Mother guilt

Some families have asthma as their ‘thing’.  Others are prone to ear infections or wonky teeth, food allergies or fevers.  Think for a moment and I’m sure you’ll come up with your family’s ‘thing’.

My family has a bit of a speech ‘thing’.  Our middle boy had about three years of speech therapy – some of it through a private therapist, and then through his public school.  He’s made remarkable improvements – but those years when we was three and four, and I was his main interpreter, they were tough.  Super tough.

So when our third boy came along and he showed himself to be slow to talk, that was a huge deal for this Mama’s heart.  We’d been down the path of therapy appointments, the kids who quite openly admit they can’t understand what mine was saying, and the constant need for interpretation before…..I dreaded doing it again.

But we went ahead with assessments and referrals and all that razzamataz, and with an official diagnosis of a speech delay, our little Ash began speech therapy at the age of two and half.  The therapy went hand in hand with a whole bunch of Mum guilt (what had I done or not done to cause this), a total team effort by the whole family to reinforce the therapy, and a whole bunch of prayer.

Ever noticed how a watched washing machine never finishes when you want it to?  The shortest checkout lane at the supermarket often takes the longest? Well the more I looked for progress, the more progress with Asher’s speech seemed illusive.  For months.  And months.  And we left the States with him still not talking in sentences, and still my Mother heart hurt.  And I grieved in a sense – for don’t we all long for our children to fit into the realms of ‘normal’ – whatever ‘normal’ is?

But you know what…..just lately in the last month or so, little Ash has begun speaking in sentences.  He’s begun to sing.  And how my heart sings to hear him.  He now utters those three little words that mean so very much, ‘I love you’.  I was waiting for a very long time to hear those words.

Time will tell with how well he progresses with all his sounds and pronunciation, but for now – we’re just so thrilled that he is talking.

I’d love to sit here and be able to tell you without a doubt that whatever ‘thing’ you’re facing concerning your children will improve over time, and healing will take place.  I’d love to be able to have complete confidence that Asher’s speech will be flawless in another twelve months time.  But I can’t say that.  What I can do is this – carry on praying; for I believe in the power of prayer, and I can carry on doing all the practical things I need to do to help him and encourage him, and I can refuse to take with me the guilt I feel over him carrying this burden.

This speech delay is part of Asher’s journey – just as Luka’s impairment was a part of his.  Not something that is pleasant.  Not something to be proud of – but not something to be ashamed of as well.  Nothing I did or didn’t do, caused these issues.  And to walk with that as a burden, heavy on my shoulders, is unneccessary and not helpful to anyone.

What are you carrying unnecessarily today?  What false blame are you laying on yourself today?  We all do it……because we want reasons for things – we want to be able to blame someone…..

How about this year we deal out as much grace to ourselves as we do to others? In what areas of your life can you show yourself more grace?