Quit Telling Moms to Do the Impossible

A few weeks back I had all I could take of our current parenting situation. Our then two-month old son, Preston, who has multiple medical issues, had appointments at 8:50 and 1:50 at opposite ends of town, making it impossible for me to pick up or drop off our son Anderson, who has Down syndrome, at pre-school. Anderson only goes to school twice a week and I think these days are crucial for his development. Thankfully Andy has the world’s best boss and was able to take the day off to take Preston to his appointments.

I was planning on getting work done. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and I was behind on my duties for the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network, I had a pitching assignment for work and as for household chores…. well, these days I’m always behind. I was really tempted to drop Anderson off at school and spend the day at home with our daughter, Violet, who would let me get it all done. But instead.

Instead, I took her to the children’s museum. It was just Violet and me. I love taking Violet places. She so easily finds joy. Her body danced with excitement at each new thing she tried.

A girlfriend of mine has young children like me. That same day she posted on Facebook about the chaotic morning that had unfolded all before 8 a.m. It made me laugh. It made me feel normal. Because although I was wrapping up a near magical day of one on one time with my daughter, most of my days resemble the hard hilarity she described.

But her post was met with so many comments that made me feel a bit sad. The overarching theme was—that she would miss this all one day. In fact, I saw at least two separate people post lyrics of sappy country music songs. Two!

As parents of really young children, we are often told to enjoy this phase while it lasts. It goes by too quickly, they say. The notions come from good intentioned people, I know. But sometimes I don’t think we realize the negative impact our well-meaning words can have.

Jillian Benfield
Jillian Benfieldhttp://newsanchortohomemaker.com
Jillian Benfield is a former TV News Anchor/Reporter, turned military wife and work from home mom. When she was 20 weeks pregnant with her second child, she learned her son had Down syndrome. Now she’s trying to figure out how to juggle a wonderfully sassy toddler and a baby with special needs. She writes at News Anchor To Homemaker.  Jillian’s work has been featured on ABC News, The TODAY Show and Yahoo News. Follow along with her parenting adventures on Facebook!

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