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As a parent of Autistic children it's a juggling act

Thursday, 25 July 2019  |  Admin

The Juggling Act

It is the second week of the Easter holidays. I am lucky, as a teacher, childcare is something I don’t need to worry about - with the exception of very rare occasions, when they are off so am I.

But what I do worry about - like many of you I am sure - is what kind of mum I am. And whether I am the mum I want to be, and even more importantly the mum my children deserve.

With one child diagnosed as having autism, and a second on the pathway - you would be forgiven for thinking that there needs are similar. And the truth is nothing could be further from the truth.

Where one thrives on rules, the other lives to breaks them. Where one worships organisation, the other thrives on chaos. With eight years between them, they are very definitely opposite sides of them same coin.

And during the week, when there is just them and I, I am acutely aware that they both need me to be two very different people.

At the weekends - mostly - we have this sussed. A divide and conquer routine, that means that on the whole each child gets what they need to thrive.

The holidays are somewhat different.

And as I write this I do from the car. One is sleeping in the back, the other in her room inside the house.

Today has not been a good one - for a multitude of reasons.

But mainly because I am just one human, trying to meet the needs of two. And sometimes that simply doesn’t work.

Tomorrow will be better, I will lick my wounds and regroup, and so will they.

We will come up with a new plan. A different one. We will create a day - and ultimately - a life that works, because that is what we owe to our children.

People look from the outside at our lives sometimes, they tell us they are not sure how we do it. I guess the reality is, a few years ago we would have done the same.

But the truth is we do it because our children need to do.

There is not the luxury of choice - a magic wand to make their lives easier and therefore parenting easier.

And perhaps, just perhaps, that is ok too.

Because this journey we are on, it is teaching us all lessons. Lessons about acceptance, resilience, perseverence and adaptability.

We will be stronger for it, us and them, as it shapes us, moulds us, and turns us collectively into the humans we were meant to be.