A mothers guilt

I have said those words to myself a thousand times, but typing those words out for all the world to see…(deep breath)..it stings a little…

A mothers guilt…this mothers guilt.

I can speak as a mom, and I by no means am trying to say ALL moms feel this way, or are this way, but I hope there are others who understand.

We have to make decisions that will affect our children’s lives. It will affect who they become, and there’s always going to be those stories they tell people about their memories of things, good, bad and in-between. I have stories about my mother. My mom lost her mother at a very young age, so she didn’t get the privilege (I mean that) to complain to her mom about how her own kids (one of which is me 🙂 ) were driving her crazy. Or ask her mom “how did you do it mom!” or to say what I have said a gazillion times to my mom “I’m so sorry for what I put you through”. Mostly I apologize for being a self centered, lazy teenager. And my mom smiles and says “you don’t have to apologize to me”. Yes I do. That’s how I show my mom how differently I see things now as a mother compared to how I saw them as that bratty teenager. And they are not just words to me, I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart. I’m sure my mom doesn’t want my apology because, well, because she’s mom. Mom’s understand their kids will make mistakes, lots of them in fact. Moms hope they can help avoid some obvious mistakes, but I’m learning sometimes us moms must sit back and let the rocks tumble. But when things go wrong and it hurts our kids we moms are always so hard on ourselves, that wonderful “mothers guilt”.

This is going to sound crazy, but I really got lucky with my girls. I was 18 when I got pregnant. I didn’t even know how to take care of myself let alone a baby or two!  Which meant I didn’t eat right, I didn’t sleep enough, or I slept to much, I skipped my prenatal vitamins a lot (they made me nauseous) I stressed myself to tears daily. I was unhappy. I was 18, unmarried, and my boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me after I got pregnant. I had to drop out of college, lost my scholarship. I lost my job because I got put on bed rest. I already felt the mothers guilt. I felt bad for bringing my kids into a single parent home, with no dad in the picture (at the time) and I had no money to take care of them. The depression I felt was actually my mothers guilt I’m sure.

As a kid I dreamed of a fancy future, a high paying career, I was going to be someone important! I always remember picturing myself in a loft downtown with an area for my art with paint brushes and a work in project sitting on an easel. Anyway, being an 18 year old unemployed single pregnant teen was the farthest thing from my dream. My dad was dying of cancer, my mom was in her midlife crisis and my best friend dumped me. I was a depressed wreck. But a miracle happened, well 2. I gave birth to two beautiful and healthy baby girls who brightened my world beyond my imagination. They had a few minor health issues as babies, but overall they were very healthy babies! By 6 months they slept through the night. They weren’t picky eaters, I just had to cut up the meat and hide it in mashed potatoes. They were full of smiles and giggles and they shined everywhere we went. I eventually got back to college. I didn’t think I could love anything or anyone as much I loved those girls! I was lonely sure, but I didn’t really picture myself with anyone. I accepted it was me and them girls forever. So I spoiled them, dressed them alike, gave lots of hugs and kisses, did their hair every day in pig tails, I enjoyed them because as far as I was concerned they would be my only children. Then life threw me a curve ball, well a lot of curve balls and with each of those came more guilt.

I met a guy, looking back I’m honestly mad at my mother for encouraging it. But she was just happy to see me happy again and the idea of me not having to raise my girls alone was nice. What a fool I was. I can’t express how much guilt I have locked away over this one, but it is what it is. Lessons were learned. I became a much stronger person from it all. And in 2002 I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. It was a very, very, very difficult and long delivery. I was in labor for over 27 hours and actively pushed for nearly seven hours, mind you this after having my twins by c-section. My son was 9 pounds and he couldn’t get out. I have guilt over picking that quack doctor.

From day one Ryan had health issues. He didn’t sleep, he was always hungry but like the girl from the exorcist, he threw everything up. It was awful. Jaundice, fevers, ear infections, acid reflux (I never knew a baby could have that!) eczema, sick all the time he was. The guilt over his birth still eats at me. I was again going through another pregnancy alone but this time also raising twin four year olds. The last thing I wanted was to be raising 3 kids by two different fathers alone, going through a divorce. What a catch I made my myself! At least I had a job this time. (there’s my sarcasm) Do I need to explain where the mothers guilt fits in this part of the story? God I hope not!

Fast forward through a lot of crappy choices that came with more of..you guessed it… mothers guilt.

