Mama grief runs deep. 

It creeps in late at night, when she can’t sleep because she’s worried about every little detail from the day.

The time she lost her temper. 

The show-and-tell item she forgot to pack. 

Rather than believe we’ve succeeded, we question every move we made, how we spent every minute, every chore we didn’t get to. 

And if grieving the day weren’t enough . . . every winter, grief sneaks in like a looming storm cloud.

Maybe it’s the holidays, maybe it’s the earlier sundownall I know is every winter I spend my nights lying in bed, crying myself to sleep, and doubting myself as a mother. 

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Are we doing enough in therapies? 

Should we be adding new supplements? 

Is the IEP good enough for meeting his needs? Should I be advocating harder for him? Do my other children get the time they need from me? 

The list goes on and on.

It’s a noisy spiral of information that I can’t turn off, and it makes me sad and nauseous and I lose hours of sleepa loss I grieve deeply.

I’m nervous now because I know it’s coming soonlike an envious green monster jealous of my peace, it sneaks in during the wee hours of the night, and I can’t shake it off.

Last night, my son came into my room at 2:15 a.m. He grabbed my hand and asked me to come lie with him. He didn’t want to sleep alonemaybe it was a nightmare, maybe he was just restless, either way, he was awake.

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But those moments when he comes to me and then falls asleep holding my hand, sometimes with his head on my bellythat’s what I need to remember when I can’t shake the grief. 

He wanted me. 

He trusted me to make him feel safe. 

We’ve built this amazing bond after years of fighting my way into his world, and now he’s pulling me into it.

I lay there and enjoyed the quiethis calm breathing, the peaceand tried to remind myself, don’t forget these details, you’ll need the memory of this moment in a few weeks

No matter how many wins we’ve had, no matter how many nevers he’s checked off the list we thought we were facing four years ago, grief sweeps in and overshadows all of that, even if only temporarily. 

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I’m actively working on remembering the strides he’s made so when I feel grief grasping on, when I see that storm cloud forming, I have a list of my own, ready to flash in front of her to suppress her this winter.

The fact that you’re reading this and nodding your head means you’re already aware she’s coming. 

You’re doing a great job, mama.

I see you putting in the work. So does your child. 

Remember your successes. Break loose of her grip, celebrate your wins, and shove her aside.

We’ve got successes to celebrate.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Amanda DeLuca

Amanda lives in Ohio with her husband and is a mom of two to Monroe and Jackson. Her son is on the autism spectrum and is what inspired her to begin her journey through advocacy in the IEP process. Amanda is a certified Master IEP coach and proudly serves families both locally and remotely to empower them to come to the IEP table with confidence while working collaboratively with their team. You can learn more about her IEP consulting business on her page: Advocate.Out.Loud- Amanda DeLuca. In her free time, she enjoys teaching at her dance studio and writing for her page Jackson’s Journey, Jackson’s Voice.