One of the things I have been thinking about quite a bit is my role with Champion and exactly what it is. I know that sounds a bit strange since obviously I am his mom, but since we learned about his diagnosis, I have added advocate, therapist, nurse, appointment scheduler and paper work filler outer, to name a few, to my role as mom. I find that I have often done a pretty good job of staying on top of the above mentioned aspects of my role with him, but I’m not really sure I have taken the time out to just be “Mom”.
In the back of my mind I am always thinking how an activity can be turned into a therapy, what skill it will enhance for him. Every activity is carefully planned as to not disrupt his feeding schedule, his sleep schedule, to allow optimal time and energy to devote to working on milestones. And those things are important but…my role with him is more than that.
Lately I find myself just wanting to be with him, to get to know who he is, to spend time with him without a specific agenda, without a specific goal in mind. I want to enjoy building a bond with him. To let loose and not focus so much on everything always having to be therapy in some way or another. To allow my time with him to just flow. To say who cares if he wants to knock the letters on the ground and laugh instead of working on his fine motor skills by picking them up and releasing them into the bucket.
I want to take care of his needs, but also be able to throw the hidden purposes out the window, and just enjoy him as my son. I think he really needs that from me and I think I really need that too.
So…yesterday we just swam. And had a blast!
I put aside the excuses that he was too tired, he hadn’t slept good the night before, his feeding schedule would be off, we wouldn’t be able to do his after nap therapy routine, I don’t have the energy to,etc and just swam. And had so much fun.
First though we had to get prepared.
I had always resisted swimming in the past out of fear. Early on a Dr. had told me that Champion could get poisoned from too much chlorinated water getting in him through the sides of his g tube opening. So I just didn’t take him swimming.
But then I talked to other moms who took their kids who were g tube fed swimming all the time and they said they just covered it with tegaderm and plastic wrap and didn’t have any problems. (Love learning from other moms.) So we got him all wrapped up.
Now he’s all ready to go.
At first he wasn’t to thrilled.
So cousin got in and tried to show him how much fun playing in the water could be.
Then she got distracted and tried to get his glasses.
Eventually he relaxed and started liking the water. (So I know this was just a fun time, but I couldn’t resist thinking how free his movements were in the water.) Here he is kicking his legs.
Back to the fun. We spun in a tube. (Not too much though, my ability to handle spinning has greatly decreased with age.) Champion really enjoyed the spinning!
Here he is just “chillin”.
Then we tried a slightly warmed hot tub. He wasn’t too sure about the jets and bubbles at first.
But he got used to it.
All in all I think swimming was a hit. For him and for me.
So moving forward I am definitely going to be making an effort to put more focus on my “Mom” hat and figure out what that looks like in the midst of the other roles.
I would love to learn from you! How do you balance the “other” roles you find yourself in with your role as Mom?
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