“What a load of crap!”
That’s what I feel people would have said to me had I been the parent of a muggle child.
I really truly don’t think I’d have been a very good mother! And here’s why…
1. Patience… I have only developed patience since having autistic kids. I would have had very little patience with a muggle child, but because I understand my kid’s behaviour through their diagnosis it makes me calmer around them and thus makes me a better parent!
2. Lack of interest! Yes, I don’t think I would have been half as interested in my kid’s small everyday achievements without the special needs. I’m more aware, more observant and move forward with my praise for the tiniest thing because I know what it has taken to achieve that!
3. Expectations… I’m not heaping expectations on my kids. I’m not living vicariously through them. I don’t expect them to become Dr’s/lawyers or earn enough money to buy me a retirement flat in Benidorm! I just want them to be happy.
4. Stuck in my ways… Life would have continued just as it had if my kids hadn’t received a diagnosis. Same job, the same view of life, husband out at work, stressful stay at home mom. Now our lives have taken an exciting new turn. I’m retraining in an area that has nothing to do with my “old” life. Lee is at home now and we spend more time together. His involvement in the kid’s life is a thousand times more than it would have been which is fantastic for all of us. Life isn’t and will never be mundane now.
5. I would have been a nag! I can hear myself now as I would have been, constantly on the kid’s backs. Moaning about this, moaning about that…comparing my kids to others in a negative light. As it is now I never moan about what the kids do… I never say negative things to them and I don’t argue with them! I never shout at them and I don’t dictate to them.
6. Enjoyment…you know I don’t think I would have enjoyed having kids much! But my kids give me such much pleasure to see how they have overcome challenges. They make me proud with their ability to move with the changes and they make me a fierce momma bear!
7. Laughter. My kids are blooming hilarious! Jesse’s world is amazing and she gets so much fun from being in that place that you can’t help but join her! The things they say, their little ways, the things that are important to them. It changes your view of just what’s funny and what’s not. I laugh when Cody constantly tells you “NO! DON’T!” because it’s only now we are hearing him use independent speech and its fantastic he can express himself like that! Today, for example, we told him it was time to go to school..his reply “NO..I CANT!” we fell about laughing… it’s so beautiful to hear him finally expressing his feelings.
8. Laziness! Yep, I would have been a right lazy cow! Now don’t get me wrong if I can sit on my arse now and do nothing I would but the thing is you cant. My kids won’t let me relax! Even if I am sitting down inevitably Jesse is sitting on my lap rocking or using me as a play frame. They are constantly taking you to the things they need because they cant ask. Therefore you can’t ignore them because you’ve had to get up anyway! I do more activities than I would have done with muggle children because you have a desire for interaction that perhaps would not have been there otherwise.
9. Self-indulgence. I’m far less self-indulgent than I was. It used to be all about me, my feelings, my emotions, my life. Now I think about them first. And I know this should be the case with a lot of parents but I also know its not the case with a lot of parents. A lot of parents are putting their own issues onto their children by not growing out of the self-indulgence they’ve led all their lives. You cant be self-indulgent to an extreme with kids like mine otherwise you’d never get out of bed in the morning and would live your life as a martyr!
10. I know I’m a fantastic mother. Without these children, to teach me so much about myself, and change my outlook on life, to impact on my personality, to teach me about strength, to help me find courage, to alter my dreams and my realities and to show me who I can be, I would forever have been that person of doubt that started writing this blog a year ago. I’ve come so far and that is purely by going with it. I haven’t tried to kick against the changes autism has made to my life. I haven’t tried to make my children be someone they are not. And by doing so I’ve finally discovered who I am through their eyes.
A bloody fantastic mother.