I believe I have crossed an invisible threshold and have become an old mom. Not old in terms of my actual chronological age, but crone-ish in my attitude and perspective.
Old mom doesn't care what people think about her parenting. She doesn't give a rodent's patootie about people-pleasing. Old mom dares you to cast judgment.
This became abundantly clear during a recent IEP meeting for one of the boys. It was all going swimmingly, with a beautiful sense of cohesion among all members of my kid's team. The adaptive PE teacher and the speech/language pathologist actually combed the school for a basketball and little hoop, and carried them to the conference room to entertain my hoops-obsessed toddler. Seriously, rainbows and butterflies, all the way around.
Until....the team denied something that my son has always had access to, and which he absolutely needs. And I became a hybrid of Severus Snape and a brown bear.
I'll spare you a reenactment, which still sends angry-hot pulses of fury coursing through my veins. The upshot is that the boy still has access to the service he requires. At least for one more year.
And I realized that the previous me, with the penchant for avoiding confrontation blew away like a dead leaf in a wind gust a long time ago. Current me, old me---the crone if you will---is instinctively a survivalist. She's also the resident authority on the children who live here, and their esoteric needs.
And Old Crone Mom is perfectly happy to engage in a battle of wills.