Don't Give Up On Me
Lately I feel like part of being a special needs parent means letting down everyone in my life. I'm sure to a lot of friends, family and teachers it looks like I just don't care. There are days when tasks don't get done well or at all. There are mornings when socks don't match and his hair is not combed because after battling getting dressed, eating something decent and transition meltdowns, the hair was just too much. I'm sure even to my own children it may seem like on some days I am too worn down to have much left to give. And some days I guess I am. But even in my exhaustion and occasional disheartenment, I hope they can see I'm always trying and I hope they don't give up on me.
To the school that sees us come in late nearly half the time and wonders why I don't volunteer or why the constant forms are never signed on time: Don't give up on me. Please know we are always trying out new methods and new routines to make mornings easier on him. Please know if life is ever not filled with outpatient appointments and medical forms, I would love to volunteer for my oldest son's parties. Please know when it comes to forms sent home in the backpack, they're an afterthought, because they have to be. And when I find them the next morning they go into a stack of papers that I swear I'm working through as quickly as I can.
To the friends that leave voicemails that go unanswered: Don't give up on me. Please know it is not that I don't want to talk to you. It's not that I don't care what's going on in your life. Knowing that you called or texted, I know that you care and in the spare moments I have when I have enough in me to give you a real conversation I will call you back. I don't know when that will be, but please don't give up on me.
To my husband when I am often cross and the house is far from perfect: Don't give up on me. Please know you are often seeing the climax of a trying day in which I tried to hold it all together and by the time you get home is when I usually start to fall apart. Know that I want to have a better attitude and a better part of me to offer up at the end of the day, but right now I don't. Please know that I would love more than anything for the house to be picked up, the laundry caught up and dinner to be made (or even prepped), but I know it's a rarity. I hope one day things will even out a bit, and that it will be less of a rarity. I'm not giving up on that.
To the family that wishes we could visit more: Don't give up on me. There is always the hope that one day traveling will not be such an ordeal. Maybe one day our son will be able to go on a plane. Maybe some day we won't worry about regression anytime we stay away from home. Please don't ever think we do not want to see you, but for now, we do the best we can to do what's best for our family. I'm not giving up on the hope that someday it will be easier.
To my neurotypical kids who want nothing more than my attention, love, and time: Don't give up on me. There will always be moments when I say "Not right now," but that doesn't mean I don't care. Please keep showing me your Minecraft worlds and the artwork you brought home from school. Please know that even when mommy is tapped out for the day, it doesn't mean I do no love you. It means I need to regroup and reenergize so I that I can be the best mom I can be tomorrow. On the days your brother takes up the majority of my time and effort, know that you are just as loved and cherished, and that I do my best to take care of each of you based on your different needs.
To my son on the spectrum: Don't give up on me. There will be days when it may look like I have thrown in the towel. There will be days when the most recent therapy or medication seems to be helping you so little that my hopelessness will be palpable. There will be days when I light up at progress, but there will also be days when my inner-cheerleader is not quite as loud. There will be days when I am overcome with joy and optimistic hope, but there will also be days when the grind of accessing that hope gets to me. There will be days I am giving you my all because you absolutely need it, but there will also be days when I have nothing left to give. Please know that through it all, I will never give up on you. And on the days when I'm barely holding it all together, don't give up on me.