by - 9:01:00 PM

I spent tonight (and the last 27 nights) crying to Dustin about this pit in my stomach that won't go away. The guilt, the sickening feeling, and the overwhelming dread that is taking over my every thought and emotion since we decided to send Girlfriend to a four-day-a-week preschool program.

Abby has had an extra hard time learning, adapting, controlling her temper, and accepting change (wonder where she gets it? ha!). Her irrational behavior, we've assumed (up until about four months ago), has been associated with traits of anxiety. While this is still the case, we've had her tested further to discover Abby struggles with some sensory processing issues. Because of this, and so many other reasons, we looking into programs for her in our area.

Following a screening process at the local elementary school for a program, an opening for the tuition based program came to be right at the time we needed it (a crazily abnormal time). An immediate calm settled it, and we were assured that it was the right choice for Abby. Not 24 hours later, my doubts settled in. Followed by the guilt. Followed by the dread. Followed by the sleepless night, conversations upon conversations surrounding the subject (begging others to reassure me it's the right decision). And, quickly followed by the nightly sobbing sessions to my husband - begging him to let her stay home with me.

I've read and re read this article over and over, assuring myself that the peace I once felt is surely Divine and an answer to so, so many prayers.

Recently Abby has improved by leaps and bounds (comparatively). We have also improved, as parents to Abby. A whole lot of research, and understanding speaks volumes to the way we have adjusted our parenting to match Abby's individual needs. But, try as we might, we do not have the skill set to teach her certain (necessary) coping skills. And, we just so happen to have moved into one of the best school districts in the nation (which had an opening in their Early Learning Program at a time that was too perfect to call coincidental). We feel blessed, and surely acknowledge the Divine Hand guiding us.

That said, the change, nerves, and emotions on my part are eating me alive. We have been so fortunate to be able to provide for our family on Dustin's income - allowing me to stay home full time. Naturally, this change is going to be overwhelming on all accounts. Envisioning Girlfriend eating lunch alone, away from me for the first time is not doing anyone any good (though it is quickly tearing my heart into a thousand little pieces). The thoughts that she will surely despise me for the remainder of her life for making her feel abandoned are really not doing anybody any good.

Abby's needs have lead her to lean on me, to need me, and encouraged me to be protective and cautious of every situation she encounters. I am always (always!) aware of what she is feeling, predicting how she will react, reading her every move, and communicating with her in advance - trying to help her avoid situations that would hinder her more than any other child. And now (for a few hours a day) that's all going to be shaken up. For a better future? Probably (of course). But, it sure makes for a super difficult (and sometimes paralyzing) present.

Abby is tender. She reads the emotions of others and internalizes them. She feels all the feelings. Abby can be sweet and kind, and fiesty and overbearing. She gets "kinda nervous" (as she says) and then says "I have ta wait, mom. I wait for a minute."  Little things set Abby off. And I feel as though I need to be there to be her personal translator for life. That's rational, isn't it? Because, knowing that she's going through all those things without me there to help her makes me want to dig a hole and cry for days. That goes against every fiber of my mothering being! Abby is this huge chunk of me, reacting, like me; looking like me; and feeling like me. And she's just strolling around outside of me. And now I feel like I'm losing her. (like i said, i'm totally rational right now, guys.)

I don't know why I'm sharing this. Maybe to help clear my mind so I can maybe, just maybe, sleep a little tonight post bawling session. No matter the reason, or reassurance offered, I can guarantee that when she is crying, walking into the school I will be too. And that's not going to be helping anyone. For real.

And now, I'm going to go curl up in a ball next to her sleeping self. Because I'm a creep mother.

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  1. That peaceful feeling was the Holy Ghost, the feeling of anxiety is not, but it is a part of being a mother. You are an awesome mom, Abby, Evie and Dustin are all lucky to have you.