Being a mom is hard.
I walk a tightrope between being fun, supportive, nice and firm. It’s quite the cluster fuck at times.
I don’t know about other moms but for me personally, I pretty much always feel like I’m failing. I don’t do enough, I’m not firm enough, I’m too mean, I’m too lax, I’m too tired…I’m always doubting my skills.
There is no training course for motherhood. We have some natural instincts but honestly from the time of conception, we are really just winging it.
Sure, the more kids you have, the more prepared you are. But each kid is different. Each kid presents with different challenges and idiosyncrasies. Siblings or not, no two kids are the same.
This is especially true when autism infiltrates your life.
I have three kids. They all have autism and they all have different challenges and needs. It can be difficult to deal with all that on a day to day basis. People often tell me “I don’t know how you do it!”
Guess what? Neither do I.
I suppose the answer is simple. I do it because I have to. I’m their mom and they need me. So I find it within myself to be their advocate. Their teacher, their disciplinarian, their comfort, their support. I’ve somehow found the strength to deal with the meltdowns and the fears and the quirks. I know that Oldest absolutely cannot have any crust on his sandwich or its day ruined. Middle panics at loud noises, rain or animals. Littlest is usually pretty easy to please but since he’s non verbal, I play our own twisted version of charades with him and let me tell you, he’s excellent at it.
With the dawn of a new day comes another day of challenges. When my feet hit the floor each morning I never know what the day has in store for me. Will it be easy? Will there be meltdowns at every turn? Will I be longing for a glass of wine by 10am? I never know.
But I push through the unknown and the daily stressors because my kids need me. And as hard as life can be sometimes, I find it within myself to try and be the best mom I can be.
Some days are wins and some days are fails. That’s true of life in general, whether autism affects you or not. You just have to try to focus on the wins and not dwell on the fails. It’s not always easy but it is possible.