Friday, March 23, 2012

Post-Orlando let down, aka re-entry

I went to Orlando again. And it's just as hard to describe. But I finally have words for one part and wanted to share.

I was on a pedestal...
...It was hard to step off.

Here's what happened. In Orlando, moms praise you for ANYTHING you do. Seriously.
Take the 5K. If you run it, they cheer. If you walk it, they cheer. If you hoop at the finish line instead, they cheer. If you cheer for others, they cheer. If you quit, they cheer. If you stay home in bed, they cheer. If you drive a van, they hold up the finish line and cheer. Whatever you want or need to do for you, they cheer.
And the same goes for your RADical parenting. Good or bad, they cheer, because at least you're doing it. Here's a quote from last year's post...
I was reminded that I do a lot of things right, and even more wrong, but greatly encouraged because I DO them. Did you catch that?
These moms thought I was awesome just because I do them.

Most people have no idea that I do them.
Can you imagine? I honestly wish every single one of you could.
For the FIRST time ever, I felt fully loved, respected, appreciated, and encouraged by people other than my husband who fully understand what it's like to live with RAD.
Dealing with my RADical life, I sometimes "step down". I might not actually put normal other moms on a pedestal, but I do take a step below them in my mind. I have more to deal with, I get overwhelmed, I don't always do a good job, etc. I don't think they're better, luckier maybe, but I see them on a different level from me. So in my daily life, I know I'm trying and sometimes I'm amazing, but I just feel a step below.

In Orlando, moms say GET UP THERE MAMA! Step up here on this pedestal and let me tell you how awesome you are! I can't argue, because they're busy climbing up with me. And it's so fun at the top. It's a weekend beyond description (at least for now)...

Then you go home.

And no one sees the pedestal. They want food, love, attention, time, clean dishes... They don't ask if you'd like to sleep in, or eat this bag of cookies, or stay up late with your friends, or learn to knit, or soak in the hot tub, or read in peace. And more importantly, they don't tell you how awesome you are.

I was angry, but I wasn't sure why.
Sure, there's payback for mom being gone for days, we all expect that from RADicals.
Sure, there's a mourning period after such a refreshing retreat from RADical real life.
And sure, you miss your wonderful, supportive friends.
But after all that, I was still mad and didn't even know why. I should be happy. It was great, I learned a lot, and I was very glad to be home. But I was mad, resentful, mean even!

After a few arguments discussions with my poor husband, I finally realized I forgot to step off of the pedestal and get back to life. I'm still completely awesome and my heart's still perched up there grinning, but I needed to start using the tools I received to be an awesome mom. I had to get out of bed, put away the snacks, and start loving on my family again.

And guess what? I was happy!

And guess what else? I didn't step back down below the normal other moms. I stepped right there beside them. Budge over ladies, make room. This mom is awesome, even when I'm not awesome, whether I'm on my pedestal or not!

I ♥ Orlando.


Mama Drama Times Two said...

You ARE awesome!!!! So happy you came back and can't wait o see you this summer

Lindsay Mama to Nine said...

I struggled too. Coming home, maybe that is what I have missed, the pedestal we all got to climb on. The
Community of women loving you for you, for surviving your life...Orlando was beautiful.

Lisa said...

You ARE amazing and beautiful and kind and funny and strong and loving and sweet and thoughtful and, and, and all the awesome things imaginable. So grateful we're in the same house so I can soak up all your amazingness.

Cheering for you everyday!

Kathleen said...

In Orlando, we honor each other for WHO WE ALL ARE (because we have x-ray vision and we can see thru all the cr##!). What we do, or don't do there, is incidental.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I love this, it's so true. Yes, you DESERVE an award just for getting up and trying again!