I have thought a lot about the above meme. Being an autism parent is my life. It is what I do daily. I schedule. I make calls. I sign papers. I make sure medicine is sent to school (and lunch money). My husband, Steve, absolutely helps. But being a stay at home mom does mean that most of these things are my responsibility.
The more I thought about the meme, the more I questioned “is that all I am?” Is being an autism mom what defines me? Of course it defines me, but only part of me.
I have been feeling very overwhelmed about what happens when Brandon graduates in May. What is going to happen? We will be able access the services he needs? What about the therapies he currently gets at school that will stop the day he graduates?
I was talking about some of this yesterday with a friend. He asked me…”what do you do for yourself?” I burst into tears and told him I don’t. There are days when it is hard for me to get off the couch. My house gets cluttered (which I hate), but I can’t seem to find the energy to do anything about it. It all just seems so monotonous.
So….what do I do about that. My friend encouraged me to make daily goals. Small goals. Yesterday’s goals included finally getting all the Christmas decorations down and put away and then cleaning up from that mess. My family room feels so much bigger now. And cleaner. And that made me happy.
But what about me? What do I like to do that I haven’t made time for? Reading. I love to read, but don’t seem to be able to find time. That is changing. It’s part of my New Year’s resolution. I read yesterday. More than a couple of pages and not something on the internet. An actual book. I read for about 30 minutes and was completely immersed in my book. It felt good.
Playing the piano. I have played since I was six years old. I have the piano that was in the house I was raised in. It is in my living room. And it just sits there collecting dust, and books, and mail. It is now cleaned off and I am starting to play again. One of my goals for today is to play for 15 minutes. It is just for me.
My friend helped me realize that in order for me to be a better parent, wife, person, I have to not rely on others to make me feel worthwhile. That is my job. I am responsible for me first. If I am not well, that is projected and can negatively impact those around me, including Brandon.
2019 was hard. I am committed to improving myself so I can be a better parent, wife, and friend in 2020.
And now, I need to go play the piano.