I haven’t posted for a long time. Not because I haven’t been thinking about it, or don’t have any ideas or stories to tell. But because I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed and burdened down. Even though this school year is going better than any other since 1st grade, it’s still a lot of work, a lot of meetings, a lot of strategies to come up with, a lot of discussions and behavior analyzing. Not to mention the daylight savings change in March, followed by spring break, followed by the arrival of spring and allergens and cabin fever and concerts and field trips. I’m tired of having the same battles every single day – getting up in the morning, getting kids to school on time, homework, chores, etc. It seems like every year at this time, I’m more worn out and exhausted than I was the year before. And I find myself longing for the end of the school year, and at the same time completely dreading it.
I’m tired of feeling guilty. I feel guilty that so much time, money, and energy is spent on Marvin, and I worry that I’m neglecting Wesley. Or worse, that Wesley has noticed the imbalance. Then I make an effort to spend more one-on-one time with Wesley, and I feel guilty because I enjoy the time I spend him much more than time I spend with Marvin. It’s so much less work – I can focus on enjoying Wesley, and don’t have to be constantly teaching social skills or worrying over interactions with others or run-ins with less than gracious classmates. It is so much fun, so much easier to be with my neurotypical child. And that sentence makes me feel like the worst mother in the world.
I’m tired of being tired. My brain never shuts off. I’m always thinking about how to explain something or how to motivate Marvin into caring about schoolwork or how to explain our family’s needs to friends coming to visit. I can’t stop. On the plus side, I’ve had some really good ideas while in the shower. And at 2am. And at a stoplight. And when I’m out trying to have some ‘me’ time. It’s hard to fall asleep at night. It’s hard to get up in the morning. I am always tired.
I’m tired of inspirational platitudes and unsolicited advice. I’m tired of having books, movies, diets, and therapies recommended to me by people who don’t have an inkling of what I deal with daily. And if I hear the phrase ‘this, too, shall pass’ one more time I just might punch somebody. Not really. I’ve learned to keep my body to myself. I understand the kind intention of these words and advice, but really wish there were a polite way to say “Shut up! You don’t have the education or experience that qualifies you to give me advice!”
Here’s the spot in the blog post where I tell a funny story or give some deep insight. I don’t have any this time. I’m tired.
What I can do is tell you how I cope. I love going to my support group. I really love it. It’s really, really nice to sit and visit with other parents who are also tired. It’s really nice to know I’m not alone.
The other thing that I do to cope is acknowledge that I’m feeling this way. Then I take a deep breath, shove all these feelings aside, and trudge forward. Because I have to. Planet Earth depends on me.