Every once in awhile I have to post something straight from my heart. No matter how painful.
There are days when I feel like I should wear this t-shirt.
Available at http://teespring.com/autismmomninja
Then there are days like yesterday. Days where I feel very defeated – and not because of anything in particular. This is going to sound like a ‘poor me’ post – but sometimes we all have to go there, right?
I’m a mom in four ways:
- To a neurotypical bonus son – who lives with us all the time.
- To two neurotypical bonus daughters – who come on a regular basis.
- To my neurotypical daughter.
- To Tucker.
Being a mom is a tough job (yes…being a parent is a tough job – but I can only speak about being a mom) – navigating the world of mom’hood with four different sets of mom’ness can be downright exhausting.
The first child on the list only causes laundry stress. SERIOUSLY!!! How many pieces of clothing can one 18-year-old wear on one day? Wowza. I know this is ‘payback’ for only using towels one time as a teenager (sorry, mom).
The second two children on that list only cause culinary stress. I love to cook and bake – and they love to challenge my skills. Usually it’s fine – but then you tell me want a three layer confetti cake with a mousse layer, a cheesecake layer, and a cake layer? Yeah…that’s going to take more than 8 hours to prepare.
The third child on that list? She’s a piece of cake. The only stress she gives me is attitude. I’d say pretty typical for a 5th grade girl. This only requires me to give the ‘you are in charge of your feelings and attitudes’ speech about once a week.
Then, there is that fourth child. Yesterday some stuff happened and I’d rather not get into the details – but let’s just say this…
When it comes to Middle School Sports; I DO NOT expect equal playing time, I DO expect equal treatment.
Here is the deal about being an autism mom. It’s just extra. It’s extra stuff. Always extra.
If the treatment isn’t equal you wonder if it’s because of autism – and wonder what you could have done different. It may have simply been miscommunication.
If he has a bad day you wonder if it’s because of autism – and wonder what you could have done different. It may have simply been a bad day.
If he scores poorly on a test you wonder if it’s because of autism – and wonder what you could have done different. He may have just not tried.
If he flips out because of something crunchy on his plate you wonder if it’s because of autism – and wonder what you could have done different. He may just be being extra picky.
If he yells at something minuscule you wonder if it’s because of autism – and wonder what you could have done different. He may just be experiencing hormone overload.
If he is tired you wonder if it’s because of autism – and wonder what you could have done different. He may just not have been that tired last night.
Always wondering, always thinking…
About normal 7th grade boy stuff. How is school going? Is that a whisker I see? Is he making good progress? Is he choosing good friends? Is he becoming a ‘good’ man? Is he behaving for teachers? Is he doing quality work? Is he behaving in Confirmation? Is he getting his work done on time? Is he happy? Did his voice drop? Is he getting invited to parties? Is he thinking about college? Does he like any girls? Do his teachers like him? Is he respectful? Does he have on deodorant today?
I think those are all fairly normal worries. Then, add the spectrum and you are always wondering, always thinking…
about autism stuff
about the why
about the what
about the how
about the needs
about academic success
about thanking teachers
about reading that article I saw
about IEP’s, 504’s, and accommodations
about the line between misbehavior and autism
Let me tell you, sometimes you just get tired. Tired of thinking and wondering. Tired of it all.
Then, I hate to admit any of it because there are moms who deal with SO MUCH MORE. Tucker is not physically restricted, Tucker is communicative, Tucker is SO awesome in SO many ways. But, this isn’t necessarily about Tucker – it’s about the thing that effects his brain.
I think that’s something all of us can agree with – it’s all just extra and sometimes it feels overwhelming on your heart, it makes it hard to breathe, and you have to work a bit more to forge a smile.
Then, I woke him up this morning; with my heavy heart, shallow breath, and waning smile. He says, “Mom, I need you can you please come here?” You are absolutely exhausted from all the extra-he always needs you, but of course you swallow your tired and go. He looks up and says, “I’m so comfy right here because you wrapped me up like a burrito so perfectly. You’re going to have to help me get out because you do it all so right.”
You help him. As you walk away the tears roll; because once again, autism, in a weird way healed you. You know you can move on with your day with relaxed breath, a full heart, and a wide smile.