autism · blogging · confessions

I Don’t Know How You Do It.

From the outside looking in, I can see why so many people say this to me. I have four kids. One has autism. One has Down syndrome. Casey can be tough. Abby gets sick a lot. My husband has an hour commute to work each way and so he’s gone from 8 in the morning to 7 at night (which could be WAY worse, I know…).

So I’ll tell you what I’ve told those who have said this to me:

I’m heavily medicated, I have the best husband ever and I have an outlet for my rage.

First off, I should make it clear. I don’t REALLY have it that tough. It looks like it on paper, but it’s really not horrifically hard every minute of every day. Casey can be tough. But he’s not all of the time. Not even half of the time now that his meds are working. Not even close. And have you met him? That kid is FANTASTIC! I adore him to pieces. He’s a good kid. He really does try hard.  He has his issues, but for the most part, we can predict when it’s going to be tough, and work around it. And it gets better every single day. Plus, even when he’s going through his funks, he’s at school for 7 hours a day.

And then there’s Abby. She has a lot of therapy. She has a constant river of snot that she hates having wiped. She’s given us a couple of scares. But other than that, she’s as pleasant as can be most of the time. She’s my little friend. She’s with me most of the day. I love it. I love being with her. She’s joy wrapped up in a tiny little girl.

So we’re good, yes? No. There are times when it’s tough. Really tough. The lack of sleep sucks.  Especially when it’s because Abby’s sick. There’s time where the stress does wear at me. Mornings are tough. Getting Casey ready and out of the house in the space of time between when he wakes and when I get the meds finally in him is a feat.  I hate therapy with Abby with all of my heart. Because I don’t have the attention span for it.  Because my house has to look somewhat presentable when the therapist comes because they are mandatory reporters… So on top of the regular mom crap that I hate SO MUCH (I hate cleaning. HATE IT) I’ve got all of these little extra things that sort of chip away at my resolve.

That’s where the antidepressants come in. OOOOOh hiissssss. Is this something I shouldn’t be talking about? Meh. I really don’t care. Why? Because I think it’s important that women, especially mothers of children with special needs, know that it’s not wrong to need a little bit of help.

Being a mom by itself is super tough. Add to it all of the little extra things that come along with having a kid with special needs and you’ve got a very depleted mother.  For me, that depletion meant that I didn’t have any emotional reserves. None. When things got too tough, I hid. It’s like I couldn’t take anything ELSE on besides the load that’s on my plate. I didn’t FEEL depressed so I didn’t think I was. But I was lashing out at my husband, I was angry. I was sad. It was unlike any depression I had gone through. I was used to the “teenage” depression. Where you’re tired all of the time and you hate your mother. This was stress-induced and probably has a lot to do with my hormones, too. So I take prozac. And it helps. A LOT.

Then there’s my husband. He is the very reason I can do everything that I have to. It’s like sometime in Heaven before we were born, God said, “Okay, I’ll give you this dude, and he’s THE BEST, but in order to have him, I’m going to have to throw in some tough stuff” and I signed right on the line. I can handle anything because I have Lance.  He’s a walking talking Valium pill. He is my very CALM. Have you been around him? It makes you sleepy.  And it’s just what I need. He isn’t crazy. He doesn’t really care about getting out and seeing the world or being overly active in anything besides sports and food, but he’s CALM. He’s happy to do whatever I ask of him and he follows me down whatever crazy path I want to go.  I’m a lucky girl.

Then, the outlet. This blog is my outlet. I feel better after I write, and even better after I hear that something that I’ve said or done has helped someone else. It’s like freaking crack to me.  I used to have hockey as my outlet. It was the very best of times. But no one out here wants to play with someone who sucks and refuses to play on Sundays. Because Sunday is a special day. And a special person. Have you met Sunday? She’s fantastic.

