Tuesday, June 28, 2016

STOP Shaming Autism Parents!

    There's a trend on social media attacking parents like myself, whom write about our lives with Autism. I could point out page names and blogs, but why give these people more attention than they deserve? Instead, I'm going to share my feelings about it.

    First of all, people need to stop accusing us of being disrespectful. They claim that we have our blogs and pages to get attention for being an autism parent, and in doing so, are disrespecting our children. How bogus is that?? (Trust me, I loathe attention. I'm happy hiding out from small talk and people.) I myself, as with many other autism parents I know, started our pages and blogs to tell OUR story. (We aren't here to tell your story. That's your prerogative.) We are reaching out and sharing slices of our lives, to connect with other parents that are walking a similar path. To help ourselves, and to help others.

    Secondly, they claim we are exploiting our children. (Another reason they accuse us of being disrespectful.) Okay, now maybe some people do that, but lumping all of us page owners and writers into that category is, well frankly, it's bullshit! My son is old enough now, that I ask his permission to share certain things. When I started, he wasn't able to make that decision. So his father and I would talk about what it was I wanted to share, and together, decide how to do it respectfully. I have never shared inappropriate images of my son. (Who would with all the pervs out there?) When talking about his severe cycles, I divulge basic information, but I never go in depth with things my son says to me in confidence. We don't tell people where we live. I also don't accept strangers on my personal Facebook.

    Thirdly, they claim that we share too much. That by telling people our story, we're in fact hurting our children. If my son has a rough day, he has a rough day. We are teaching him to own it. Shit happens, to ALL of us! If I choose to joke about it on social media, and let others know they aren't alone in this struggle, how is that hurting my child? He isn't the brunt of my joke. I am sharing to vent. Sharing to make light of a crappy day. That's how we roll in our real lives too.

    We can't sit here, behind our keyboards and act like life is all sunshine and rainbows. That's bullshit, and we all know it. As writers, we are sharing our story to reach out to all of you. These "sanctimommies" need to step off, and worry more about how they are raising their children, instead of how we are doing it. Hell, most of the autism pages I follow are much like mine. They share the good, the bad, sensory fun, inspirational posts, jokes, and more. They are real. Isn't that what we want? Why would we want to read fake crap? Not one of us is a "perfect" parent! I could keep going on about how they're judging us, but I have a life, and so I will stop here.

    One last thought.... We're all muddling through this gig together. Instead of belittling one another, let's raise each other up! Besides, falling off a high horse would be pretty painful, and I for one, wouldn't want to be the wanker that falls off!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Don't Stress the Mess - A Confession from a Not So Special, Special Needs Mom

    Here goes, a confession from a not so special, special needs mom.

    My house is quite often a horrific wreck! Not only is it a wreck, it's most likely dusty, and in desperate need of an over haul.

    You know what? It's okay. That quote, "Pardon the mess, but the children are busy making memories," well, we're doing that, but the real truth is, we're busy LIVING!

    All parents know (special needs or otherwise,) that keeping a house clean when you have kids is like eating Oreos and trying to brush your teeth. It doesn't happen. If it does happen, our children wreck it before we're even finished.

    Laundry? Don't get me started there. You're NEVER caught up on laundry. EVER. Why? Because for every person in your house, you have to count what they're wearing. Your hampers may be empty, but in a family of three (like mine,) that's three dirty outfits. Bath time, that's 3 dirty towels. Bedding? That's three beds worth of bedding. You get the idea.

    How about your floors? I only have carpet in three rooms, but in the summer time, my living room generally has more grass on it than the yard. Why? Because my son and the neighbor kids are in and out like our front door revolves. Summer is mowing season, and therefore all the grass is being tracked into my house.

    Chachkies, or as my hubby calls them, dust collectors. I used to LOVE chachkies! Any more, I loathe them. All they do is remind me that I'm too busy or too damn tired to dust them. They really don't look good any more because I can't see them through all the dust. And ceilings! Who the hell knew that you have to dust your ceilings all the time? Seriously? Who has time for that? Not me, which is why you'll see dust bunnies up there. (Please don't look up if you come to visit us.)

    We recently got a puppy. She's being trained to be a support dog for my son. There are dog toys from one end of my living room to the other. I don't dare pick them up, because she's so easily side tracked that she'll chew the carpet if a toy isn't in front of her face. If you come to my house any time soon, keep your shoes on too. You won't want to step in a wet spot from sopped up pee and carpet cleaner.

    The toilet. As a boy mom, I loathe cleaning the damn toilets. I seriously think he makes it his mission to pee everywhere but IN the toilet. Just my house? I don't think so.

    Back to laundry. My boy is autistic and has sensory issues. He changes his clothes many times a day. There could be a hamper right next to him, but the dirty clothes are either in a pile next to it, or trailing the room where he took them off. (We're working on this.)

    You get the idea, my house is a mess. It used to REALLY bother me. Especially when we had support staff for my son, in and out of here every day. Now? Well now I've learned that it only causes me undue stress to worry about it. Now I ask people to call before they come over. That way I can get that quick 20 minute straighten up in. If you just show up at my door, I can promise you, my house will be a wreck. There may not even be a place for you to sit, because my son's toy obsessions are usually all over the furniture.

    I "DEEP" clean once a week. That's Sunday. If you want to see my house looking great, I suggest you come before I finish on Sunday. Otherwise, I can't promise you'll see it clean. I really don't care. 30 years from now I'm not going to remember how messy my house was. I'm going to remember raising my son. That's what really matters any way.