Mommy in the Middle

I read a blog the other day that resonated. That’s why we read them though, right? The author has a special needs child who is higher functioning and this mom sometimes feels that she and her child do not fit in. Her child is not, “special needs,” enough. Also not, “normal,” enough. I feel the same way many times. We are both mommies in the middle.

This mommy in the middle is tired. This mommy in the middle doesn’t know how to function the way she used to. It’s because this mommy in the middle has to put all of her energy where the biggest needs are.


I was sitting with friends the other day and realizing again that I am not the same person I used to be. I used to be the one who knew everyone’s needs and was there to fill them. I wanted to hear all of the stories of what was going on in their lives and their family and friends’ lives. I would tune in attentively and remember to follow up and ask how happenings were progressing. Now, I don’t. It’s not that I don’t care. I really do. Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t know everyone that is being talked about in the conversation and maybe I should. When friends talk about what is going on in their own lives, I still listen well and feel for them and will add them to my prayers that day when I can. But I used to be so much better. I was better at following up, sending a card even, offering help. A better friend.

But wait. I’m now mommy in the middle.

The middle is where I live now. I cannot give 100% of myself the same way I used to give. My, “in the middle special needs child,” is where my energy goes. My physical energy yes, and my mental energy. All of my mental energy. All of it. The difference now is that my friends are meeting me in the middle. They even live in the middle. In the middle of balancing a family with challenges of young children, “middle special needs,” too, work schedules, those extended family and friend issues, marriage challenges, continuing education, and on and on.

Because all of us are in the middle. We trudge through doing the best we can. We use our energy where it is needed most. We need more energy. We need more time. We need more….more. Where does that, “more,” come from? For me my, “more,” comes from my faith, my husband, some family members, and my close friends. It comes from all of those who come and meet me in the middle. God meets me there. My husband is there. Some family members find me there. Friends live there too.

So while I have a child who does not look like he has special needs and who also does not fit in going to mainstream group of kids, I don’t live in the middle alone.
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