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    It’s NOT Your Fault

    by Darcy Nichole

    So, it’s been a while. Quite a while… but I’m happy to be back. I really truly love writing as an outlet. To be able to actually sit down alone with my thoughts is seriously unheard of in my life at this point. So this is nice. And whether you read this and relate or not, it really just feels good to get it out. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately… too much, in fact. It’s been a CRAZY few months with the kids. I don’t think I’ve even close to stopped for like a minute for a while. My 4 almost 5 year old switched schools, so I had the pleasure of running around like a crazy person from place to place to get the paperwork in order to get in to his new school so he could actually start. My poor 2 almost 3 year old twins were less than amused with being drug around day after day for more than a few in a row. On top of all of that happening, we FINALLY were able to get the twins assets and placed into speech and behavioral therapy…. which is mainly what this will be about. That and ALL that comes with it. Great.. I’m already getting choked up and I’m in the first freaking paragraph. Awesome. So here goes.

    I am truly a “natural” or “boho” mom in the sense that I really believe in letting every kid develop at their own pace. Every kid will hit their milestones at a different time and I personally don’t like to put pressure on them because this article or that article says that my children NEED to be doing this by this age or that by that age, yata yata yata. I try to stay away from the articles about what we SHOULD be doing as parents, because personally, I feel that in some small form they are all, parent-shaming, you-have-to-fit-into-this-box-or-else-you-suck-as-a-parent, you-better-be-better-at-this-or-else-you’re-the-most-horrible-human-on-earth, LOADS OF CRAP. There is a reason there aren’t manuals to being parents like there are for cars. No matter what you do, each situation is unique and each child is unique. What might work on one, will ABSOLUTELY not work on the other. It’s hard enough having kids, especially if you have them fast. Trying to be perfect on top of it is laughable. We all try to do our best as parents. I truly believe that we love our children and want to do right by them. There is no right answer in how to make that happen. I went from 0-3 boys in 2.2 years. My life is so chaotic I literally have just been trying to keep my head above water. We were in survival mode for so long and looking back now, I realize how much we might have missed with the twins that we were able to do with my oldest. Reading books everyday.. nope. Singing songs with them and teaching them simple nursery rhymes.. ya right. All the things you are “supposed” to do with your kids was lost with the twins. Don’t get me wrong. We played together outside and not EVERYTHING was lost, but a lot of the time I was SO exhausted that all of a sudden it was night time and all the things I silently promised myself i’d do ‘tomorrow‘ the night before…never happened. I’d spend each night feeling SO bad about not doing this or that with my boys… or yelling because I was just trying to keep some sort of order and authority with 3 young boys.

    Around the time my twins hit 2, I really started to notice that they weren’t really talking much. They walked at 9.5 and 10 months and are SO physical I kind of just wrote it off.

    “They will get there”, I told myself frequently. I mean Einstein didn’t talk until he was 3.. so there! Around 2 is really also when the screaming started. I don’t think I was really even aware of it at first. I was so busy just trying to survive from the behaviors that come along with speech delay. I honestly look back and barely remember. A few things happened to bring my attention to it. Well, a few neighbors brought my attention to it. I heard a rumor from one neighbor that another wanted to call CPS on us.. then that neighbor would send backhanded texts about not “allowing my children to scream” so they could rest (they are older living in a family neighborhood, mind you). I even had a neighbor one day put a huge speaker outside in their backyard and BLAST music all day long in an attempt to drown out my kids… let me say how AWESOME I felt being at home. Oh wait… 🙁  I was so lost and had NO idea how to fix it. I couldn’t make them stop screaming… they had only a few words. Finally one day I could tell they were actually getting frustrated with not being able to tell me what they needed. I felt SO bad. Can you imagine?? Not being able to ask for a simple thing you need?? Not being able to tell anyone basically anything..? I have NEVER felt more guilt in a period of time than I did during this time. Everything went through my head from I should have read them books even though they would just tear the pages and wouldn’t listen to a word I was reading to I should have done this or that.. ANYTHING different from what I did. I remember a good friend with twins who had told me before about the San Diego Regional Center and how she started her premie twins with speech super early. I called her and asked for info. I made the call the day after I realized that they were frustrated. I might have made some mistakes but I wasn’t making anymore. No sir.

    The people at the center were seriously out of this world helpful! Maybe they heard the desperation in my voice?? LOL In any case, they sent two amazing ladies out that week to evaluate the twins to see what we could do. I’ll never forget.. while they were being evaluated, I had to answer some questions about them and they were outside on the trampoline playing. They started fighting over a towel.. and screaming, of course. I let it go for about a minute so I could try to finish answering the questions. After a minute they really started screaming so I excused myself to go break it up. As I was walking out, my most awesome neighbor stuck her head over the fence and looked at the twins and said, “WHAT ARE YOU SCREAMING ABOUT NOW!?!” As she was saying that, she saw me walking out and looked at me and said, “really darcy?” I lost it. I looked at her and told her I was LITERALLY having them evaluated now and that this wasn’t not fun for me either, started crying, and asked her to have some compassion… then I pretty much ran back inside to the safety of my house. The evaluators were blown away. It was such a crazy awful moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget. We ended up getting them into speech therapy as they had I think it was like a 25-50% speech delay for their ages. I also requested behavioral therapy so that I could learn tools as a parent to deal with all of this and really to just… be better. I clearly didn’t have a hold on things and I’m not so ignorant to think that I did. So we started both. And THANK GOD I stepped in when I did.

    I have already seen a HUGE difference in both their speech and their behavior. Apparently their expressive language was much higher than their receptive language.. which basically means they weren’t trying to misbehave.. they just didn’t understand what I was asking of them. Man did I feel like a complete asshole when I found that out. Great job mom! What I’ve learned most throughout all of this was to be more forgiving of myself. They are twins, AND boys.. so they already had some cards stacked against them. But no matter what, it wasn’t what I did or didn’t do.. their brains just developed slower in the language department. I had to learn to let go of SO much guilt. It’s still hard. Not everyday is easy. It’s gonna be a long road, but the progress I’ve seen already has made me so hopeful that I can actually breathe a sigh of relief most days. Bottom line.. if you’ve gone through something like this, or even if you haven’t and it’s something else… IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Kids are different from each other. I’m not a bad mom because my boys spoke late. I’m an AMAZING mom because I recognized it and did something about it. I advocate for my children and ALWAYS will. We are their voices until they have them.. and I don’t mean that in the literal sense. We know what’s best for our kids.. not some article that tells you that you are doing everything wrong. I’ve come to terms (for the most part) that I did the best I could in the situation I was in. I had 3 boys 2 and under and I was just trying to survive. I’ve let go of most of the guilt, and with that I’ve let go of A LOT of people’s opinions. NO ONE knows what you go through as a parent on the daily. Again, EVERY KID IS DIFFERENT. So don’t let what others think or their judgements affect what you do. Do you. Do it with LOVE for your kids, and that is what they will learn. That, along with everything else they are supposed to learn… in their own time, with your guidance. And remember if someone hasn’t walked in your shoes, nothing you can say will actually make them understand what you have been through, so find mom’s that do, link arms and hearts and SUPPORT each other. We need to BE the change in this mother shaming society. We are all just trying to do our best. And if you really know that, then smile. You were meant to play the part in your kids lives that you do and that you will. Show them love, teach them gratitude and humility and they will be just fine.

    From one crazy, overwhelmed, SUPERWOMAN (because that’s what we really are) to the next.


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