I feel as though I am in a bit of a frenzied slump. Yes, I realize that is a bit of an oxymoron. I am feeling unmotivated to write which was something I used to thoroughly enjoy and quite frankly, I have so many discombobulated thoughts racing through my mind that I am having great difficulty sorting through the muck. My camera has been resting in its bag for many days which is very atypical for this paparazzi mama bear. What is truly bothering me? Why am I having a hard time getting up in the morning? It isn't just lack of sleep or not enough coffee. I do recognize that.
There are new changes and there will be even more changes ahead in the next few weeks. Changes that many of you have already survived. That is perhaps what has me in this frenzied state and what is triggering this need for me to bury myself into a protective cacoon.
My Ellie learns by repetition and by routine. However, she is not greatly distressed when her routine is disrupted or changes. I, however, am. It has taken me nearly 30 years and I am just now figuring this out. Apparently, I am much more rigid than I thought! The public schools started in Austin last Monday and with that, our therapy schedules changed to accommodate the school year. However, Ellie does not turn 3 years-old for another 2 weeks which means she has not yet started school like many of her peers. Right now, we are in limbo. A new therapy schedule, but no school. Soon, a new school will be thrown into the mix. Five days of PPCD for 4 hours a day located at the elementary school down the street. Morning therapies have been rescheduled to the afternoon. Some therapies canceled all together. Morning playgroups, eliminated. Ellie seems to be taking all of these changes in stride, but I am struggling.
We are at a threshold. The point where after 3 years of me being my daughter's sole care provider (plus Andrew, of course!), I am leaving her in the hands of the school. Yes, they are highly trained professionals with a zeal for teaching and a love of kids, but I am her mommy! I feel like the umbilical cord is about to be severed. Yes, it is time. Yes, Ellie is ready. I, however, am not.
For the past 3 years, my life has essentially been defined as being a mother. A mother to a rambunctious little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and a love for climbing. A mother to a daughter with extra needs. A mother who shuttles her child from one therapy to another. A mother who works tirelessly to help her little girl navigate the world, to talk, to walk, to eat with a spoon, to communicate with her hands, and to know that she is so desperately loved beyond measure. A mother to Ellie Bear. I am known to many as "Ellie Bear's mom". I am known as Ellie Bear's mom in our playgroup and at the eateries we frequent. I seriously doubt all of the workers at Quizno's and at the mall's carousel know my actual given name, but they certainly know Ellie's. My car is even known as "Ellie Bear's car".
I have not stepped foot into the work force since Ellie came kicking and screaming into this world. I am no longer Anna, pediatric NP, but rather Ellie Bear's Mom. I am PROUD to be Ellie Bear's mommy and yet, I am struggling. I am struggling because my baby is going to school and will be in the care of strangers. When did she get so big? What happened to the wee little bambina I used to swaddle in tiny little receiving blankets? I am struggling because I seem to have lost my identity outside of being a mother.
So many things are changing and these changes are not bad. However, they have indeed thrown me into a frenzied state of uncertainty. Who am I?
I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a nurse practitioner. I am a child of God. I am, simply, me.