Monday, October 15, 2012
The sad truth...single parents
I have been reading posts from mother's like me with a child like mine and I realize how fortunate we are to have the support we have. It breaks my heart reading how unbelievably frustrated these moms are and I completely know what they are feeling. It's so sad how we are judged for having a child with autism. The unwelcomed criticism, advice, opinion...it's so frustrating sometimes. And God forbid we complain or get angry at our situation, for some reason it's a big no-no, we'll be labeled as horrible parents. I just wish you could live one day in our shoes. The constant planning, the routine of it all, we cannot drop the ball with these kids or you will have an hour meltdown of biting, kicking, sobbing, frustration. So we do all we can do to avoid this. We cannot just jump in our car and go for a fun day like a normal family would, we really have to consider the place, the situation, if there's too much noise, if there's a proper bathroom, pack a snack, make sure she understands what's going to happen, it's extremely stressful. We can't go on a family vacation...ever. I can't just take her to the grocery store, without making sure she understands she is not getting a new Jessie doll (Toy Story) and I have to be prepared to leave if she starts getting upset because she's not getting what she wants, so no groceries. I do have to admit we have been very blessed to have a wonderful support system, my mom is wonderful and can handle her, of course she spoils her, which is not good, but for a few hours of freedom, I'll take it! But other than her, there's really no one who can handle her well enough to understand her needs, she is a very difficult child. It's a constant guessing game with her and it gets overwhelming at times. And we all have days of self-pity and I've finally accepted that it's ok to feel this way. So when I read of other mother's frustrations and how they feel they cannot vent properly, I get it, it's hard because not everyone will understand, but they also won't step up to the plate to help. Deep down they know they could not handle it. And it's ok. What people don't understand is, we dig deep down into our soul to bring out the patience and when someone suddenly decides they might know better, we might snap and we don't want to do that. But it is what it is and sometimes all we want to do is just vent and be human and complain about our unbelievably routine oriented lives. And all those single women with a child like mine, hats down to you, I would not be able to relax like I do if it weren't for my husband and I am so grateful for him. So when I read about the heartbreak these women go through, it does break my heart and I will keep them in my prayers because I don't know how I would handle everything I have on my plate without my Mark. His heart breaks as much as mine does. So I ask of you, if you know of a single parent with a child with autism, lend a helping hand. Just offer to be with their child while they nap, go to a movie, go for a walk, or just listen and don't judge...it's not easy. Our children with special needs bring a lot of joy and a new appreciation for the little things in life, but they also bring exhaustion, unbelievable sadness and frustration. I know those who know me, think of me as this super mom, and I thank you, but you have to know, it's extremely difficult to live every day being strong and accepting this life God has decided we should have...it's not as easy as we might lead you to believe. It's the sad truth we live with and we are lucky to have each other. Please say a prayer for all those single parents who need a lot of support without judgement.