Bad Moms…. Special Needs Edition

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For those of you who have not seen the recent movie “Bad Moms” you have two options: Stop reading this post and go see it, or just accept that some of it is going to be spoiled for you.

“Bad Moms” has a couple of themes:

  • Moms are very critical and judgy of other moms
  • Trying to appear to be the perfect mom is exhausting
  • It is impossible to be a perfect mom all of the time
  • Sometimes being a “bad” mom actually makes you a good one

One group of moms that was not portrayed in the movie was special needs moms.  This is NOT a criticism. I totally get it and would have made the same judgement call.

But here is a little secret from the special needs community…. we aren’t one group of super hero moms that band together. We are just as bad. I love the support groups that I am part of, but let me give some examples from the tubie community:

  • Regular Mom Type: Granola or Organic Mom = Tubie Translation: The Blended Diet Mom
    • This mom thinks that all formulas and meal replacements are EVIL and anyone who gives it to their child is a horrible parent. They frequently refer to formula as “poison” and can’t understand why anyone would ever give it to their child. They have never gone as far as to call it child abuse, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they secretly think it. Oh, also, they think that it solves all tubie problems.
      • Vomiting? BLENDED DIET
      • Constipation? BLENDED DIET
      • Diahhrea (we are a fun bunch)? BLENDED DIET
      • Child not sleeping? BLENDED DIET
      • Child sleeping too much (do really people experience this)? BLENDED DIET
    • Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% in favor of a blended diet for tube fed kids. It makes total sense to me and I even gave it a whirl with Lyra. For Lyra it didn’t work. She simply could not tolerate the volume necessary to get proper nutrition and fluids. These moms fail to recognize that, along with everything else, nothing work for every child. And if you call them out on that…. like I did this morning after only a few hours of sleep…. they get ugly. Oops.
  • Regular Mom Type: Breastfeeding Nazi = Tubie Translation: I Will Pump Until my Boobs are Inverted Mom
    • Now, I know that breastmilk is best…. in most cases. But these are moms who take it to the extreme. Like pumping for 18+ months extreme. They normally turn into Blended Diet Moms when their child turns 1 or their boobs shrivel and dry up. They too believe that formula is evil.
    • Now, I did pump for months. This meant that I never slept and, in the end, it turned out that my milk was part of the problem. Changing my diet wasn’t going to solve it either. To put it simply, formula saved Lyra’s life. Without it, she wouldn’t be here. I know many other kids like her.
  • Regular Mom Type: The Over Scheduler = Tubie Translation: 20 Appointments a Week Mom
    • Sometimes having a 5-10 appointments in a week in unavoidable. I wish I was exaggerating, but I am not. However, what I am talking about it the mom who runs their kid to every kind of therapy under the sun running herself, and probably her child, ragged. No joke, there are parents who 3-4 types of therapy with their kids multiple times a week. Therapy is hard work for our kiddos, even if it just looks like play. Sometimes you need balance. Right now Lyra has OT and PT once a week (that is 2 appointments). We were supposed to add speech, but with other life going on, we just can’t swing it right now. She is still really young and we have plenty of time. It’s okay.
  • Regular Mom: The Germaphobe = Tubie Translation: Nothing is Sterile Enough Mom
    • Understand, we do have to be much more careful with our kiddos. Many are medically fragile. However, these are the moms who could look at a surgical suite and question if it is clean enough. These moms use sterile water to make formula, fill the balloon in the button, and have every piece of sterilizing equipment you can buy commercially.
    • Now, we are careful with Lyra. Immunizations are required to be be around her. When cold and flu season hits, everyone has to have a flu shot. Getting something like the flu can have tragic consequences for our kid, so we have to be careful.  However, these moms take it too far.
  • Regular Mom: The Hypochondriac = Tubie Translation: ______________
    • There is no tubie mom equivalent for this one unfortunately. If we think something is wrong, something is wrong. We all have many “I told you so” stories when it comes to doctors doubting us.

All joking aside, what is the point of this? Even with special needs moms it’s okay to be a “bad” mom. We are not perfect and we are not a homogenous group. We give our kids formula, have them watch TV to get through a feed, use therapists as babysitters (PT is my lunch time), and sleep on the floor while our kiddos play around us. We take our kids to the park instead of to a therapy appointment. We cancel appointments for them so we can go to the dentist for the first time in 2 years. We do the best we can. We aren’t super heros and we aren’t perfect. Sometimes we are “bad moms”, and that is okay.

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Using the cousins as distractions so mommy can play on her phone

#BadMom

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