Friday, November 15, 2013

2 Reasons Why My Wife Is The Coolest Autism Mom


My wife is the best, most different autism mom that I know...and I love her for it. 

Here's a perfect example...

Reason #317 why my wife is the coolest autism mom...

She told me this story over dinner last night...

Yesterday she brought Kyle to his Thursday afternoon special needs sports class. Basically it's a movement class for ASD kids like Kyle, ages 9-12. 

The class is run by these amazing folks and the moms get to wait outside and relax and chat for 45 minutes. 

So yesterday the wife said, "we were waiting outside and all the moms had a great conversation about lipstick & makeup..."

I kinda knew where this was going so I said "I'm assuming you brought up this topic..."

And she smiled and nodded yes and continued with her story...

"So I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I'm gone less than 5 minutes and when I get back all the moms are talking about IEP meetings and transitioning."

I said "What did you say?"

She said
"I went 'Nooooo!!!  I was only gone for 5 minutes!  How did this happen?!'"

And I chuckled and we continued on with our dinner. 

But it stuck with me. 

My wife rocks!  She's an autism mom, she lives and breathes autism for long stretches of the day...but only if she has to.

But when she's got a 45 minute break from the king and she's chatting with other special needs moms, she's the one trying to keep things light and talk about completely frivolous things. 

Not all the time of course. Sometimes one of the moms needs to vent or a shoulder to cry on or some advice and then she's there. 

But sometimes it feels like when some special needs parents get together they think that all they can talk about is their special needs kids to each other. 

Wifey will always try to bring the conversation to something lighter...  TV, movies, yoga, or lipstick & makeup. 

And I love her for it. 

---

Reason #173 why my wife is the coolest autism mom...

This is somewhat related. 

A couple of weeks back we had to bring Kyle for some medical tests in the early afternoon so I took the day off from work. 

The plan was to drop the king off to school in the morning and pick him up around 11:30am for his appointments. 

So I tagged along with the wife for her normal Friday morning routine. 

And she was full of energy. We dropped him off at school. 

Then we went for a quick food shopping trip. She was literally racing around the store. And I'm struggling to keep up. 

Me:  "Why are you running?"

Her:  "Cuz since he's only got a half day I got to fit it all in..."

Her agenda...

Food shopping, a quick breakfast, then the gym, a quick trip to costco then we pick up Kyle. 

And she was on speed, full of energy...

ME:  "Are you like this every school day?  How do you keep up this pace?  I'm getting exhausted..."

HER: "Yeah. I have a lot of energy in the morning. I gotta keep my mind busy. But late in the day I crash. Unfortunately I usually crash right before you get home from work..."

ME: "Why don't you crash during the day and save some of that energy for me, for when I get home?"

HER: "Cuz I gotta keep myself, gotta keep my mind busy during the day. Otherwise I'd stay home and cry all day..."

She just said it completely matter of factly...

And I just nodded, smiled, and that part of the conversation ended and we went on with our day. 

But it stuck with me. 

And both of those  examples have to do with one thing... 

Survival...

For wifey it's about survival. She tries to find joy in the little things, in the frivolous things and she keeps her mind busy...busy with autism things, of course, but also equally busy with non-autism things.  


Actually we've both gotten good about  keeping our minds busy and trying to keep ourselves balanced during very stressful Kyle times. 

Here's an example. 

Uh oh I'm going off on a big tangent here. Try to stay with me. 

October 2012 Kyle is in the hospital with seizures, staying in for 2-3 nights for tests and to adjust to a new med. The days are stressful but when Kyle goes to sleep we both turn off...

what does she do in the chair next to his hospital bed?  She goes on Facebook and puts the finishing touches on all the plans for our HS reunion which was coming up a few weeks later. That HS reunion, the planning of it, kept her mind busy and happy (during an extremely stressful time) for months leading up to the actual day. 

What did I do in that hospital room while she was working on the reunion. I popped my headphones on and listened to the Yankees playoff game on the radio.  And it was a great game. They won. It was the game that Raul Ibanez hit two home runs. Took my brain right out of the stress of the day for a few hours. 

Ok tangent over. Back to my main point. 

Anyway wifey is much better about keeping her mind busy and off of obsessing about autism and epilepsy and worry. 

And maybe if she didn't she'd do that she'd "cry all day" or more likely she'd go a little crazy or fall into a funk or a depression...which is what happens to me sometimes. 

She's always the one of her autism mom friends trying to make plans and get out into the non-autism world as much as possible. 

Movies, lunches, dinners, bars to see bands, etc. 

And it helps her a lot. 

