Tag Archive: life

Being a parent you will get asked some random questions, most of the time it’s by our kids wanting to know things like “But why can’t we have a pet wolf? I’d love it and pet it” or “Cookies have food groups in them so they must be good for breakfast“.  However parents of  children with special needs (in my case a child with autism) the random / weird questions I get often come from people in our lives or total strangers. The questions only get more odd once they find out I’m a single parent to boot. Here are some of the things I hear along with my response.

Person – “Have you tried a specialized diet?” 
Me – “Have you ever tried dressing a snail?” {insert pause} “Oh you were serious. How would a diet help my child? He already eats pretty well and I’m lucky that he loves fruits”

Person- “Really? He has autism?  He looks so normal”
Me – “Well I could throw some wolf ears on him if it helps but I’m pretty sure we both rather just have you understand that not all disabilities are visible”

Person – “But he’s so happy and full of energy”
Me – “Yea…..because he is a kid. Did you assume that he is going to be miserable lump on the ground just because he has Autism?”

Person – “I’m sure it’s just a faze and he’ll grow out of it”
Me – “I didn’t know you specialized in children with Autism, please tell me more because the professionals we go to every week say other wise”

Person – “Are you sure?”
Me – “Of what…life? or that I really should or shouldn’t be buying my fourth coffee of the morning?”

Person – “I’m so sorry”
Me – “Why? What did you do?”

Person – “And you’re doing it all on your own, how do you manage to do it?”
Me – “Have you heard of caffeine?”

Person – “I’m sure there’s a nice man out there just waiting to meet you and help you with your son”
Me – “…yea……doubt that. Most people run when they hear that I’m a single mom let alone a single mom to a child with autism. So if he is out there he can find us because I’m not spending any of my limited extra energy looking for them”

These are just a sample of the questions I get, yes they are random and as you can tell I reply mostly with sarcasm because unless it’s a real question about autism I’m not going to give it any real attention. Now I should make it clear that I didn’t write this entry to be rude / vent. My goal is that people will remember that it’s ok to ask questions just don’t ask judgemental ones or ones that are just dumb. Instead when you see a parent (because it doesn’t matter if they’re a single parent or not) say something like this…..

“Your son/ daughter is really lucky to have you as their advocate/parent”

“I hope you remember to take a breather for yourself at some point today”

“You’re doing a great job”

“I hear so much about autism but don’t know that much really about it, what can you tell me?”

The point of this entry is to remember people (single parents or not), autistic children/ children in general, any one young or old with a disability (visible or not) we are all human beings — every judgment you make about them, even more so in front of them, affect them it doesn’t matter if they react to it or not. They think and feel things just as everyone else does, sometimes they can just feel them in different ways. Every parent of an autistic child can spend a great percentage of every day of their life advocating for their child, and if it isn’t apparent to you that the child is autistic — that might just show you how hard everyone is working together to make the life of the child fuller, easier and happier all around.

You are not a failure…

For a good part of my teenage / adult life I was afraid about events that might happen in the future; I worried about the outcome of my actions and their negative results for my life in the future and I also questioned if I could cope with the challenges I’d be faced with.

Please don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t a scared-cat at all and my worries never started to take control over my life or reduced my quality of living, nevertheless, negative thoughts remained inside me and often kept me awake for hours in the night; thinking about things I couldn’t control or influence in anyway.

When I was a teenager it was the fear of being labeled a failure because I honestly had no clue what I wanted to do after high school. I wasn’t worried about bad marks in school or was concerned about what my teachers and friends would think about me; I didn’t fear the possible punishments for bad marks (maybe because I never was punished for bad marks, luckily); I simply was fearful of failing in school, failing classes and being separated from those around me. I simply did not wanted to be labeled as a failure because for me it seemed like everyone knew what they wanted to do and become in their lives.

Now as an adult those thoughts have changed into fears of “Am I doing the right thing for my son?”, “How can I show my son he is more than just his diagnoses of Autism?”, “Are people in our lives feeling burdened with me asking for help?”. Now I know those who truly care about my son and myself will always be there to help when they can and that no we are not a burden. However it is little things like that which can grow into bigger fears and then cause bigger issues in ones life.

So from one single mommy to anyone reading this let give you a little piece of advice….

                                                        You are not a failure

You may feel lost and have anxiety about some life choices but that does not make you a failure. Everyone stresses about the little things in life but they are just that, little things. Take a moment and focus on the positive in your life, look at how much you’ve grown and have learned. Those moments where you felt like you’ve hit the bottom, you have got back up and are still moving forward. Look at how much you’ve accomplished in the past year, yes maybe everything you wanted to do hasn’t been done but be proud of what you have done.

The only real failure would be giving up 100% and as long as you are trying to reach your goals in life you are not failing. So stop comparing yourself to those around you, yes someone may have a nicer car, be taking extravagant vacations, buying their first home…etc. Their accomplishments are not your own and will not have any real effect on your life. You’ll still have your home, your possessions, your health, your family / friends.

Remember you’re awesome and no matter what life has thrown your way you have a 100% success rate when it comes to bad days or hard times.