The Storm in My Mind as I Learn to Parent My Daughter With Down Syndrome


Some days are great. Others, not so much. Those are the days I wake up and feel instantly swallowed up in my own personal tornado.

  • dishes, therapy, work, milk, appointments
  • laundry, positioning, gym, diapers
  • fear, schedules, visitors
  • questions, reflux
  • more therapy
  • colic

Some days I think therapy isn’t working or that I am not doing enough. I feel impatient in wanting Kara to hit major milestones. I question every little thing that could be holding her back. Some days I waste so much brainpower on these unknowns and these pointless worries.

Some days, I notice I am neglecting myself or the house. That we’re out of clean burp cloths or warm pajamas. I notice I haven’t been to the gym in a week and the polish on my nails has chipped into odd patterns at the tips of my fingers. The dust on the TV is an inch thick and the dog prints on the sliding backdoor make it impossible to see through.

All I hear are little raindrops all around me singing, “fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

I feel there is no crawling out of this storm in my mind. I have no choice but to hold on tight until it passes. Afterwards, I may be left with the rubble, but I also have a fresh perspective.

I believe there is nothing that a good night’s sleep, a little coffee and a deep breath can’t cure. Suddenly, I realize I have survived the storm in my mind and the sun looks brighter than ever! After weeks of practicing, Kara starts to coo back at me and holds her head up longer. Then she naps just long enough for me to run the dishwasher and spray some Windex on that back door. I make myself a priority. I eat a healthy lunch and hit the gym while Jacob watches the baby. When I get home, I take a  long, steamy, relaxing shower because I deserve it.

I know things will cycle back around and I will be hit with another mind tornado sooner rather than later. However, I know I can come out on the other side. Though things might get tough from time to time, I have learned it makes the good stuff that much better. Even with all of the stress, chaos, anxiety, and times of doubt, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. It’s all mine. I work hard for it.

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Thinkstock image by ipopba

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