There will be acting out today. However, it won't be horrific.
A definite marker in the healing of my kids was when they were finally able to save their behaviors until after a holiday or event (still not every time, but it's much more normal now).
It's something. It's a big something.
Friday I sat with one of my healing kids and brought up Mother's Day. "Are you feeling tempted to jack with it?" "Yes." "Would you like to talk about it? Do you have a plan to help you?"
Some of you just had your jaws hit the floor. YES, we can actually HAVE that kind of conversation and discussion now. Hope!
My child then talked about their temptations. Things they want to do. How difficult it is for them to let someone else have the attention. "And your plan?" They had a plan. They were already thinking of the homeschool gatherings the next week they don't want to miss out on. They were categorizing behaviors vs. fun for the next seven days.
Some more of you just passed out. YES, my child now has age appropriate cause-and-effect thinking. Hope!
BUT (because there's always a but), I'm still a mom and I'm still human. The conversation ended and I was crushed. I won't show this to my kid. I showed them delight and pride in the hard work they were doing. But I was crushed.
Not one word of "You are a great mom, and I want to show you that. You deserve a special day." The only motivation they could verbalize was avoiding consequences or self-sabotage. They're not there yet. Where they are is HUGE.
But still ... crushed. So, I just felt both. This child went to lunch with me and was great. This child worked their hurt little hiney off, and was only redirected once or twice, and it was super easy. This child was the first to say "Happy Mother's Day" and give me a hug.
It was a great Mother's Day. It was a testament to so much. Those things did make me very, very happy.
But dang it, I'm still human and I'm still a mom and I'm definitely a girl. With the healing, there is still grief. With the progress, there is still a reminder of what is missing. Give yourself permission to feel both. Don't let one negate the other. You have every right to celebrate the progress and you have every right to mourn the gaps that still exist.
The day we had yesterday? I never thought it would ever come. I will not feel guilty for also experiencing sadness in the midst of massive progress. I will feel both. I'm Mom. I can do whatever the heck I want on Mother's Day.
(photo by onthegogo, used with permission)