Parenting Tips

What is a day like in the life of a mother with three autistic children?

No day is the same, no life is different, and my life as a mother of three autistic children is not exactly like that of another mother who has one or two children just like mine.

There are no recipes for success in life, and everyone is different. Everyone does what they can for our loved ones, but I am convinced that we have much in common.

Career

There are mothers of children with autism who have given up their careers to be with their children, but there are also fathers who do this as it was in my family. My husband quit his job, and I remained a family supporter. He took the children to therapy hundreds of thousands of kilometers if we are to make a total of the Gilău-Cluj roads and back. In almost all families with children with autism, one parent, especially the mother, spends most of her life with the child – sometimes becoming a companion at school.
Although I believe that parents can and are good therapists if they know their children well, this is not the ideal situation. The great danger is that the dependence on the parent will be too great and we will not dare to let the autistic children fly. At some point, the autistic child has to go shopping for ice cream on his own. At some point, he has to go to school alone. It can be from 8 to 9 to 10, at 14, but it has to happen!
If I can’t do that, it’s not a problem, but we as parents will have to admit that we have a child who will NEVER be independent.

David, my eldest son, has been in mainstream education since he was 5, but that doesn’t mean his brothers will do it at the same age.

On the contrary, I don’t think it’s possible, but I’ll fight for that day. David has known since he was 8 years old that he is autistic, but that does not mean that his brothers will be at the same age, but they will know when they are ready.

What is it like to work when autism is at home?

Before the pandemic, I worked from the office, I had about 3 hours to commute and change buses, but mentally detaching myself from children, problems and autism made me feel good. I’ve been working from home since the pandemic. I rarely take breaks or say my breaks are 2 minutes long when I take George to the bathroom or change a diaper at Ilinca. No, I’m not alone at home, my husband generally takes care of them. But he also goes shopping or business.
David, the eldest, helps me because he can warm their milk or play music so they can leave me alone when I’m in sessions or trainings.
Sometimes they have bad days, they scream all the time that I can’t hear my thoughts, but I still mobilize, because I know why I’m doing this. I do this for them, and that is the biggest motivation!

The biggest advantage of working from home is that you do not worry about children, you are present, it is true that more physical.

But for my children, the benefits can be seen in the progress they have made.

I managed to get George out of diaper in about 4 weeks. It cost me about 15 minutes a day. But what satisfaction!
The big disadvantage of working from home is the isolation from the world, from colleagues. We had our jokes and ironies, our face-to-face meetings. Now I miss them.

I do what all mothers do.

If I don’t clean it every two days, my house will look like a hut, although there is no spit on the shed, no milk and dripping tea everywhere. Sometimes I don’t succeed on Saturday because my back hurts too much, I do it on Sunday, to the disgrace of the neighbors who have returned from church who hear the vacuum cleaner.
I cook like all mothers, even if the little ones eat only milk, I cook for the rest. In about two weeks I manage to wash the stove as well. I’m very proud of myself when it comes out.

I have the greatest sense of guilt when I do normal, typical things.

Because bad people in the guise of good therapists tell mothers like me that they are not allowed to live. Everything must be dedicated to the autistic child, everything must be therapy.

You are no longer allowed to cook, wash, sleep, or talk about the luxury of reading or watching a movie or going out. No, you should look awful, be depressed and have dark circles, otherwise it’s clear you don’t love your child or autistic children. You are not allowed to spend anything on yourself.

I confess that I have spent most of the last ten years like this. There were years when we barely had enough money from one month to the next, I put on most of my second-hand clothes, and sometimes I could hardly afford it. And of course, I spent the most on children, their therapy, their clothes, their books, and their toys. That’s what mothers do.
But at one point I also remembered that if I wanted to invest in children, I had to invest in myself, my health, and my dignity. I didn’t give up and started doing things for myself. I lost weight, I go to the hairdresser at about 3 months and I hide my almost white hair better. I look at myself in the mirror more often, but I still don’t put on much makeup because I like myself the way I am even if I have reached the wisdom of… 40 years.

I smile and I like my imperfect smile and my chin with personality that the big boy inherits from me.

And seeing how much David looks like me, I feel beautiful.

Sometimes I realize that I am a happy and blessed man!

Because in the end, it doesn’t matter how hard life is. What matters is how we relate to it. It matters how we look at trouble. Do we see them as natural or insurmountable? Are trials or mountains insurmountable? For me, the courage counts in all its courts, the courage to live a difficult destiny, to live and to die in the end with dignity. Because in every moment of my life, I want to be an example to my children. David is old and wise enough to understand, and I want him to know that he had a strong mother, and that he can be the same.
Although he is already stronger than me and any of us because he has made autism an asset.
What is a day like in the life of a mother with three autistic children?

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