Getting Real With Veronica Ibarra

Every mother knows about the mommy trenches, even if she does not use that term. The mommy trenches are where all the hard work of motherhood takes place. It’s where the dishes and laundry constantly need doing no matter how much others also help with the tasks. It’s where potty training never seems to end, and the whining over homework threatens to melt your brain.

I have been in the mommy trenches up to my elbows, maybe even my chin—struggling to keep the house from becoming a bio-hazard zone while also meeting the diverse needs of my family. Every mother knows how it is; every mother has been there, is there, and will be there. We do it gladly, sadly, gratefully, resentfully, and through so many other emotions without always taking time to feel them because there are things that need to get done.

While I have been in the mommy trenches, one of the things I have been working on – with the help of wonderful educators, my daughter, and my husband – is trying to help my son with his language development, which has been delayed due to autism. I don’t think of that as a bad word or even a scary word. It’s just a term that helps us understand a little bit of why things can be challenging for him that are not necessarily challenging for others. It is also explains why the mommy trenches can be a little bit more trenchier for me.

I take it on myself to do more to work with him, trying to be consistent, listening to the teachers who offer very helpful suggestions that I can use at home with him. I don’t expect him to make progress solely because of the activities he does in his special Pre-K program. This has meant my time is even less my own.

My mornings are spent doing my day job as content manager for my husband’s company and my afternoons are spent in the mommy trenches. Most of the time I’m just doing what needs doing, and still I try to squeeze out some time to blog for my own projects and read for my own pleasure. Even in the mommy trenches this can be done, though since my time is limited I have to be very choosy.

Recently I had one of the most awesome days. It was like a reward for all the time spent in the mommy trenches. My son came home from school, grabbed my face so we were looking into each other’s eyes, and said, “Make bacon, please.”

It was such a small request, but a momentous event. A three word sentence…with an implied subject, a verb, and a direct object. And an adverb. AND he looked me in the eye!

So I made bacon—tearing up with joy, and pride, and love.

The mommy trenches are hard. I know I’ll be in them for many more years to come. It’ll get harder and easier and better and worse. But even in the trenches there is joy and reward.