Having a child on the autism spectrum is so hard. From the looks of my little girl, she seems totally normal. Yet she still sleeps in a crib, she still has a pacifier, is not potty trained, her vocabulary consists of maybe 40 clearly audible words, and really, that is only the beginning.
Every now and then, this all starts to weigh on me. I think, what am I doing wrong? Why can’t we pick up on the potty training thing, why can’t we just get rid of that nasty pacifier, and isn't it really time to get out of the crib? What would/does other moms think of me? Why am I such a failure? That's when the heavy #momguilt starts to set in.
Soon after the battle with myself has simmered down a bit, I realize (again) that she is different and that I need to be more patient with myself, her, and our situation. I need to remember that she is a sweet, delicate little human being that is growing at her own pace (and really every child is - autistic or not). Because my little girl is behind in her speech, she lacks communication skills and she also doesn't understand the concept of danger. Her crib is there to protect her at night so she doesn’t go wandering around without supervision. Her pacifier is there to help soothe her and minimize the sores that she creates in her mouth due to stress and anxiety. I could go on and on regarding each of these 'concerns'. One day we will get there, but today isn't the day.
But really, when it comes down to it, the reasons don’t matter. What matters is that I am doing what’s best for her just like we all should for our children. We are our children’s advocates. We are here to stand up and protect them and give them the peace and comfort they need in order to grow up and become the adults they need to become. We should do what we think is best for our children, regardless of what others say or what we may think they will/would say. We shouldn’t let others and their opinions get in the way of parenting to the best of our ability.
And last, but not least, we shouldn't let that #momguilt get in the way either. We can be so hard on ourselves. But we need to remember that we are doing our best and there is no 'handbook' that comes along with raising a child. No matter our situation, being a parent is hard! We can only learn from others, do the best we know how to do, and stick together to help each other out when we need it the most.
I am currently recovering from #momguilt, and striving to become a #guiltfreemom everyday.
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