Autism Cuppa

Another year…….

It’s been a busy and bizarre week.

The Youngest is having problems with his chronic illness and his meds.  He’s pissed about it since he’s entering a busy time period for his job and can’t afford to miss work or not be at his best, and he’s crabby!

The Middle Boy……after rearranging his life for a new job in *our neighborhood* and the whole reason he moved back to the Family Hacienda…thinks he may be let go.  Not for anything he has done but the  business doesn’t seem to be doing so well. So he has started going to job fairs, meet-ups, etc. in the hopes he finds something before he’s let go. So he’s crabby!

The Kiddo is actually doing pretty great. If it wasn’t for his allergic rhinitis (hay fever) he’d be Super Autism Guy.  He goes to his day program a few days a week and when he’s home, it’s been difficult keeping on task for his academics or his envelope stuffing job because he’s groggy.  He would rather go back to bed and watch cartoons instead of doing the stuff he’s supposed to be doing……..he’s crabby. He’d be crabbier if we put him back on the hay fever meds since 1% of people have a side effect of *severe head aches* and guess who is in that 1%! We treat his itchy eyes or runny nose when needed but no more allergy meds for him and we deal with it.

Hubby is having problems with one of his office staff and………he’s crabby!

All of the crabbiness I am surrounded with wouldn’t bother me so much but…..on Thursday I am *celebrating* a significant birthday. One with a 0 as one of the digits and all this angst is making me tired and a bit whiny about it being my Significant Birthday and having my whole family occupied with their usual life and their usual stuff and their usual usual with me being expected to sweep in to take care of it. I just can’t this time, just can’t.

I am the primary caregiver around here and this primary caregiver just wants someone else to take care of her birthday cake.  I want a present I didn’t pick out for myself…and I don’t need more than one or something expensive…just a present bought with thought about ME and what I would like. And I would like to go out to dinner at a nice restaurant.  I’m not a princess but for once, I’d like to do something I’d like to do…….and a Jane Austen PBS/BBC binge is just the ticket this year,  testosterone be damned!

I’m going out to lunch with my best friend from high school on Thursday and the logistics for the Kiddo’s out-of-the-norm pick-up that day took two days, five emails and two phone calls to coordinate.  I told Hubby what I was doing (in case there’s a mix up with one of the details for Kiddo) and he grunted *uh-huh* and mumbled something about take-out that night. Not what I imagined but as long as I don’t have to cook, I guess it will be okay.

I am not unhappy about my age and don’t feel or look it.  I feel great physically and just as intelligent as I ever was.  I just don’t feel appreciated….yeah, I know, whiny……but this year especially, I wish someone would buy me a cupcake… chocolate with pink sprinkles…..and not expect me to share.

Caregiver burn out is a real thing and I am fast approaching it. I thought having the other kids back home would help but if anything, it’s worse. We are back in our parent/child roles with me doing everything (they are doing their own laundry but could they put a dish in the dishwasher, for goodness sake?!?)with me working and teaching and writing more than I ever did when they were home.

With my birthday coming up, I feel like a failure. Hubby tells me two kids with masters (and one planning a PhD)and Kiddo as good as he is is not a failure.  It just feels like it this year.



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Your Autism Cuppa is written by a longtime Autism Mom. A former Autism Society of America local chapter president, she is an educator and artist and has done inclusion consulting work for over 20 years. Married for 36 years to the father of her Three Sons, the eldest having autism, she wants young parents to know they are not alone. Life can be fun!

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