing disorder.

Sensory processing disorder a condition where the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses

Noah was a clingy baby (and is a clingy toddler). Every time I put him down he would scream. I would let him cry occasionally, but he would scream for hours if I had let him. I couldn’t do anything without Noah. I couldn’t eat, sleep, shower, do chores, or even get dressed. Noah wanted me to hold him for all of that. Eventually I got a boba wrap which helped us a lot. I was able to carry him on me and still get things done. When I wanted to take a shower I would leave part of it open so he could still see me. This was just the beginning signs of sensory processing disorder for my son.

Around six months Noah was ready to start purées. At first he liked them all, but as time went on he stopped eating all but three flavors. Sweet potatoes, pears, and bananas. He would spit out anything that wasn’t those three things. Eventually Noah was ready to start solid foods. Again, he started out eating most of what I offered him and then he stopped. At first he would eat macaroni&cheese and applesauce. Sometimes I would get lucky and he would eat the applesauces with veggies blended in. One day he decided he was done with applesauce and only would eat macaroni and cheese. I had mentioned something to his pediatrician, who said he’s a toddler as long as he’s eating he is fine. His weight was a bit of a concern because he’s so skinny, but they were satisfied because he was following his own growth curve. I knew something else was going on though, and so did my mother who had also dealt with this before.

Noah loved bath time as a baby. He would splash around and play with his toys. Bath time was fun! When I was feeling nice I would even put bubbles in the tub and he would play with those for hours if I had let him. One day Noah started screaming during bath time though. I thought it was just a fluke, maybe he was in a bad mood that day. But it continued. Bath time became miserable. He would scream every time water touched his skin. If it touched his hair? Prepare for a World War III.

Often times on my day off or after work I take the kids to the park. Noah has always loved playing on the playground, and if other kids are there? Even better! One day I decided to take Noah on the swings. He screamed. I pushed him to show him that this was okay and it was fun. It wasn’t fun to Noah though. He screamed even harder. As a baby he hated them too, but I had thought maybe he was just too young for the swings. It was obvious now there was more to it than that. As I said before Noah loved playing with other kids on the playground. If there were too many kids though he would freeze up. He wouldn’t move from the spot he was standing. One time it took me an hour to coax him down from the top of the slide. I would’ve gotten him but I had his sister with us. It would’ve been too hard to climb up there with her.

Noah has always loved to chew things. When they’re babies you just assume it’s because they’re babies. When Noah was roughly 2 he had a wooden toy that he chewed in half. I thought this was alarming. Eventually he started chewing everything. My bathroom door (as shown). Books, puzzles, toys, dressers, blocks, anything you think should or shouldn’t be chewed my son has chewed it.

It took me forever to get Noah to accept a sippy cup. He loved the bottle nipple. My stepdad found a sippy cup with a spout similar to that of a bottle nipple. Thankfully he took to that. Unfortunately, that is the ONLY sippy cup Noah will take. He won’t take the ones with cute Characters or cool colors. He won’t even take other sippy cups with nipples like a bottle. It has to be the thinkbaby sippy cup.

We have been in occupational therapy for a few months now. Noah has shown some huge improvements. He can now take a bath without screaming. He will now at least try new foods. However, he still chews on things and still will only take that one sippy cup. Yesterday I accidentally broke his sippy cup. Noah was up screaming all night because he didn’t want a drink in a different sippy cup. Even a soft spout one.

The reason I mostly wanted to write this, is to let you moms know. If you think something is off about your child, something probably is. Having a child with a sensory processing disorder is HARD. I have to think before I do anything. Is this going to overstimulate him? Is this going to be too loud? Will this upset him? I get overwhelmed and touched out very quickly because Noah still wants to be touching me at all times. If your child has SPD you are not alone, and I see you.