When my youngest son Elijah was born at 24 weeks, we brought home a very sick four month old. "A" was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism about a year later. It didn't take me long to figure out that life was going to change drastically! I know that many of you special needs mommies know how it is. The appointments, often traveling hundreds of miles to get the medical care your child needs. Dealing with the schools, which is often a major heartache and headache, and the way it feels to hand your home over to strangers. Early intervention, therapists, social workers, nurses, aides, all of the people who spend hours a day in your home, to help with your child. I have almost forgot what it is like to just kick back on the couch while the kids take a nap.
So when I say I am a stay at home mom I am sure some people think that I do my housework, put the kids down for a nap and then turn on my favorite television show or soap. Or maybe I kick back and read for a couple of hours. That isn't how it is, at least not for me.
Housework, well that is something that I do in between appointments, sometimes I reserve housework for after the kids go to bed. Needless to say, I will not be winning any awards for the cleanest, best decorated home. The wallpaper is still half off the walls in the kitchen where I have been meaning to repaint, it has been that way for a long time! You won't find flowers in my flower bed, but you may find a few weeds! If you stop by without calling first there may even be a few dishes in the sink and my living room will probably look like a preschool! I don't even want to talk about the basement area!
Television, well what few shows I do watch I DVR, and I try not to fall asleep as I am watching at midnight or possibly later. Most days I enjoy bits of Nick Jr. and Mario jumping across the screen. I love to read, but that is something I don't do near as much as I used to.
During the school year our day is a blur of lessons, appointments, and running errands. Some days I catch myself in "survival mode", where it feels like I am just doing what I need to do to get through the day. I really try not to do that . I try every day to recognize my blessings, I realize there are others who are so much worse off. I get to wake up every morning to my boys sweet voices, many never hear their child speak. I am able to teach A at home. Many parents have no choice but go work, send their child to school, often not knowing for sure if their child's needs are really being met. I see Elijah improving every day, far past the doctors expectations. I have a wonderful 17 year old son who makes me so proud!
I know how fast things can change. I know, because I've been there. So my plan is to strive to find a blessing in each and every day, because the blessings are always there!
A and his newest pet
A and baby brother
A and big brother