Being a mum is the hardest job in the world. I’ve described it as the best and worst thing I’ve ever done. I find it incredibly difficult I don’t get it right but I try, I try my hardest and sometimes the hardest I try the more I make mistakes. This is not because of my autism this is because I’m a mum.
But what makes it harder for me is being a mum with autism and that means sometimes I can’t cope in the right way, and I need that extra help to be a mum, and to be honest thats hard when you don’t know how to be a mum or know what help you need!
You see being autistic you follow from what experiences you have had as a child and adapt that as a parent and that’s hard if you have had difficult experiences or parents with issues, but it can also make you go the other way.
My mum never held my hand and I found that when I became a mum I was obsessed with making sure my children always held my hand. It’s the simplest thing in life that means so much to me, I remember that feeling of wanting to connect with my mum by holding her hand but she would always let go and that made me feel incredibly sad.
So holding my child’s hand in mine gives me the warmth I need as a parent to feel happy. But I would get too focused and worried if they let go of my hand I would lose them and that scared me. Now they are older it’s more difficult because they don’t want to always hold my hand but I still reach for it.
It can be difficult to break those routines and experiences. I had a very different childhood that has shaped me into the person I am now. I promised myself I would try harder and be a different mum so that I wouldn’t let anyone feel the way I did as a child and that’s a difficult task to live up too. I get really down when I get it wrong and feel extreme lows and some days I find it hard to shake it off but then I remember what I can do and just try.
I also need space and quiet to think so I can process thoughts it takes me time to process certain questions and knowing how much to say and how to say it can be tricky especially with children and to be honest people in general. I struggle with people but I want not too, but it’s like I can’t help but struggle with people and expectations and it hurts.
I wear my heart on my sleeve and feel too much emotions, the senses are in over drive too much noise, too much visual and it makes me too sensitive and my children know how I feel all of the time, they know when I’m sad, when I’m hurt, when I’m angry, when I anxious, when I worried, when I’m low and when I’m happy and excited.
My children melt my heart and can make me frustrated all at the same time. I can’t process their thoughts I don’t know what they are going to say but it doesn’t matter as they accept me for me and that’s half the battle. But I feel bad as sometimes my daughter will just give me a look or rub my arm as if to say it’s ok and that shakes me to the core as at that moment she understands more than a child should. At that second she has turned from my daughter to my carer without me even noticing until it’s too late and that makes me feel low.
But on the flip side of what makes me good as an autistic parent is the attention to details the finer points you normally glaze over because you don’t see it or are too busy. My focus means I might focus too much on the finer details and forget the bigger picture and I try to make everyone happy and that’s difficult with children and it’s more difficult with an autistic child too. Because to be happy is hard you have to feel it, you have to see it, you have to understand it too and you can’t fake it!
But the over excitedness and the drive to get it right the extreme focus that is all about being autistic and that makes me a different mum, one I hope that my children appreciate and love and not get too frustrated at…