And that’s the other thing that’s been SO helpful about blogging. I’ve met some of my new most favorite people because of it. Like Sunday. And Holly. And Deanna (their blogs are linked on the side) And this other dude. His name is Jim and he’s my Blog Nemesis. When I first found his blog I wanted to LASH OUT. Break things. Because his writing is so good and he’s so funny that I was sure the minute anyone found out about his blog they’d go ahead and abandon me and my stupid blog. But then I came to terms with it, sort of. There are going to be better at this than me. There are MANY others who are (most. most are). But instead of being okay with it, for some reason, I’ve decided to make him my nemesis. I’m not sure what that means for him, but I’m sure it makes him tremble in fear. Like a girl.  So, go visit him at his blog. You’ll be as thunderstruck as I am that his blog isn’t huge with thousands of adoring followers who do his bidding. If you decide after being there to join his army and leave mine, I’ll understand. I’ll hate you, but I’ll understand. You CAN join his followers without having to leave me.

Don’t leave me.

I digress.

Sorry about lack of crappy pictures. I just wanted to write to write. I wanted to add some pictures, but then that would mean I’d have to go upstairs and find my camera. And in order to do that, I’d have to clean. And I REFUSE.

14 thoughts on “I Don’t Know How You Do It.

  1. HAHAHAHA! You are a kick! I did NOT see the pimpout coming. . . at all. You're the M. Knight Shamalayan (spelling?) of blog posts.I don't know about this whole good better best stuff, but I've really enjoyed your posts. I like your voice. I mean. . . you know, your writing voice. I suspect your actual voice is shrill and screechy and angry sounding. At least when you threaten violence.Thanks for the mention! I daresay you won't suffer a single desertion.

  2. Just started reading your blog and I LOVE it. I laughed out loud a couple of times just on this post. I am the working mom with #5 on the way. My #1 has emotional stuff and #3 has ADHD. Sometimes (every…freaking…day) I feel like hiding in my room. I also was on Lexapro for awhile when work, life, kids, and everything got too much. Then I went off to get preg with this baby. I feel comfortable talking about how it helped me. But I still get…the LOOK if I mention it. Prays for you and your sweet little family. 😉

  3. guess what?! you're my new favorite person too! It's a shame your so far a way or I'd camp out at your house all and annoy you and demand you make me cups of tea…and mommy pills rock..don't let anyone make you feel yucky for taking them…you have most on your plate than most..

  4. I've tried so many times to post this comment today, I think I qualify as stalking you under the laws of at least 3 states. Which is, by the way, completely Jim's fault, because if it wasn't for his vain Twitter post, which I felt completely compelled to click the link on, I wouldn't have found you. And, I've decided we are blogging soul mates. Which may all seem kind of weird because we've only just met. So, yeah. Hi. :-)P.S. Jim, I will not abandon your blog. For now.

  5. True story. I just want to share the love. Let everyone see how helpful it is. Okay, not everyone. But there is a certain someone that REALLY needs them…

  6. I enjoyed this. Yes, mothering does wear people thin and YOU do an amazing job with the cards you've been dealt! Your kids are lucky to have you.

  7. Ah – I read your headline and thought – I MUST see this (and I'm so glad I did). I also have 4 kids – one with autism and one with T21 and I hear that famous phrase almost daily. Sometimes, it feels good – like getting props for doing something hard. And other times, it makes me feel singled out – like thanks for making me feel like I'm not just another mom on the block. Good day or bad day – exhaustion is totally the way to describe it. All-encompassing exhaustion most of the time. But it is getting better (my youngest is only 9 months). And awesome spouses totally deserve props too, even when 80% of the "work" week takes place without them. So yay for a great post. Love your musings! I will have to now venture to Jim's blog too…

  8. I need them. I do. I don't know if you're referring to me (I'm so vain–or insecure–that I always think the song is about me) because I'm such a mess when we talk, and I hate everyone and everything, but what you wrote up there about the lashing out at Lance and being angry…. That's me. Although I don't usually lash out at Lance. Mostly Devin. But yeah–I don't have so much sadness, like, "Poor me. I cry about everything all the time." More like, "If one more person makes one more demand of me, or criticizes me, they will DIE." Zoloft does weird things to me, like crazy deja vu, heart-palpitating, blackout type stuff. Prozac could be the answer….

  9. This was awesome (as usual). Lance is a cool dude. And you're the best, cultural condemnation of anti-depressants be damned. If you had a heart condition, it wouldn't be taboo for you to take meds for that. Any drug that helps us function to the best of our ability is fantastic. God bless modern medicine.I will NOT read Jim's blog. His beard and Viking hat are entirely too intimidating.

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