Honest Mom: Learning That My Son Has Sensory Issues…& That I Am Enough

As I sat down to write this, I honestly didn’t know where or how to start. But the saying, “You are enough,” keeps popping into my head, so I am starting there.

My oldest son has always been a challenge. We’ve shed a lot of tears, read countless books, leaned on others, prayed, screamed, felt defeated, met with play therapists, and countless other things. We’ve lost friends. But no matter how far we’d come, there was still so much anxiety and worry. So much redirection and so many reminders. Simple and fun things like going on play dates or to birthday parties, even spending time with our family, have became a source of anxiety and impending feelings of doom that sit heavy on my chest.

It was almost a year to the day that I once again reached out for help. I am thankful everyday for our family and friends that stood by us as we navigated, and continue to navigate, these waters. All of these people that love my son kept telling me, “You feel this way for a reason,” “Trust your mom gut,” “It never hurts to get an opinion.” 

So we did; we took him for an occupational therapy evaluation (OT). If I am being honest, I expected her to come back and say much of what we’d heard and said for over a year: “He is a boy. He is intelligent. He is two. He is three.”

As you can imagine, she did not say any of that. She came back to say all of these words that I did not understand and even Google couldn’t help me process what we heard. My son has sensory needs that were not being met. How did we not know? Why didn’t I take him for an eval last year? My brain immediately started firing all these questions, all questions that placed the weight of mom guilt squarely on my shoulders. Thankful once again for those people who have become a constant source of support for us, we stopped the negative and focused on the positive. Our baby is getting the help he needs and we are learning our role. A role I still do not feel confident in, but am learning to remind myself that I am enough and we will figure this out. 

I still have a personal weight I carry around—I do not truly know my place in all of this. I can tell when he is needing regulation, but it is not second nature to me as to what I can do to help him regulate. I keep trying to plan and make lists to have it all make sense, and I am learning that this is not really something I can make sense of in the form of a list.

Helping Harrison navigate and learn about his body is going to come with time and practice. And I am learning to be okay with that. I am also learning that we need to plan sensory breaks into our days and his body needs a lot more pressure and very specific movements. I am always thinking things like, “Will this help his fine motor, his wrist strength, his balance?” “Is this activity going to give him the pressure he needs?” “Will this make him more wild or calm him down?”

I am always always always thinking and overthinking and questioning every choice we make. But I am also giving myself grace. I am reminding myself that I do not have to have all the answers or the perfect plan. I am slowly filling my mom toolbox with the tools we need to succeed and take on the day. And this is enough. I am enough.

We have only just begun to navigate these waters, but we are doing it together with our people supporting us and we are exactly who our boy needs. We are enough. You are enough. Whatever challenges you face each day as a parent, please please remember that you are enough. When you don’t feel like you are, remember that.

Julie Janes
Julie is a NOLA girl at heart who is setting down roots in Texas. She is married to her high school sweetie, Christopher. They are raising their sweet boys Harrison (Oct. 2014) & Douglas (Feb 2016) and their baby girl Colette (Dec. 2017). We cant forget their crazy GSP puppy Liuzza. They live in McKinney and spend their weekends yelling "Geaux Tigers & Who Dat" wherever they are!. Julie lives for play dates, mom dates, friends, and family. She can be seen watching her DVR'd shows (even if it takes days to get through one show), reading the same book for months, playing outside with her kids, taking nice relaxing bubble baths with a warmish cup of tea, cooking her newest pinned dinners, starting 17 different crafty projects and just enjoying what life has to offer.