Posts Tagged "mom time"

Mothering Autism

Posted by on May 11, 2014 | 0 comments

I don’t want a lot on Mother’s Day. I really don’t. I worked in restaurants for years (and my husband still does), so the last thing I’m interested in is taking all of my children out with the rest of humanity to battle for overpriced prime rib. We can do that anytime.

I also don’t feel the need to do anything “special,” since we do special things a lot. We have “Family Adventure Days” frequently, where we go adventuring. We explore the natural world around us, visit new museums, and just play as a family. So, Mother’s Day doesn’t require adventure.

What I want most on Mother’s Day is serenity.

At least, as much as I’m able, since my husband usually has to go to work. He’s a restaurant manager, and the rest of humanity still wants that prime rib.

This year, I requested that for the morning and early afternoon (before he leaves), to be left to my garden. I am still trying to finish my beds, and would like some uninterrupted time alone with the backyard.

I also asked for my children to help clean up the living room and kitchen. You know, where all of their toys are strewn.

That particular request was met with an uproar heard across the land. Two of my children decided they would rather not observe Mother’s Day at all, if it meant they actually had to pick up after themselves.

Jack took issue as well, in typical Jack fashion. He made the case as to why I was completely out of line by merely suggesting I make him do anything. On a weekend.

“I like to live my (weekend) days naturally, you can’t make me do a lot of action.”

OK. Apparently, any structured activity that’s not his idea is totally out of the question. He also insinuated that I’m trying to affect his brain.

By asking him to clean.

“You can’t keep this thing (his brain) up forever, that’s bad parenting, Mama.”

It took everything I had to keep a straight face.

I don’t want to be accused of being a bad parent, on Mother’s Day of all days. I’m making my husband do it. Father’s Day isn’t for another month, he’ll be fine.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Team Baskin 2014

Team Baskin 2014

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Focus Friday ~ Enlightenment

Posted by on Jul 29, 2011 | 2 comments

Today I am working on regaining focus in my life.  My posts this week have generated a lot of discussion, both constructive and not, and I find myself in need of grounding.  I am thankful for everyone who takes the time to read what I’ve written, whether they comment or not.  This is my journey, and I’m glad to share it with you.

My thought for today is simple.  Remember who you are, always, and find some peace in that.

An old Zen saying:

“Before enlightenment ~ chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment ~ chop wood, carry water.”

Namaste, friends.

see the forest through the trees

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Special Needs Mama

Posted by on Apr 6, 2011 | 5 comments

Special Needs Mama

There was a convention in Texas not too long ago for mothers of special needs children. More than a support group, rather, encouragement for “special needs moms” to find solace and healing and strength to continue in their everyday lives.  I was shocked that I hadn’t thought of it before.

I am a mother of a special needs child.  I am not a hero, I am not special, I am just a mom.  I have two neurotypical children, and I have one child with high-functioning autism.  I often wonder which of them is more demanding of my resources.

Autism is a roller-coaster, but so is parenting in general.  My days are filled with laughter and tantrums, and sometimes the laughter is manic and the tantrums are epic.  I plan my life around my children, as all moms do.

As I looked at the website for the event, though, I took a step outside my life and saw it with a more objective eye.  What I saw exhausted me.

I have accepted the constant stress and anxiousness and hectic aspects of my everyday life as par for the course.  Who wouldn’t expect to be beaten down a little with three kids under the age of five?  Children, especially very young children, require constant care.  They are needy and want love and attention and games and Mama at all times.  It’s a tough job that is unrelenting.

What I was missing, though, is the fact that there is someone who is not being taken care of in this equation.  Me.

I don’t expect to coddled or supported, other than the emotional (and occasional housework) support I get from my husband.  I am a stay-at-home-mom (sahm), and I feel like I’m constantly having to justify that by being busy every second of every day, as if I weren’t already. I don’t want to be seen as a slacker in pajama pants, even if that’s my go-to uniform.

(They’re comfy and I’m in my own home.  If you come over, I’ll put on real pants. Promise.)

My point is, I think I need help.  Not help cleaning my house (although a little more effort from my husband wouldn’t hurt).  Not help raising my children (hubby does a bang-up job in that department).  Not help seeing my own self-worth.

I need help admitting that the day-to-day effort of raising a special needs child, in addition to two quite “normal” children, is a herculean task.  It’s hard, and I need to give myself a break before I have to take a time-out.

I have been so ensconced in making sure my children are cared for and loved and nurtured and encouraged that I forgot about me.

That’s a lie.  I didn’t forget, I just thought it would be selfish for me to think about myself.  I believe that once you have children, they come first.  Always. I have no problem taking a back seat to the needs of my children.

But to be frank, autism has worn me out.  Autism wants to fight every day.  It wants to make mealtimes and bedtimes hard.  It wants to be rigid in routine, yet throw seemingly trivial situations into complete chaos in the blink of an eye.  Autism wants to wear me down.

My child needs me to be strong and fight back.  All of my boys need me to be the calm in the eye of the storm that never really goes away.

So I’m learning to take the moments when I can.  Right now, for example, I’m sitting in my quiet house while my husband has the kids out at a playground.  I could be baking or catching up on taped shows or exercising or cleaning or any number of things on my endless to-do list, but I’m not.  It’s silent in my home.  The cacophony will resume soon enough, but in this moment I can almost feel my soul healing.  My brain is resting.  I’m recharging.

I would really like to go to one of those conventions for special needs moms someday.  Until then, I’m going to find my happy place in bits and pieces along the way.

A little bit of happy.

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