Since I decided to begin this Blog, I have made five Blog entries (including this one) in the last fives days. I won’t be able to keep this rate up……sorry……..because………drum roll please…………I have a life!
What am I talking about? Am I being snarky? Back in the day, during those first Dark Days of Autism and my perception of what it would mean to me, Hubby and the Three Kiddos, I never imagined being able to do anything but be an Autism Mom. I didn’t imagine I’d be able to return to my profession, have a regular trip to the hair salon, have lunch with the girls, go out to dinner with the whole family (much less on a vacation) or feel like an intelligent human being who could speak of things other than autism treatments and why I liked them, or don’t like them.
I learned early on to pace myself, autism-wise, or I would fall part. That’s part of the trick of autism parenting, no matter what you believe right now or what anyone else tells you; parenting a child with autism is like running a marathon and NOT like running a sprint. You can’t do everything you think might help; just do the things that make sense to you, you are able to do and you can afford. There’s a sense of urgency we are all made to feel by relatives and school personnel and, if we’re to be honest, by other autism parents. We have to do what’s right for us, for our child and family and not what others tell us is right. When we begin to *grow-up* as an Autism Mom or Dad and not listen to peer pressure, that’s when things get easier and we no longer feels as panicky.
In order to be a good Mom to Sonnyboy # One (and #Two and #Three), I had to get away from autism and from all of them. I started out by asking my Hubby to watch the kids once a week so I could go to the grocery store by myself. It was usually a Wednesday or Thursday evening after dinner. For sixty to ninety minutes, once a week, I could gather my thoughts in quiet and think without interruption…bliss! That helped my mental health and it got easier for me to do what I needed to do….therapy-wise and advocating for Sonnyboy #1 with the school district, dealing with #2 and #3 and their giftedness (whole ‘nother set of problems and not as fun as you would think), and just plan ol’ autism work!
As Sonnyboy #1 grew and got easier to work with (and live with) and his school district and I came to (finally!) a meeting of the minds, that meant I could go back to school. And I did.
Next week, I’ll go back to my teaching and consulting. I also work for my professional society’s website and write a weekly article for their HomePage and that begins next week too. I had lunch with friends a few weeks ago. We just came back from a lovely vacation in the Northwoods at our usual cabin and had dinner out more times than I remember. My haircut and roots touch up is scheduled for Friday. All those things I thought I’d never be able to do, I am doing, and maybe taking a little for granted. This *normal-ish life* took years to achieve and we are grateful for it.
I hope to post here about one a week, or once every other week when things get hectic and will be thinking of you when I am not around. In the meantime; just keep doing what you’re doing, do what’s right for your kids and love them as much as you are able, even when they are not so lovable. You’ll be able to have a *normal-ish life* too, sooner than you may think!