Let’s see, I have no idea where to start on this part… Hmm.. okay, 2004 was the first time I took Ryan in for outside help. Ryan was always so much more work than my girls were. I’m sure I’m exaggerating but I honestly remember the girls always being so easy. You said “no, don’t touch that” they didn’t touch it. Shocking I know! I mean, they’d give me a poutty face, immediately followed by a big smile and a “shake that booty..uh uh..shake that booty baby” such easy kids. Ryan is a tester, a button pusher, he likes to test the limits and push buttons. He’s honery! Anyways, 2004 fast forward through alot of mis-diagnoses, therapy, behavior modification, medical tests and hospitalizations…and the overwhelming guilt that comes with all that… Ryan actually has Epilepsy, and ADHD. He’s a great kid though. He’s funny, charming, peculiar, artistic, loving, smart, jokester, thoughtful. But he’s had a rough road, course thank god he had me and his sisters because it takes a whole lot of love to get a person through what he was.

And the guilt over all the stuff I fast forwarded through? Well there’s just so much to explain, to sum it up, I learned how to be my child’s advocate. I learned how to navigate my way through the system. The medical, the insurance, the doctors, the school, IEP’s, I became obsessed with it all. Why? My guilt. It’s silly really. Most people don’t know about this stuff, we trust the doctors and the schools to do right by us and our kids. BUT I learned a very important lesson. We must educate ourselves too, moms (and dads if they are involved) are the most important person to stand and fight for our kids.

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Your a good mom

I hear this alot…not from my kids. Okay, sometimes from my kids, but more from other people. I know I’m a good mom (I think I am at least) but it is nice to hear it. Even as an adult I want to be praised!

I’m sitting in the hospital with my son for his 4th video EEG. I remember the first time he had one and how I didn’t expect anything to come from it. The second one I wasn’t sure exactly what the doctors would find. I thought either it would confirm the epilepsy diagnoses or say he wasn’t even having seizures at all. The 3rd one I couldn’t believe how badly I wanted him to have a seizure! We were there for 5 days waiting for one. We loaded him with sugar and pop and made him stay up late, woke him up early, anything to bring one on. I even cranked up the heat to sweat one out of him! (he gets them when he overheats) I was completely and utterly exhausted.

One night me and my girls played a game to encourage Ryan to hyperventilate for the doctor, which means make him breathe fast. So the game was dare or dare, because Ryan hates the truth part of truth or dare so he said only the dare part. So me and his (amazing) sisters would allow Ryan to dare us to do silly embarrassing things in trade for 10 fast breaths. Each dare was more humiliating than the last one and we would increase the breaths. “If I do that you better give me 15 breaths!” I had to sing and dance “walk like an Egyptian” mind you our room had glass walls so all the floor could see(the one time I appreciated the staff not paying attention). One of my girls had to let Ryan give her a wet willy holding his finger in her ear for 5 seconds (bless your heart Ashley). Breanna’s turn came and Ryan wanted to give her a wet willy for 10 seconds and Breanna absolutely refused! “no way! You probably haven’t brushed your teeth” and right as she said that word Ryan swiped his finger across her tongue. The finger that sat in Ashley’s ear for 5 seconds(I think he even picked his nose…gross I know)! LOL! We couldn’t stop laughing, Breanna couldn’t wipe her tongue off hard enough! We even talked a nurse into dancing like a chicken for 20 breaths! That was the best time during that whole 5 days, we laughed so hard!  This mom doesn’t enjoy her baby (he’s 10 I know…but my kids are all still my babies)staying in a hospital. I just wanted the test to be done but also giving the doctors the results they needed.

This is the 4th EEG, we’re hoping for a 24 hour stay, but it could go 48 hours. I pray for 24 hours. My doggies at home will be going crazy tonight since I’m not there, one night is enough. Don’t make them suffer for 2 nights!  Anyway back to my title…

I am told by a lot of people that I’m a good mom. I hear many things, usually encouraging. But my first thought is usually “well what is the other option?” Because the way I see it, there’s no choice for me. He needs me here! I am the only parent he has! The only person he can count on, to never break their promise to him! I need to support him and he needs these tests, he has Epilepsy for crying out loud! This is what a mother does! You sacrifice and suffer for your kids! That’s what the title mom means! I know this is the last thing he wants to do, I need to be here! But the truth is, not all moms think the same. Not all moms can do this. I didn’t think I’d be this mom. I honestly never imagined having a child with health issues. You dream of your baby being perfect, counting 10 fingers and 10 toes. I would have never imagined I’d be this strong. But that’s what being a mom is. There are so many parts to make us good parents. We weren’t born with them, we learn them as we go. The struggles create strength. Pain creates appreciation. All of the steps we’ve gone through had a purpose, a lesson for us. It’s up to us to grab them and learn from them. Let the lessons make us better people, better parents.

