Dear Autism Mum,
There’s a lovely quote I’ve seen on social media recently ‘Autism is a journey I never planned but I sure do love my tour guide.’ This quote has really resonated with me, you see, it’s taken me nearly three years to come to terms with my son having autism. I spent a lot of time asking why has this happened? Everyday I would wake up hoping that he had advanced over night and suddenly not be autistic anymore…..Well obviously that was me being naive….he is and always will be autistic.
However, he is the purest little ray of sunshine, the happiest and most joyful little boy who finds awe and wonder in literally everything. This little ray of sunshine leaves a trail of light wherever he goes and everyone he meets ends up leaving with a huge smile on their faces. So daily life might be exhausting, every single day is a physical and mental
tornado whirlwind but he makes us all roar with laughter. I liken it to raising a Gremlin, when he’s being Gizmo, he’s just so adorable, cute and fluffy but if you feed him after midnight….
I’m going to share our journey so far with you and it has certainly not been easy. I’ve had to become a different Mum to the Mum I was with my eldest. All the things that we did when my eldest was small we’ve had to completely scrap and start again with the Square Peg. He has never responded to the naughty step or rewards systems, potty training traumatised him so we stopped, weaning was a nightmare, he doesn’t show an interest in trying to read or write. So what I thought knew about parenting just doesn’t work with the Square Peg.
During this journey I’ve gone from being in denial, to trying to find a reason why, to a breakdown and now I do believe that I’m coming out the other side. After the stress of the EHCP process and then the battle to get him into a Special School I hit a low point and had to take some time off work. I was at the stage where it was really even too much effort to get dressed in the mornings…I contacted the NHS Depression and Anxiert Service and booked myself onto a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) course and a private solution focussed hypnotherapy course with http://www.hypnotherapist-plymouth.co.uk/
I also Joined the gym, started going to Zumba, Body Combat, Slimming World and then started writing a blog. By doing all of this it enabled me to process everything that was going on in my life and now I know that I am in a position to help other autism mums.
Autism Mum, we are not like other mums. Not only do we have to come to terms emotionally that our child has Autism, we have to remain strong both physically and mentally. The constant worry about what they will become, what will happen to them when you are gone. From wrestling the day to day meltdowns and anxieties, the food issues, the sensory overload, the battles with the education system etc. It’s easy to think that we’ve failed as a Mum because of what society expects, but I’m telling you now, you really haven’t. You’ve had to cope with way more than your average Mum and that makes you a SuperMum.
Easier said than done I know but don’t listen to any negativity. There will always be people who think they are the parenting experts but be safe in the knowledge that they have absolutely no idea. Unless you have a child yourself who is autistic you cannot fully understand what daily life is like, so they can take their unwanted comments and advice and ________ off! (Fill in the blank)
Your unplanned journey will take you places you didn’t even realise were places. Stop dwelling on the whys and what ifs and let go, embrace the autism rollercoaster because it’s thrilling and fun and you can’t change it. Your gorgeous but quirky tour guide will help you to see the world in ways that no one else can.
Yes life throws some huge curveballs but I truly believe that my Square Peg was sent to us for a reason. I can either keep moaning about how tough it is or I can grow some balls and embrace it. Of course it’s not going to be easy, of course I will have times when it all gets too much again but this is my plan….
1) Have a shower
2) Get Dressed
3) Survive the day
4) Do something nice for myself e.g. have a bath, write a blog post, talk to other autism mums, go to Zumba/Body Combat, eat some chocolate, eat some ice cream etc etc
5) Go to bed.
Whatever happens you are not alone, there will always be another autism mum who has gone through something similar and will listen and offer advice.
I started this letter with a quote and I’m going to end this letter with a quote. It is from this quote that I came up with my name Mummy Of a Square Peg.
So lets join forces and make the world easier for Square Pegs.
Be kind to yourselves Autism Mums, you are doing an amazing job.
Love Mummy of a Square Peg