Meditation For An Autism Mom

by Whac-A-Mole Mom from My Whac-A-Mole Life

This is not my fault.

I am doing the best I can, which means acknowledging that it will never feel like enough. I am only human.

I am gaining patience, resilience, wisdom and strength. I don’t see it; I don’t necessarily feel it; but it’s true. It just has to be true.

My home is a disaster – whether due to my Tasmanian devil child, diminishing time and money, or pure, unprecedented exhaustion (or a combination thereof). I must learn to care less.

I have lost sight of my identity, my friends, my professional drive, and my peace because I am laser-focused on my child’s well-being and future readiness. Still, I can take baby steps for my own sanity. For example, today, maybe I’ll shower.

I find myself saying and doing things I never imagined due to my child’s absurd, unpredictable behavior, interests and needs. I want to cry on many occasions; but it always feels better to laugh.

I am overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite cures, therapies, medications, treatments and diets that I am told will help my child. Some will help; others won’t. We’ll unapologetically¬†do what works best for us, when it works for us – holistically, logistically and practically.

Each year, I will continue to search for the perfect school scenario for my child; nothing will ever fit quite right. I will take it day by day,year by year.

I am my child’s best advocate. I will trust my instincts. I will consult with professionals, doctors, teachers and psychologists; but mostly I have to learn to trust myself.

I will feel judged. Sometimes, I really am being judged, so I should grow a thicker skin. More important, however, I am judging myself, and I need to learn to be kinder to myself.

People will say, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ or ‘you’re an amazing mom.’ This inexplicably will irritate me since I wouldn’t dare admit that I also ‘don’t know how I do it;’ and usually disagree about the ‘amazing’ part. I do it because I am a loving mother. That is all.

I can’t do this alone; it does take a village. My village should include family, friends, caretakers, teachers, health professionals and therapists. When the village I have isn’t complete or up to par, I must seek a new village – like Twitter.

My child might hit me, hurt me or run from me. I cannot take this personally. It’s not about me. It’s about her: her frustrations, sensory differences and unfulfilled needs.

I always should be consistent, patient, firm and engaged. I frequently am not. I can always try again tomorrow.

I will realistically prepare her with the tools she needs to reach her potential. That means:

  • If she can’t or won’t find her voice, I will teach her other ways to communicate.
  • If she can’t or won’t be safe, I will find ways to protect her.
  • If she can’t or won’t learn how to survive in the social wilderness, I will place her in situations where she is accepted and happy in her own skin.

While some days I feel hopeless, I never, ever give up hope. I am her mother. And she is me.

**********

Whac-A-Mole Mom blogs over at My Whac-A-Mole Life, described as “the rants, raves, celebrations and tribulations of a crazy-busy, special-needs, mom-workaholic.” She has chosen anonymity for reasons she explains here:¬†My Secret Identity. She will reveal, however, that she lives in the Southeastern United States and has two children under 12 with more diagnoses than she can count. Careful readers of her blog have discerned that she has worked as a journalist, corporate executive and nonprofit professional.

The post was originally published HERE and used with permission.

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14 Comments

Filed under Remembering to Breathe

14 responses to “Meditation For An Autism Mom

  1. chaoticmum

    Beautifully written. It is posts like these make me feel less isolated and alone, thank you!

    • Chaoticmum (twins): You’ve made my day. I’m so glad you’re here.

      No, you are not alone! Each time I share something like this and hear from people like you – well, it reminds me too. Please stay in touch!

    • Chaoticmum (twinsies): You’ve made my day. I’m so glad you’re here.

      No, you are not alone! Each time I share something like this and hear from people like you – well, it reminds me too. Please stay in touch!

  2. Absolutely beautiful and full of important reminders for so many of us on this journey. Thank you for sharing!

  3. LaNette Burton

    <3 this!

  4. Adriana

    Love it!!! You describe my life!!! I love her with all my heart!!!

  5. Emma

    so true & apt for me too! us ASD mums are all in the same boat!
    & it seems as though no one else understands or has any interest in bothering to even try to! =/
    all the best to you, & to all the other ASD mummies!! xx

  6. That urge to protect my children, to advocate for them awakened the she-bear in me.

    Take it day by day, just like everyone else. One of the things that helped me along the way was the day that I realized that others fight their own battles as well. Other people sometimes feel lost along the way, but we are too busy and overwhelmed with our own battles to feel to see what others deal with. Yes, I had to deal with a runner, a loud awkward young man and a quiet, compliant child who was easily ignored by her teachers, even though she could not read or write or tie her shoes until quite late. My son sucked up the attention because he was very disruptive in his maint streamed classroom. But I developed backbone when my daughter was going to be placed in a very, very inappropriate setting.

    Sometimes I was envious of how easy other parents seemed to have it. Jealous that their kids were/understood sports. But as my kids grew up and became more independent (albeit much later than their peers), I looked around and saw parents dealing with drug abuse and alcoholism. My sister has had to deal with mental illness in two of her children. A young woman in our church has just found out that one child is diabetic and another has heart problems.

    It is undeniably tough to be a parent of autistic children, and some in my community put me on a pedestal (which has the effect of distancing you from other parents). They say, how did you do it? Even how can you stand it? You are an amazing mother. Yes, it sounds good, but I still have to deal with the dailiness of always training, always trying to predict what is going to happen. But in the end it is worth it. You can do it. You are doing it. The truth is, though, my house is a mess. My garden is in woeful shape. I have spent myself for my children, and that is more important than a clean house.

  7. This fills my heart and makes me sad all at once. I have, and do, feel all of this, every day. I read a lot of writings from parents of children with autism or other disabilities and it is rare that I agree so wholeheartedly. Thank you for sharing your very personal experience. My son is now 13 and we just keep chugging along.

  8. Thank you. I teared up reading this, because I *get* this.. i *live* this and it is always nice to know that others are living this too. Especially the part about being inexplicably irritated by the “I dont know how you do it” comments… I dont know either but I do.. we all do it. So yes, thank you. (Mom of 2… one with adhd/fine motor delay/asthma, and one dx’ed with autism)

  9. Amanda

    I so needed to read this, what a fabulous post. I related so much to what was said about judging myself and my ability to cope with life. Brilliant.

  10. Vickie

    Running a daycare with many different special need children has made me exhaustingly happy to be able to work with and help the even more exhausted parents!

  11. Gina Loren

    I have a son who is the father of a gorgeous autistic little boy of three and while he is not a single parent, he is the caregiver the stay at home parent. He needs a lot of support because most dad’s of special need kids are not the sole support and caregiver. And he is very isolated and sad. If anyone out there knows of a stay at home dad (he’s in New York, near the city but not in it) He did find a group of fathers of autistic kids, but a. not the sole caregiver and stay at home parent, and b. their kids are a lot older. He was given some bad advice like: hope for the best, but expect the worst. (Yeach!!!) and one “professional’ told him not to expect the child to go to college. The child was two at the time. Any help. Any advice. Any guys out there of small (2-4) autistic kids especilly, if by some miracle, someone knows a stay at home dad or single dad, please contact me and I will pass this along to my son. Thanks so much and the meditation is fabulous. g

  12. trainingweelz

    This, I love. Thank you for summing up how I feel most days… most of the time. I’ve shared this with my husband to try to begin to explain. Thank you! xo

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