I am a good mom.

testing..testing..1..2..3..4..5..oh come on! Enough already!

I was told that each of us (our souls) returns to earth and must repeat the lessons we didn’t get from our last lives. It sounds crazy, but it would explain how situations seem to keep repeating in my life. Not exactly the same way, but when I get down deep and ask myself “what is this for” the answer is a lesson I thought I had already learned. So is it a test then? Testing me to see if I really did get the lesson? Will I handle it better this time around? Or did I not the lesson right at all?

I’m a very open person. Just ask anyone who knows me, I’m an open book. I tell it how it is, I’m honest and blunt, sometimes painfully. I’ve been told a hundred times I should write a book about my life, this issue or that. And there came a point I wasn’t sure what direction to focus the book on!

  • Being a young single mother of twins at age 19 and how I managed to cope and struggle?
  • Suffering years of domestic violence at the hands of my then husband and how I managed to break free?
  • Or parenting a child (single parenting might I add!) with special needs and how to juggle all that I need to do for him and still hold a job to pay the bills!
  • Or how to teach other parents how to become their child’s advocate and how I’ve learned to educate myself for my son.

Each time I think I have survived the issue and found a way to say I am in a good place, now I can find a way to pay it forward, help others…. Right as that thought even dares to cross my mind, BAM! Slapped in the forehead with something, some issue that triggers memories of a time I don’t want to remember. All those emotions I felt then, they resurface. And then the only way I can describe it is my juggling act crumbles. One to many balls were thrown into my act and I drop them all! Temporarily of course. I have 3 kids looking at me, so I must get up, dust off my butt and breathe. Then I remind myself I can do this…AGAIN.

But the frustration that comes from having to redo that lesson makes me angry. I literally will look up at the sky (because we all know that’s where god is, duh!) and ask “WHY! Haven’t I had enough!”. I like to imagine sometimes that he smiles at me, sympathetic but knowing on the other side of this road I will come out better so he can smile about it. I know each struggle makes me a better, stronger person. I know I would not be who I am without having gone through the struggles I’ve had. (I have almost thanked my twins dad for leaving me alone to raise our girls, almost is the key word there, ha-ha!) But I do have my selfish moments, some last longer than others, but I think I’m allowed to feel overwhelmed and angry, disappointed in the painful truths. And with the help of some great friends I am reminded to breathe, and that I will get through this and that I know how. I know what to do. Sometimes I need someone else to say it to me to remind myself I can do it because I have done it.

Then there is that best friend who brings me in a cupcake, or Reese’s peanut butter cup when they know today is one of those days. And when it’s really bad, I even get a bottle of inexpensive wine! Just a small gesture, but man does that sugar rush amp me up to conquer the world! At least until the next ball is thrown in and the cycle repeats…testing me yet again.

A friend for Ryan

I need help buying my son a new dog. We must have a boxer, that’s what we know and they really are the perfect dog! Besides the gas and their sometimes stubbornness, ha-ha. There’s the initial fee to purchase the dog, then the fee to spay or neuter the dog, shots, micro-chip, flea treatment, heartworm pills, good quality food and toys, and the kicker?? The lesson this mom has learned? I am going to train our new dog to be my son’s seizure alert dog. It will then be a medical alert dog and we can take it wherever my son needs to be, even the hospital. Take that Katy!

I’ve set up an account with PayPal. If you would like to make a contribution to assist me in correcting my terrible wrong doing… The account for PayPal is allforryan@gmail.com.

Or you can send payments to:

Ryan Serrano 10-42, PO Box 98921, Lincoln NE 68509.

Please make check payable to: his foolish mom (ok, seriously better put my real name on it so we can cash the check) Heather Serrano, the funds will go to the “My Mom is the idiot that gave away my best friend!” fund.

  • Ryan is almost 10. He has had a very long road with medical issues. But he’s been a brave trooper the whole way.

    • Ryan has grown up with his best friend, a boxer I bought for the family when Ryan was 9 months old. Ryan called Bruzer his brother.

    • Truth is, I never would have imagined how much our family would love that dog! He comforted us, he stood guard to protect us, and he was silly and goofy when we needed a laugh!

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    • Bruzer was the strongest, bravest dog! (ok…maybe I’m exaggerating a little. But to us he was) But as they say, even the strong grow tired.

