“Sooner or later….” When someone starts a sentence like this, I cringe. I am not a “Sooner or later” type of girl. I am not a “Hold your breath and wait” kind of lady. I am a doer. I seek answers. I read, I research, I ask. I do not hold my breath and wait.
I appreciate the moms that are doers. These are the families I love to work with. These are the moms I love. They are the ones who are asking what more they can do. And do you know what I DON’T say: “Don’t worry about. Sooner or later, they will talk/eat/understand.”
As humans, we think this is what people want to hear. We think that moms want us to console them by saying “Sooner or later they will do it.” They do not want this. Well, at least I do not. I want support. When I say “Hank cries from 8:30 to 10:30 every night. I cannot get him to go to bed. I am so exhausted from fighting with him every night” I want my friends to say “That is horrible. What do you think is going on?” I want to hear what worked and didn’t work for their own children. I want to hear what to do. We all want to hear what to do. No one wants to hear “Sooner or later.”
I hate it as a therapist about as much as I hate hearing it as a mom. Hiring me is hard. Not because I am hard to get a hold of, or because I am crazy expensive. It is hard because a mom had to come to the conclusion there is a problem that they cannot fix on their own. And moms are supposed to fix everything on their own, right? Yeah, it is hard to ask for help.
What makes it harder? No support. You may think you are helping by telling your friend/daughter/sister/cousin that she doesn’t need to worry…that every kid talks sooner or later….that their child will not starve themselves, they will eat when they are hungry…that if they just wait until they get to school they will catch up with the other kids. But you aren’t. Your friend/daughter/sister/cousin knows there is a problem. They know what their child needs. And then they do it. They call a specialist and they ask for help. It was hard and scary and she feels like she failed a little.
Then she called you. She told you what she did and you poo pooed it. You waved it away as if you were talking about dusty floor boards. And now that huge step she just took, that scary phone call she just made…it seems petty. Now she is not so sure of what she just did. But you know that kid needs it! You hung up the phone and said to your husband “I am so glad she is getting him some help!” Oh for heaven’s sake! Why wouldn’t you tell her that? Why wouldn’t you let her know that you are proud of her? She needs your support. Not your downplay of something that is so serious for her.
Let’s support each other. The little things and the big things. Let’s listen and care. Not shush it away. Because there are kids out there that never talk. There are kids that get feeding tubes, because they do starve themselves. And there are a lot of moms out there that are scared, and worried, and are wanting help. Let’s give it to them. Let’s give it to each other.
And that being said….Hank won’t go to bed. He is a happy, smart, and funny kid. Until it is dark. Then we fight for two hours. I end every single night nearly in tears, with a glass of wine in hand, and completely exhausted from the fight. What do I do?