“I don’t know how you do it.”


     Well first of all – I don’t have a choice. I guess I could just be a reject mom and neglect my kids or run away, but if I don’t choose that route the only other option is to “do it”. I do it because I have to, because I don’t have a choice, because this is my life – and these are my precious babies. I do it because I love them, and I love my son with autism even when he is covered with poop, and I do it because I am the mom and it is my job. But my son is definitely lucky he is so cute because if not then I might not put up with all the adventures in poop. (ok I promise I won’t talk about poop anymore in this post)

     But aside from that, I think what really helps me “do it” is my positive attitude. And also my husband’s positive attitude and his calm in crisis which I am not so good at. You know that is actually one of the positive aspects of my husband’s ADD – that he is calm in crisis situations.  I have a feeling there will be a few posts about the negatives of having an ADD spouse (sorry honey) but at least I have admitted there are positives too. 😉

     So I tried the negative, poor me, life sucks attitude. It didn’t get me very far.

     After my son was diagnosed there was a definite mourning period. I mourned the loss of the son I thought I had, the one who was going to grow up to play major league baseball, the one who was going to talk before the age of 5, the one who was going to understand what danger is and avoid dangerous situations. And I was sad for about a year. I was embarrassed of him at times, I thought “Why me? Why us?”, I cried when I thought about how detached he was and how I couldn’t communicate with him. And I think it is healthy and normal to have that mourning period. Just like mourning a death, mourning the loss of my “typical son” went through the same phases:

  • Shock  (Autism? Really? But the pediatrician said he was fine, “a walker not a talker”)
  • Denial (He is very high functioning and should be able to be in a regular kindergarten class by the time he is 5)
  • Bargaining (Maybe it’s his diet. If we just change his diet then he won’t have autism)
  • Guilt  (If only I didn’t eat McDonald’s or lobster when I was pregnant. I should have known more about the vaccines before I let them inject him. I was under too much stress when I was pregnant and that is why he has autism. I had too many ultrasounds.  — I could go on all day talking about the guilt I felt.)
  • Anger (Why do I have to have a kid with autism? Why can’t I have the typical little boy that I thought I had!?! It is so hard – I can’t handle this!! He is so difficult – MAKE IT ALL STOP!!!!)
  • Depression (<sob>My son can’t communicate with me and pushes me away. <sob> I feel so alone, no one understands what I am going through. I am a bad mom, I should be able to do better. <sob>)
  • Resignation (The diet isn’t going to help. He is just different and he always will be different. We are not a typical family – we will not blend in, we are not “normal” and we will be stared at when we are in public.)
  • Acceptance and Hope (My boy is awesome just the way he is! He is so sweet and smart. He is such a joy. I am so blessed with my two beautiful and healthy babies. He is making great progress and can maybe even lead an independent life one day.)

     So that took about a year, and once I was at the acceptance and hope part I realized that a positive attitude makes such a big difference. Like the poster said in my 3rd grade classroom “Attitude is Everything”.

     I could go on and on about positive thinking and how our thoughts determine our reality – and I probably will – but that is for another post. For now, I leave you with a song 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Suzy
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 22:08:29

    Well now you have done it. You made me cry. You are so strong Jess. I know that your children, husband and friends are all so proud of you.

    Reply

  2. karendietrich
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 13:43:33

    Another interesting post, Jess. I’m enjoying your blog!

    Reply

  3. Beverly Carter Thomas
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 22:50:08

    LOVE it, Jess. It took me a lot longer to get past some of the stages. 🙂

    Reply

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