Juggling Home, Family and Me – Life in a Special Needs Family

I am mom, wife, homemaker, and me. That’s how I look at it. As a mom, I put my children first. I worry about them all the time. As a wife, I put my husband second. He works so hard to provide for our family and to make sure we are taken care of. As a homemaker, my house comes third and then, well, there’s me. I come last.

Lessick - JugglingSometimes I think my life is like a juggling act. Sooner or later, priority has to come to my home and me. Cleaning my house is my responsibility. My children pick up their things, and my daughter tries to clean, but she is only six and I have to follow up after her. My husband takes care of the outside of the house, but will wash dishes once in a while. My son will pick up in his bedroom, but I have to stand there with him and constantly prompt him and keep him on task.

When you are raising a child with a special need and a child that is “typically developed,” you are constantly challenged everyday. In my juggling act, priority is given to my children, and my son usually gets the highest priority. Is this right? My daughter doesn’t think so, but I don’t see as I have a choice. If you have read my previous articles, then you know that my son is ten and autistic. My daughter is six. She loves her brother, but there are times when she just doesn’t understand why there seems to be two sets of rules in our house.

My daughter has always accepted her brother for who he is. To her, he is her brother and “normal.” I have noticed, lately, a change in her thinking. She is beginning to question things like: Why didn’t we teach her brother to talk like we taught her? Why are there things that he can’t do that she can? Why won’t he play with her like other children do?

For my son, we are beginning to get into a new stage. It looks like puberty may be coming early. At the very least, an awareness of body parts that he is just discovering he has. Every time I think I am starting to get a handle on “juggling“, something new begins that puts “me” back on the shelf. Parents of autistic children deal with a high level of stress every day. Moms, especially. I have never seemed to learn how to deal with this stress completely. I have the type of personality that is 100%+ until I reach a breaking point, and then it is 0%.

Luckily, when I reach my breaking point, I can stop and turn things over to my husband. It’s not easy. I feel so guilty when I have to take a couple hours for my self and leave everything to my husband. I am supposed to be able to do everything. I feel guilty when I can’t. I also feel guilty when I do, because I am always thinking that I am not doing enough. My son has a lot of developmental delays and it takes a lot of time and one on one instruction for him to learn how to do things.

I am also always worried about the future. It may seem like he still has a lot of time before he is an adult, but I see a boy that is growing fast and has a lot to learn. I worry about what kind of life he will have. I worry about my daughter and how she is doing. Is she feeling neglected? How is she going to feel about her brother when she gets older? How is she going to feel about her father and me?

In the end, I don’t have any easy answers to this juggling act that I call life. I try to keep all the balls in play, but more often than naught, the ones for cleaning my house and me are left on the shelf. I know I am not alone in this. There are many other moms out there that are dealing with the same situation. But, to be honest, there is no comfort in knowing that. The comfort comes from hearing stories from moms that have moved on to the other side of the situation. The stories of how they went through the same thing and survived. If you have been at the point that I am at and have made it through, I would love to hear your story.

About the Author

I am a WAHM mom of two children. I have a 6 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. I like sharing information with everyone about autism and raising an autistic child. I operate an online blog called AutismLearningFelt. I share information, personal stories, as well as do product reviews and giveaways of autism and mom related products. My best advice to other parents raising a child with autism is to remember that loving your child is your number one priority.


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