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    • Bruzer got sick. It was hard. It was sad. And it was too soon. He wasn’t even 8 years old. A brain tumor took our beloved Bruzy. We all cried for weeks. No more Bruzy toes tip-tapping on the floor, pacing the house as he made his rounds to each of our beds. No more slobbery kisses. No more drool thrown on the walls from him shaking his head. It’s crazy the things you miss when you lose someone.

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    • In an effort to heal our hearts, a friend found us Roxy. I initially said no. My heart hurt too much and I was not ready. Kids can talk you into just about anything though. And I couldn’t turn down her face! She was 2 and needing rescued from a bad situation. Potty training, done! Kennel training, done! She was perfect and she took immediately to Bruzy’s role.

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    • Truth is, I think Roxy was even better for Ryan. Just like Bruzy, she took to Ryan. She had the energy to run a hundred miles, just like Ryan! She was quick on her toes, which she needed for Ryan. It became Ryan and Roxy. My girls got a little older, too much of a social life J So Ryan had Roxy time. And a lot of it. They bonded. She knew how to cheer him up, nipping at his heels to make him play.

Ryan was hospitalized and Roxy suffered from missing him. She couldn’t eat, and she didn’t get her regular bathroom breaks as she needed. And like a good girl Roxy tried her hardest not to have any accidents in the house…even though it was understandable when she did. Roxy got so stressed, I had no time for anyone. I’d bring Ryan’s dirty shirt home from the hospital so she could smell it, and her nub would wiggle for a moment…then she’d get just as sad. I swear she knew the smell, she knew he was in the hospital and it made her sad.

I am a single mom, so to say I was exhausted is minimizing it. I had to work and get back and forth from the hospital, try to make time for my daughters because let’s face it, times like this proves the wheel that squeaks the loudest gets greased…I mean, we forget about the healthy kids. Not on purpose, but there is only so much time in a day and the sick need more from us…

This was a very hard time for me. I think I had a few nervous breakdowns, or maybe even a dozen! I reached to what family and friends I could ask to keep her, even just a few days. I begged even! There was no one. Roxy toughed it out with us. Ryan was released with a diagnosis of Epilepsy. A very long list of appointments that needed to be made, more tests that needed to be run, more stress and strain on mom. I was exhausted. I did each thing that needed to be done for Ryan. With a very understanding employer (thank you god for that!). But with the overwhelming stress, I broke. I made the biggest mistake! (well one of, trust me I’ve made more than a few mistakes).I had finally gotten my Uncle to take Roxy. We agreed it was temporary, and if it became too hard on us we could have Roxy back. I cried, and sobbed trying to back out before he even got her. But his daughter ‘coached’ me to think of what was best for Roxy, not be selfish, we could have her back whenever we wanted, or see her whenever. From here the story depends on who tells it. Bottom line is I screwed up and I lost my son’s best friend. My Uncle and his family grew too attached to Roxy (within days) and we cannot have her back. We tried to accept it reminding ourselves we could still see her. We even tried many times to change their minds. Which broke out a war between us and them. They lied, we can’t see our dog. And they think we’re awful people for fighting with them over…a dog. (the fact that they say that is crazy! Just give her back then!)

In the end….I LOST MY SON’S BEST FRIEND!

We’ve accepted we can’t have her back. (My Uncle is being a selfish old coot who should think more about his god-daughters son than himself…okay him and his family suck…just my 2 cents since I can put it where I want J)

I feel terrible. The stress of all this has upset my son so much, it has triggered his seizures again. which were under control… I MUST GET HIM A DOG!

I need help buying my son a new dog. We must have a boxer, that’s what we know and they really are the perfect dog! Besides the gas and their sometimes stubbornness, ha-ha. There’s the initial fee to purchase the dog, then the fee to spay or neuter the dog, shots, micro-chip, flea treatment, heartworm pills, and the kicker?? The lesson this mom has learned? I am going to train our new dog to be my son’s seizure alert dog. It will then be a medical necessity and we can take it wherever my son needs to be, even the hospital. Take that Uncle Rick!

I’ve set up an account with PayPal. If you would like to make a contribution to assist me in correcting my terrible wrong doing… The account for PayPal is allforryan@gmail.com.

Or you can send payments to Ryan Serrano 10-42, PO Box 98921, Lincoln NE 68509. Please make check payable to his foolish mom (Heather Serrano) so we can cash the check and apply the funds to the “My Mom is the idiot that gave away my best friend!” fund.

Thank you in advance,

A very sorry mom who needs to heal her son’s heart fast,