Where I Realize I’m Strong.


Sometimes I feel like my life is just one neverending day, and in some metaphorical sense, I suppose this is perfectly so.  But in any case, days string together and before I know it, another week has passed, and here we are…

It doesn’t change that things are going well even if challenges continue to evolve. For me, I mostly struggle with being behind on chores, with sucking up my pride and letting therapists in my home almost daily despite the messes, feeling constantly rushed or behind in some way.  I’m in a good place, but I’m tired.  And I am fully aware that I would feel partly this way even if there weren’t so much going on with the little ones—being a Mom who is home with kids on her own is hard… add in that they are two under three… add in that my husband works an hour away… that he is working on his doctorate… that I have a mostly work-from-home job in communications… that I also freelance write for a family magazine…– I think it is fair to say I would feel overwhelmed regardless.

But it is that much harder.  I don’t just sit and enjoy my kids—we spend a lot of time just living and loving and laughing, but the cold hard fact is that when you have children who develop atypically and learn differently than other babies, your daily activities turn into therapy more than not.  They have to or your children are not being cared for in the right way.  I’m not overkilling it—I’m being the best Mommy to the kids I have.

Or at least I hope so.  I’m trying.  And I realize that I am starting to at least let myself sit down and take a breather every once in awhile.  Sometimes Mommy does need to have a warm mug of coffee while the kids play on the floor, whether they are repetitively pushing buttons or saying one phrase over and over or mixing and mixing and mixing or neglecting to turn a head to their name being called or staring out the window at the cars going by… for fifteen to twenty minutes, that is life.  It’s our family’s life, and I have to accept that. 

It’s hard because you know that therapy is a process, that progress is slow, that every child is unique.  But there seems to be an undying hope within me that one day we will go to bed without worrying about seizures disrupting my son’s sleep or an intolerance to wheat and dairy. Because autism is not just about social problems… there’s a lot of comorbid issues here that color so many choices.

And I am NOT complaining.  I guess I am emptying… emptying the bucket of things swelling inside me right now.  Because harder things have come than what I have written about in the past months, and I am learning to be more courageous.

Courageous enough to handle that my baby girl qualified for early intervention and all the things that may or may not be at the root of it.

Courageous enough to learn new skills to keep my son regulated in order to deter him from dangerous sensory seeking behavior such as shoving toys or food in his eye, from smashing his knees into the wooden floor, from pinching his sweet soft skin until it bruises.

Courageous enough to know my son is starting to show that he is diagnosed with autism in public places… he’s just hitting an age where things start to become more obvious, especially because he does talk and repeat so much in a nontypical way.

I guess I sound sort of dramatic and things sound awful, and even though I tear up about it when I write it, I am much more calm about it than I would have expected myself to be.  I am strong-willed and determined to be the Mommy they need me, and I don’t wallow. I cry, but only after long days once all is quiet… releasing tension needs to happen.

All in all, I’m learning about myself more than I ever have… I’m strong.  And I am weakest when there is wiggle room to fail.  But there’s no wiggle room in being a parent.  So here I am, strong and prepared to stay that way.


About rhapsodyinautism

I'm a Mom of two little ones-- a two-year-old son newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and a baby girl who is too young to make any guesses. I work a little bit from home for an environmental nonprofit, and I am a freelance journalist. I love cooking, singing, and autumn weather. And I'm married to a brilliant, involved Daddy. My son is an auburn-haired smartypants who loves trucks and jazz. He taught himself the alphabet at 20 months. He has a beautiful social smile, but he finds eye contact aversive. He is the reason I am writing this blog... because there is a huge lack in legislation, funding, insurance coverage, and understanding in regards to autism spectrum disorders. This will be my place to advocate, tell the tale of our journey, and hopefully share a few tears and laughs along the way. This is our family life, and we have embraced it.

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