Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Finding a place in the Land of Mom

on July 28, 2015

I am slightly envious of the moms who got to mother before the Internet age. I don’t know what it was like back then, but it feels like finding a niche now must be far more complicated than it used to be.  

Did so many styles of family life exist before the Internet??  And, perhaps more importantly, are there any moms out there who don’t think about mothering much at all??  Most of the time, that’s where I am at – I mother based on instincts, not thinking much about it, doing what keeps the family moving forward.

I feel like all the moms around me have a style, but somehow, I’m lacking.  They are gentle moms or tiger moms or organic, chemical free moms, or moms that love Lysol.  Pinterest moms, soccer moms, dance moms, CEO moms, hyper-anxious moms, free-range moms, helicopter moms, non-vaxxers, bed-sharers, formula feeders, homeschoolers…. And I’m just over here trying to keep up with the laundry.

Sanity ended 4 years ago, my friends.

The world of parenting a child with special needs, and then the subset of parenting a child with Down syndrome, comes with its own little mom-cliques.  We have the supplementing moms, the inclusion army, the self-contained special Ed advocates, a whole new category of babywearing mommas, pro-therapy, anti-therapy, diet restricters, moms who still love Kraft Mac and Cheese.  There are moms who want to ‘fix’ the issues that their kiddos have and moms who want to let them be just as they are and to hell with society and their silly standards for acceptable behavior!

I have tried to figure out where my mom identity lies.  This has been rolling around in my mind because John and I attended an informational session about drug trials that are happening for medications that would improve the cognitive function of people with Down syndrome.  It was fascinating and thought-provoking and has left me quite stumped.  

If there were a pill that would help Tessa think, would I give it to her?

A mom in the group raved about the trial that her daughter was a part of.  She says that her daughter’s holistic doctor (what is that??) believes that she is on “something” and the mom has seen some big differences in her daughter’s independence.

But would I give it to Tessa?  Even if I knew it was 100% safe, do I want her to take it?  Does it change who she is?  Does it send a message to her that she needs to be somehow better than what she is?  And when does it become her choice rather than mine?

We are not on a mission to “beat the odds.”  We have never set out with the expectation that Tessa do any more than be her best self, just as we expect from Ellie.  Does medication help her do that?  Is treating her cognitive functioning level the same as someone with ADHD taking Ritalin or someone with depression taking Prozac?

Am I okay with this?  Am I a part of that group of moms?

I don’t know.  I just don’t know where I fit in.  I like real science and double-blind studies and factual information.  I like routines and structures and personal space and kindness to all.  I like knowledge and teaching my kids about all kinds of stuff.  I like to parent without thinking too terribly much about it… But this medication question has got me wondering – if it goes to market and is an option for Tessa, what kind of mom will I be?
One year ago…  


3 responses to “Finding a place in the Land of Mom

  1. Oh, Maggie! I can so relate! I often find myself wondering if I should be more offended by certain things, or more vocal about other things. Should I be doing more? Should I be doing less? Oy! It’s all so stressful! In the end, I’m just trying to be the best mom I can be to three very unique children. Hopefully God will fill in the gaps.

  2. Judy Lay says:

    Things really don’t change Maggie. I raised the kids with many questions, many options, and many wonders. Just keep being the mom that you are. The girls are perfect.

  3. Thank you for your honesty. I often feel like I don’t fit in with the current mom’s as well…go with your gut and keep on keepin on!

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