This post has been on my heart & mind for sometime. I'm just finally brave enough to share it.
All the time people tell me I'm amazing...
but am I really an amazing Mom?
I'm just a Mom. I love my kids as much as my heart can possibly love, all in very different ways. They are all unique, special, beautiful, and they all have so much to offer.
But do I lack patience? Yes.
Do I lose my temper and yell? Yes.
Do I get grouchy? Yes.
Do I play with them as much as I should? Do I do enough therapy with Ollie? No, there is always room to improve, and I try my best.
Do I try hard to be a great Mom to my kids every day? Yes.
I'm just a Mom. The fact that Ollie has Down Syndrome & that Jade & I still wanted her isn't amazing. It's part of being a parent - loving your child no matter what. It's my job to love and protect her. It's not shocking or amazing or special. It doesn't make me a better Mom than anyone else I know. I wouldn't change a single thing about her for the world. What is amazing is that 9 out of 10 people abort babies like her. Why? I just don't comprehend that part. Do they think it makes their life better, or that her life would be less than perfect - less than worthy? Her life has extreme worth to not just me, but my family and friends too. I can't imagine that in a group of me and ten peers that I am the only one that would keep my baby. I just can't understand removing a gift like Ollie from my life.
In this journey I have a lot to learn. I am learning that people are incredibly insensitive, and offensive about my daughter, but they don't even know it. They try to be nice, but since they aren't living this life, they don't know what is inappropriate to say. I have to keep on my happy face, and I'm good about that because nice is what I am, but it does bother me a lot.
They say things to me like "Are you sure she has Down Syndrome? She doesn't look like it."
Yes, I am sure. She has had chromosome tests. She has characteristics of Down Syndrome. However, she is a member of my family. Of course she looks like her brother and her sister. She came from Jade & me, so yes she looks like us. That's not unusual or surprising or weird. It's just like having any other baby, they look like your family.
People think because she is so pretty and they can't see the Down Syndrome, that maybe she has a "mild case." Well there are not mild cases. It's not like a cold where you are kind of sick. You either have Down Syndrome or you don't. No one, no doctor knows what her mental capabilities will be. We hope and pray that it mildy impacts her life, but it could severely impact her life as well. We will not know until she develops and grows. However, we will work hard with her to reach as many milestones as possible for her. No matter what her cognitive abilities, Jade & I will love her dearly and take care of her. She's our child no matter how old she is.
She is constantly referred to as a "Downs baby." I can't explain how or why that is so offensive, but it is. I don't like it at all. She is a PERSON with Down Syndrome, and it doesn't define her. She will tackle a lot in her life beyond her chromosome count. Please don't call her a Downs baby.
Don't use the words "retarded" or "Mongoloid". They are terrible, and that will make me mad. You wouldn't use the N word to a person of color. So don't use similar words about my daughter to me or around me. Those words are outdated & completely insensitive.
My daughter won't "Max out at 3rd grade". No one knows what her mental capabilities will be. No doctor has ever said that all people with Down Syndrome plateau at 3rd grade levels. That is just ridiculous and again uneducated. They all have different capabilities just like me and you. We all are different.
I write about my family because I know how my husband and I feel about my family. I know all the facts, I go to all the doctor appointments, and I know best for my family. Through this process there was an online article written about my family and published in my local paper. The facts were inaccurate and the author has never met my family. The intentions were meant to be nice and prayerful, but the facts were so wrong - I was devastated. I blog because I have a HUGE family. This blog makes sure that everyone is on the same page. They all can come to one place and know exactly how Ollie is. I also live in a small community, and have lived here my entire life. Almost everyone in this town knows me, or multiple people in my family, and this community has been amazing when it comes to supporting our family. This blog keeps the rumors to a minimum because the facts are here in black and white. It cuts down the miscommunication in a huge way. I also blog for a journal - so I can read back in my life and remember what I felt like. I also blog so maybe someone else in my similar situation finds comfort in my family. That they realize this life is livable, it's not terrifying, it's full of joy, love, faith, and hope. So they aren't as scared as I was after our first level II ultrasound.
Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, but it was something I need to get off my chest. It's a real, honest post about my life today. Until you live this life, you don't understand. I was guilty of all the things above, but now I know better. I just know better.