My fears throughout the years:
- Youth (10-17ish): the dark, my mom being mad at me, the lunchroom on the first day of school, roaches
- Early Adult (18-23ish): failing a college class, getting a DUI, not finding “the one”, roaches
- Mid-Adult (24-26ish): losing my job, unexpected bills, losing a loved one, roaches
After we adopted Quin, my fears shifted. Suddenly my biggest fear became something bad happening to my child. Now that I am in the Special Needs world, my fears have shifted again. I still fear something bad happening to Quin, I think that is just a mom thing. (And I still fear roaches….) Now, though. Now, I fear something happening to me. Gosh, that sounds so self involved, but hear me out….. Who will take care of Quin if something happens to me? While I don’t do it perfectly, nobody can be Q’s mom as good as me…in my opinion. Who will keep up with his medication? Who will take him to therapy? Who will go fight those tough IEP fights? I really worry about that a lot…more than I care to admit. However, the worry that keeps me up at night is the fear of someone being mean to Quin because of his differences.
I literally tear up typing that. One of my biggest, keep me up at night, stressors, is some bully picking on my child because he is “special needs”. I literally have to stop typing to gain my composure. I don’t know why it moves me to tears so much but just thinking about my baby, at school, being picked on because of things beyond his control just breaks my heart. For whatever reason kids are mean. Obviously not all kids. Probably not even your kid. But kids in general are just mean.
Whether your child is considered special needs or is a typical child, you may share this fear with me. My challenge, not only for November, but for the long term, is to STICK WITH KINDNESS. If we, as moms, get in this mindset to stick with kindness, our kids will do it too. After all, they are always watching us and always learning from us.
It starts at the top. It starts at home. From politics to sexual orientation to race. It is all over the news. Our kids are seeing it every single day. They are seeing grown adults act like fools on the TV over trivial stuff. Look at it through a child’s eyes. They are learning “Oh, we should be mean to someone if they don’t think the same thing as us”. Then it moves to social media…these mom groups on FB. You guys. There is so much HATE in these darn groups. Debates turn into name calling which turns into mud slinging pissing matches over HPV shots, over breast milk, over home schooling, over cellphones for kids, over marital problems, over pregnancy tests, over rash pictures, over cloth diapers, over pre-k programs…literally stupid sh*t. How in the heck can we teach our kids about cyber bullying and how terrible it is when MOMS are doing the same thing within their SUPPORT groups?
I spent some time on StopBullying.gov I wanted to add some meaningful content to this post. I wanted some facts and figures to drive the message home. However, when I came across the “Who Is At Risk” post, I had to stop. I had to stop because in the section about “Children At Risk Of Being Bullied” I found that my child meets at least half of the criteria. If I am being honest, I knew all that already. However, reading it, in black and white, on a government website, just further spurred my fear and sent my anxiety into over-drive.
As I type this, my thoughts are going in all different directions. I have typed, erased, and typed again so many times. I just can’t seem to find the words. I don’t want this post to sound negative. I don’t want this post to be accusatory. I don’t want this post to make me sound like I am some Ellen level saint that just exudes kindness all the time, because I am human and have my slip-ups like everyone does. I just want this post to serve as a reminder that kindness is good. We should all Stick With Kindness.
Speaking of Ellen, she is the queen of giveaways. She rewards kindness on every single episode. Today, I am taking a page out of her playbook and doing a giveaway. One week from today (11/8/18) I will give one lucky winner a custom made Stick With Kindness tumbler! This 30oz stainless steel tumbler is SO STINKIN’ cute. It’s loaded down with multi-color glitter and features our new Stick With Kindness logo! My fellow HMM, Brandy, makes one-of-a-kind tumblers and has graciously donated this cup to support the HMMC’s mission to Stick With Kindness. If you can’t wait to win one, I have added some exclusive HMMC Stick With Kindness tumblers to the online store!
Entering the contest is easy! Just comment below. That’s it! Comment and you are automatically entered to win. The winner will be announced on 11/8/13! ***11/8/18 Update: Congrats to Jennifer W. on being our contest winner! Thanks to everyone who participated! Stay tuned for more giveaways!***
Another Ellen thing (Can you tell I love her?!?) is ending each show with “Be Kind To One Another”….well I don’t want to be a copy cat so I’ll end this post with Stick With Kindness.