The older I get, the more I agree with this sentiment. Being an adult is for the birds. Growing up, we can’t wait to be adults under the guise that we get to do whatever we want. None of the rules, chores, curfews and homework assignments that plagued our youth. We will be adults and it will kick ass!
Fast forward to adulthood and I’m sitting in my bedroom, surrounded by laundry that needs to be folded and pretending that I don’t hear two of my three children fighting in the other room while the youngest of the three, who is supposed to be taking a nap, is doing something that can only be described as moshing in his room. I still don’t know what I’m making for dinner, the laundry is closing in on me and I haven’t dusted my house in six weeks. Yeah…being a grown up is a party and a half.
When I was a kid, I remember imagining how great life would be once I was all grown up. I had decided that I would be a teacher, marry Johnny Depp and have exactly two daughters. Perfectly rational dreams for a nine year old, right? Cut to 2016 where at 32 years old I find myself married to not Johnny Depp and the mother of three loud, crazy and messy boys. I’m not a teacher; I’m a stay at home mom/waitress that works a few nights a week. Yeah I thought I’d take a year off between high school and college and that year turned into fifteen. Sigh. I’m fairly certain my inner nine year old is seriously pissed at me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my little’s and my husband aka my eldest boy but sometimes I wish I was the babysitter and that their real wife/mom was due home any time to take over. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way and I try to bake something to overcome the feeling. I don’t just have mom guilt, I’m also Jewish and we are born guilty. It’s a tough cross to bear.
In addition to my little’s being loud, crazy and messy, they also have autism. That’s right…all three of them. They all have varying severities with my oldest being the highest functioning and my youngest having moderate-severe autism and he also happens to be non-verbal. My middle guy is just that, in the middle of the road. It’s been an interesting, stressful, depressing, educational and emotional journey to say the least. If anything, I think it’s what gives me my “edge.”
When you become pregnant for the first time, the thought of your child having a developmental disability isn’t the first thing on your mind. You’re more worried about how you’re going to squeeze the kid out and how much is it going to hurt? Drugs or no drugs? (PS take the drugs…you’ll thank me later!) Breast or bottle? Boy or girl? Do I need a minivan now? At least, that’s what was going through my head. At the ripe old age of 22, I had no idea what autism was or that it would eventually affect my life in such a major way.
When my oldest was diagnosed in September 2007, I was convinced that his life was over. The “specialist” that I had taken him to for his assessment basically told me that he would never do anything “normal” kids would. Go to school, say I love you, use the potty, have friends…never. So you can imagine the bawling that took place after I left the doctors office. I was a young mom and always took everything the doctor said as what was right because hey, they’re doctors right? They know everything! (Insert eye roll here)
Through therapy and an amazing support system my son overcame so many obstacles and each and every one of those “nevers” from the doctor. And when my next child started displaying similar symptoms I had a much easier time getting the ball rolling with him. It was at this point that I realized that Mom overrides Doctor every time. Meaning that yes, they are doctors. They went to school for 17 years to become doctors. But they see your child a handful of times a year, whereas you are with that child every.damn.day. So when you feel, in your gut, that something isn’t right with your child and the doctor doesn’t agree, don’t take no for an answer. Any doctor that instantly dismisses your feelings and tells you you’re wrong is not the right doctor for you. It took me 8 months to get my son diagnosed because my pediatrician kept telling me that he was fine and I was overreacting. “He’ll talk when he feels like it” or “He’ll stop banging his head against the wall when he feels like it” were some of my favorite utterances from this dude. But I knew something wasn’t quite right and I’m so grateful that I was able to get him the help that he needed. And it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t trust my gut. Which, thanks to three pregnancies is mighty large now. (Thanks kids!)
There are many different types of mom’s out there. There’s Natural Parenting Mom, Over Achiever Mom, Has Her Shit Together Mom…to name a few. I seriously wish I was Has Her Shit Together Mom but I’m more like “I Have Too Much To Do And I’m Lucky If I Get To Take A Shower Mom” kind of mixed with “Autism Mom” and “Calgon Take Me Away Mom” I’m in serious need of a nanny and a vacation, but sadly lack the funds for either. I don’t want a nanny to raise my kids, just someone I can tap in when I desperately need to tap out. And a vacation at this point would a few hours to myself where I had zero responsibility. That would be AMAZING.
You might be thinking “Wait, didn’t she say she has a husband? Why can’t he help?” And well … shit I’m thinking the same thing. There is a reason I refer to him as my eldest boy, after all…. to be continued
Momma on the Edge