Saturday, January 28, 2012
Letting Go of the Life We Have Planned
I saw this quote today on Pintrest and it really rang true to me. This is probably one of the hardest things I deal with daily, but even more so on the weekends. I'll be really truthful and admit that sometimes I'm really envious of families with "normal" kids. When we go out as a family - which is not very often - it's the most stressful, and sometimes dreadful experience. I can't really explain in words how difficult it is, but my anxiety skyrockets and my mood can plummet. I'm on constant alert... is JD going to scream? throw something? hurt someone? hit someone? knock something over? run into traffic? eat anything? fall onto the floor in a tantrum? Then add another two little ones of top of that and it's exhausting. We always end up loading the kids in the car wondering why we even made an attempt. The reason is because we want to have a "normal" life. One where we can go out as a family and just enjoy being together.I can honestly say it's hard to let go of that dream.
Today I came upon an old article called, "Autism Moms Have Stress Similar to Combat Soldiers" and while I've never been in any combat situation, I can see the similarities. Like soldiers, an autism parent never lets their guard down. You're always vigilant, always worrying, always thinking about the next step or the next "battle" so to speak. You're constantly fighting for your child - whether it's a school, a doctor, the insurance company or even family members - you're job is to be their advocate. I guess that's why they call us "Autism Warrior Moms."
But sometimes I don't want to be a warrior anymore. I just want to relax. I want to be able to spend time with my family and actually ENJOY it. I just don't know of that will ever happen. Everyone tells me it will get easier, but there are days when I wonder how we'll make it that far. The fighting, the hitting, the biting, the screaming,the crying, the lack of communication, the sensory issues - it's all too much. The weekends are really hard and it drives me crazy that by noon on Saturday I'm looking forward to Monday morning.
I love my kids and my life, it's just not what I envisioned. I never thought I'd be 30 years old and fighting what seems to be a never-ending battle. I never thought I'd have to worry about ASD, SPD, IEPs and BIPs (that's Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Individual Education Plans and Behavior Intervention Plans for the non-autism parents reading this out there!).
Before I drown in self-pitty, I try to remember to remember that I have it easy compared to so many others. I have three healthy children, a husband who loves and supports me, three wonderful best friends, my family nearby and a career that I love with an amazing company. At the end of the day I don't think I'd change a thing - and that's what keeps me going - well that and Hershey Bars. :-)