Others might think she's being selfish. And sometimes my brain thinks that too. 

But it's about survival. And in the grand scheme of things it makes her a much better, more patient, happier mommy and wifey. 

And many times she'll ask other special needs moms out and she'll hear "yeah I would love to meet you for breakfast out, i could use some adult conversation but I can't cuz I gotta iron my kids clothes" or "sorry I can't go out cuz my house is a mess"

And she's like "if you really need to get out then leave the f&$king housework for another day!"

But they just laugh and roll their eyes at her like she's the crazy one. 

Now here's Autism Daddy saying it loud and clear. 

Autism moms take as many f@$king breaks from autism as you can!  Breaks in your brain to think about and enjoy frivolous things...and actual breaks where you leave your home without your kids and see other adults and have adult conversations. 

Demand breaks from your spouses!  If they are not on board send them over to ol' Autism Daddy!  I'll set them straight. 

Ok this post turned out completely differently that what I thought it would be. 

Oh well. Hope y'all enjoyed it. 

THE END

PS. It's 9:06pm on a Friday night and you know why I'm writing this tonight?  Cuz wifey is out at the movies with a few friends. 

We tried to get a sitter for this weekend so we could go out together and couldn't so she wrangled up a few girlfriends to go with her instead. 

I'm completely jealous and completely happy for her. Kyle had a half day of school today (teacher conference day) and she had a LONG rough day with him. He had a nice size seizure and he was overall a bit rambunctious today. So a night out is just what she needed. 

THE END FOR REAL. 

13 comments:

  1. You hit the nail on the head Ol'AD-Survival. The cards that ourselves and are children have been delt are very hard.We live with this pain forever pushed to the back of our minds in order to survive.If we let it sit up higher in our brain-it would just hurt so much-leaving it very difficult for us to function.So I keep pushing it down deep-put on my smily face and super mom cape and try to enjoy life

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  2. You are an amazing dad and husband!! The world could sure use more of you :)

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  3. I read your post all the time. Our son has Aspergers. You are a great husband and father. Your wife is very lucky and I love how involved you are with everything to do with your son. Thanks for the stories.

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  4. as a single autism mom I can only dream of getting the chance to meet a dedicated man like you... unfortunitly I don't get to leave the house by myself as I have no one to watch her for me or anyone to help. This blog really hit home for me as I will be in survival mode until she grows up and moves out... I am holding up the hope that she will be able to function as an adult by herself. In which time I will finally have the chance to go out on a date if I do ever meet someone...

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  5. AD...if this Autism mom could do it...I WOULD! NOW, how to help the single parents out there....UGH!

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  6. AD... You know how amazing you are. However, I give all the hard work and patience to the super autism mommy. She the best best,,,, I wish I could be her friend. As autism mom I always make plans to breath or have me time but end up reading or thinking about autism.....ugh

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  7. Oh WOW!! As an "Autism mummy" I REALLY needed to hear this tonight... thank you for reminding me to be ME not just the crazy mum who has a mixed up kid....

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  8. My husband is the best for this. Always encouraging me to go with friends, indulge in a hobby. Over time, I have realized how right he is. He's in the shower right now getting ready to spend the day with his buddies.
    So glad that I have found you guys to connect with.

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  9. I have so much respect for you and your wife!!! I get one weekend a month respite... I definitely use it. My son is 13 with verbal autism..I would say he is in the middle as far as how serious it is..he also has MR which makes him more like a 8 yr old. My mom gets upset when I talk about autism all the time. I understand where she is coming from.. she wants me to have activities outside of the "illness". I wish she would understand it is hard not to think about itall the time. I am a single mom so it seems like I just try to find ways to make things better for my son. Anyway the whole point ofthis post is to say parents need breaks when they have special needs kids!! Sorry forthe long post. :)

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  10. I am filing for divorce, as my soon to be ex husband, does not understand Autism. ..such a 'know it all' that it makes me want to choke him. Ty for making me feel like my gym time is ok...such guilt I feel at times for wanting a 15 min alone time...I love my son and if you ( not you per say) are not supporting and loving and ACCEPTING him then there is no me.

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  11. I can totally relate to this. When we first got our son's diagnosis, I was all about the autism and the "What will we do?" "What therapies do we need?" Spiraling around and around and worried about the future. My husband really struggled with the diagnosis, and would get angry any time I tried to talk about it. I would get really depressed about life and the future because autism was my focus. I really try to focus on the now, and my husband and I take turns getting out of the house to do "frivolous things". We are much happier people when autism isn't the center of the world, but something that we deal with when it throws the walls up in front of us, and we keep on going.

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