Autism, lifestyle, Mommy life, parents, podcast

Celebrating Motherhood Through the Lens of an Autism Mom

Podcast ep #3 on Living Simply with Jessica Harris: Are you taking time to celebrate the wins you experienced in motherhood, even during the stressful times. I asked myself this question after an amazing conversation with other moms whose children were on the spectrum (autistic). I had to sit with this for a bit to really think back in time. My son is five and this was a topic I really didn’t divulge in with other people. But this group of women had welcomed me with open arms and I really had to take a hard look a myself. Had I really been embracing all of my motherhood journey or just some of it? The truth was it was only some of it. So today I give you peek inside.

My son had been showing signs of being on the spectrum since he was about 1 years old and was confirmed to be at 2 years old. Over the course of the last 5 years we have experienced many ups and downs in adjusting to our children’s needs. As a mom to 3, life gets busy and sleep becomes precious. What do you do when you child can’t sleep?

He can’t calm down to go to sleep.

I remember the nights when my son used to be awake until 12am or 1 am. Then back up bright and early around 6am or 7am. I would look at him and wonder, do you actually get rest? Because I would get up feeling exhausted with no choice, but to go to work. I remember nights when he would run up and down our hallway and it was a constant battle of don’t run because the neighbors might complain. But he couldn’t stop. He would just go and go. Thankfully they never complained, at least not directly to us.

It got to a point, where I gave up on thinking he would actually go to bed at a decent hour because this was him. He was a child with a lot of energy and nothing seemed to stop him. I remember the daycare telling me he would always be the last one asleep, but the first one to wake up. Yet, he was still full of energy when he came home. I just couldn’t figure it out. So many nights were spent trying to get him to wine down by having a bath routine, a bed time routine, doing extra activities in the house, but nothing seemed to work.

In bed before 8pm???

Then one day, out of no where I looked and saw him knocked out in his bed. It was just before 8pm. All I could do was smile. I smiled because what I thought was impossible was finally possible. But instead of celebrating this moment, I moved on with life. Until the conversation I had with the other days. I was reminded that it wasn’t to seek perfection, but to notice the progress made. Even the little ones. As I went back through the notes in my memory bank, I started to realize he has come so far. From non verbal to verbal, from speech delays to speaking very well. Yes, there are still areas where we are working with him, but I am more thankful than ever.

What stresses you may be a blessing to someone else

There was one moment on the call with the ladies when my son came into the room and was calling me, “mommy, mommy.” I was apologizing on his behalf because he was interrupting my train of thought. And the response I received was priceless. She said, Don’t apologize, I would give anything to hear my child speak those words to me. It hit hard. That although some days are hard and tough and trying, there are blessings there for me to cherish. I can’t get upset that he repeatedly will ask me the same thing over and over or that he will talk you ear off about the same subject. Because there is a mom who simply wants to hear their child’s voice.

You are blessed

Regardless of how many hard days you face or challenges you have. Know that you are blessed. There are blessings right in front of us we just have to be tuned in enough to see them. They aren’t hiding either. They are just packaged a little differently.

To the mom who is where I once was:

It’s going to be okay. Things are going to work out. You will gain useful tips and tricks along your journey and know that life is all about trial and error. Stop holding on to perfection and unrealistic expectations. Meet yourself, meet your children and your spouse where they are. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Be intentional and celebrate the small accomplishments. Pour love into your children and your frustration.

Click link to listen to the podcast episode on Living Simply with Jessica Harris :–Through-the-lens-of-an-autism-mom-e1crt3h

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