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Neglect is sometimes a side effect of ASD

February 21, 2013

phone

Now Now.. put down the phone.. no need to call the cops.  In no way do I mean that I neglect either one of my boys.  It’s quite the opposite.  My world can be all-consuming with their needs.  What I mean is that  I neglect myself…. my friends, my family, my activities, my creating, shopping for myself, and even taking care of myself when I know I’m sick but won’t stop to be sick.  I know lots of moms are in the same boat, even without Autism in their lives.  I think it does add an extra wrinkle however.  There are so many things that call for extra planning…. and even extra worrying.

Romantic-Dinner

For example, my husband and I were talking and we realized that we hadn’t been out to dinner in months and months.  We talked about how nice it would be to have a nice dinner out, just the 2 of us.  But then I think about leaving the kids (even with the most trusted family members) I become stressed out.  What if he has a meltdown, what if he gets out and runs or bolts, what if he becomes wild?  We deal with this everyday so we are used to it… for others it can be overwhelming.  It can be overwhelming for him too!  And to be truthful when we did go to dinner one time, all I could do was think.. “What is he doing.  Is he behaving? Is he having a meltdown?  Is he overwhelming his “babysitter”?  Is he making it hard for them to also take care of his baby brother?”   I almost couldn’t wait to get back and make sure everything was ok.  Such a double edge sword.. we need our alone time together, but when we are, all we think about is what he’s doing without us.

girls-night-out-wine-closeup

And girls night out?  Ha, my poor girlfriends have probably forgotten what I even look like.  I can’t even have normal phone conversations with them.  Mostly I have to text or email.  If my son sees me on the phone he wants to know why, what, who, how, and then wants to talk to whoever it is… and if he can’t then it’s a meltdown.  I know they mostly understand.  I miss them all…. greatly……  But I don’t think a Girls Night Out constitutes being home by 8:00 p.m….  It’s when I turn into a pumpkin… I’m done and ready for bed.

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Oh Shopping.. how much I love you.. Everytime I think about how fun it would be to run to the mall and pick something up for myself.. I am reminded of a bill for one of his doctors, or tests or treatments. Or a toy he would love to have when he’s done really well in school.   I know this sounds like whining, but really it’s not.  I know my children come first.  Their needs are always ahead of mine.  Always.  And I will live without shopping, or buying myself *things*.

9be4c5036e65bd3d0b35900ee4c93988I am part of an Etsy shop called FourQueens , and I love making fun hats and hair pieces for the shop.  Yep that is a mini top hat I created and sold through the shop.  It feels so wonderful to create.  It’s a release.  And it’s something I have neglected completely for months.  I feel so sad about that.  You know, my son loves it when I make a new hat.  He loves to be a part of the process too!  He wants to help.  He wants to pick out beads and feathers for me to use.  He loves looking at the finished product.  Maybe I need to revisit why I don’t do this more. Hey, an A-Ha moment happening right now!!!   Maybe I should incorporate his talents along with mine!  Life gets in the way, and things seem to get pushed aside, and I don’t stop to think about how to make them front and center.

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My wonderful husband always tries to tell me to take care of myself, and do things for myself….. We were joking about how nice it would be to have a spa day.  Ha!  A spa day!  I wouldn’t know what to do with myself at a spa all day.  I have the feeling I wouldn’t even be able to settle down and relax anyway.  In time, I’m sure that things will become easier.  And in all honesty I don’t *need* all the things I’ve missed out on right now.  What I do *need* is to be the best mom/advocate/teacher for my son that I can be. I can’t and won’t miss out on his important milestones.  Family, Friends, Malls, Restaurants,  Spas, will all be there when we are able to come up for air.

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4 Comments
  1. Stacey Palaszczuk permalink

    AGREE AGREE AGREE AGREE!!!!! xoxo

  2. Can totally identify with you …. all this on another shore, in another lifetime maybe…but as of now… our kids our priority beckon us … here we come 🙂

  3. sandie hughes permalink

    I totally agree …… I am lucky that I have a lovely mum and sister to help me when I need a bit of me time ….but it doesn’t stop me worrying if he is ok

  4. Take some time out for yourself even if it’s going to the coffeeshop for just an hour. It’ll make you happy and if mom’s happy so is everyone else. From a mom with boys with Asperger’s.

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