by Ilene, My Family’s Experience With Autism
There was a post here recently that made me think……the post talked about how, when Mom was away at a conference, she was able to do things WHEN she wanted to and HOW she wanted to. She was able to shower at her leisure, eat meals when they were still hot, all the things that so many take for granted, but special needs parents struggle with every day.
Then I realized something about this summer.
I had been doing just that since school has let out.
Early morning routines were the same as normal – the insanity of getting everyone up, dressed and fed was still there. But after they finished breakfast, I sent my 3 children down to the basement to play. I gave them their phone, they could play on the computer, the Wii, with each other, whatever. And I would make myself a cup of coffee. And I would make breakfast for myself. And I would eat it leisurely. I would jump on the computer and check Facebook, perhaps play a short game, and they would all be downstairs.
I kept the door open, listening for problems. I would go to the top of the stairs when someone needed something.
But in general, I had found that independence. And because of it, here I am, 10 days before the start of the school, and I still have most of the sanity that I had at the start of the summer.
Sometimes you have to force things to happen. As Nike used to say, “JUST DO IT!”. If you need that moment, TAKE IT. If you want to sit and have a cup of coffee while it’s still hot, then take 15 minutes and sit and sip that coffee.
I know this is much easier said than done. And that’s never going to change. But if you don’t take that first step, you won’t get anywhere.
Trust yourself, and trust your kids. I’m not instructing you to go out and run your errands leaving them unsupervised…..just sit in a corner of the same room so you can still see them, if you’re not comfortable being separated from your children by a flight of stairs as I have suddenly discovered I can do.
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself this. I WILL take some time for me today! I WILL sit and have a cup of coffee (or whatever the right thing is for you)! I WILL give myself a 15 minute break to catch my breath. And I WILL feel better at the end of the day for doing it!
My name is Ilene and I’m a happily married stay-at-home-mom to 3 wonderful children. My eldest is a typically developing 6 year old first grader. I also have a set of girl/boy twins who are recently turned 5, both diagnosed with Classic Autism. My daughter has also been diagnosed with ADHD.
Life is not what I imagined it would be at this stage, but it’s still my life, and it’s good. We have good days and we have bad days, just like everyone else. I started blogging to cope with things not progressing the ways that I wanted them to go. Sometimes I vent about problems. Sometimes I share in a glorious moment. Sometimes I try to educate others. It really depends on what I feel like saying when I sit down at the computer to “blog”. But I do promise that everything I write is honest and heartfelt, even though I may contradict myself from time to time as I learn new things.
I hope to share with others what we go through. And I hope you enjoy reading our stories.