I was reading some posts this morning, and realized that I was not so alone – It was good. I don’t mean about just being a special needs Mom- but in the collateral damage that goes along with it. You know, the messy house and unfinished feeling to life. But as I started to write into the comment feeds, I realized that I have learned some things that needed to be shared.
Even before this thing called special needs care, the Lord blessed me with endometriosis for many years (I suspect it was partly to give aspie hubby the time he needed to be a good dad.) I learned many things then; but one that is totally on my heart today was when I realized that I had to make a list of things I needed to do, and feel good if I managed more than the top 3.
I learned that the important things, were things that would mater in the long run; and this carried into when I had kids and added depression and no sleep to the list. It took a long time but eventually I realized that if my kids were clean, fed, and were calm, and learning about honesty and kindness to their siblings and others, and knew who Jesus was and what he did for us, and even managed to get homework done on top of that- well, I have accomplished much in the eyes of the Lord. My Hubby helped me see this- he made me scroll thru all my photos in my photo file- and he said “Look, they all are smiling and happy. This is a major accomplishment”.
Now- as the constant short sleep (4 to 6 hours at a time between all the different kid’s needs) and PTSD style symptoms finally made me seek a doctor (dx -stress triggered fybromialgia) –I am so grateful for his support and love, it is one of the best blessings of an aspie hubby- his utter loyalty. And so I keep trying, even tho’ I am at the point where I find that I have to choose to call it a good day if I manage to keep going and clean one tiny spot down to the floor. And if I manage to make the day gluten free as well, and even more rare- write in my blog- that’s a bonus. :O
I prayed a long time for help and I need to say out loud (sort of) that prayers are heard. And they are answered in the Lord’s own time and way. It never came from the ward– but my folks found themselves between jobs this summer, and asked if they could spend it here. It is amazing to step back enough to see the Lord’s deeper thinking (than mine) as we watch for the good fall-out in events…. Mom is as OCD as you can get about clean floors, and it has been hard on the kids and hubby (and thus, me) to adjust to her brand of energy; but she has the same sort of pure spirit as my asd daughter, totally without guile and innocent, even at 71. And working thru the stress and out the other side has allowed them to find out that you can fall in love with someone who is not perfect. My dad is helping us add a room and sneaky storage to this smallish house, so that my older asd boys can have privacy and semi-independence. Between the two of them, the house exploded into a construction site. I have had to deal with the heart pain, as I watch old attempts of projects (from many years of trying anything to help make my kids do better, or my own art side happy) get found and thrown away in the massive clean-out; but it is starting to swirl down and get exciting as progress is beginning to show.
I realized this summer that I haven’t done yard care in the back yard in 2 years- and that’s o.k. My kids still hug me good night, and still like to be with me in public. My older boys still camp out with their dad, and play video games and talk out their problems with him. They all come when I call, and say sorry when they goof. They are learning to work thru pain and stay kind anyway, and find joy with each other (most of the time.) They are getting quite good at coping with their struggles in a way that makes them more and more invisible to the casual observer, and move forward toward long term goals of their own.
… I mean- I still struggle hard with panic at the thought of visitors, and facing my shortcomings is a daily trial. But what I really should be telling myself is this- in the long measures of success, these things are where success really lies.