Everyone is still alive and I am still very sleep deprived. I did have enough White Chocolate Mocha to keep a normal person awake until tomorrow morning, but I'm just hoping it gets me through the kids' bedtime.
The truth is, I've gotten a LOT of help. Like, people have bought and delivered groceries to our door kind of help. They have sent dinners, watched a kid or two, and checked in on me daily.
Does that sound a bit ridiculous to you? A bit of overkill considering that women go without husbands all the time and survive without a small army of aid?
To be honest, I was a bit embarrassed at all the help I've been getting. I mean, really, what does it say about me? That I can't raise my kids on my own. That I'm incompetent. That I have no idea what to do when The Husband is gone. That I am a total drama queen. Yes, at first I felt, well....ashamed that I couldn't function just fine without him for a week or two.
But when I expressed this to a friend, she put things in perspective for me. First- my kids aren't normal. That's just a fact, and there's nothing to be ashamed of in that fact. As awesome as my kids are, they also make even the most basic of everyday tasks incredibly difficult at times. Have you ever tried to go grocery shopping with three kids on the spectrum? I have. It ended with a lot of tears, no groceries, and made for a really good session with my therapist. Autism times three is just plain hard. I don't say that for pity or back pats. It just is. And I have enough friends with kids on the spectrum that understand that having a child with autism can be difficult, and knowing that I am home, alone, with three of them....well, is it any wonder that many have stepped up and stepped in to help?
Which leads to the second- People want to help, and they deserve a big thanks for it, not just me being embarrassed over their generosity. I'm flat out in awe of how many people, some of them not even particularly close to me, have made sure me and my kids are fed and happy this week. If you are one of them- THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much you have meant to me.
Truth is, I worry a lot about the fact that taking care of all three of my own children is often just too difficult for me to do on my own. I try to tell myself it is simply their ages, and that as they get older it will be easier. I'm not entirely convinced, but it keeps me from wanting to vomit when I think about the future. It makes me so incredibly sad that if I want to go somewhere with my own kids, I can't do it on my own. A trip to the zoo? A morning at the library's storytime? A quick run to the store? I have never done any of those things with all three children by myself. At least not successfully. And I know that this is because I shouldn't, because it simply isn't safe to have three kids who don't even respond well to their names and have zero sense of danger out of the house with only two hands to manage them, but that doesn't make the reality of it any easier to swallow. As a mother, feeling like I can't even take care of my own flesh and blood is just plain heartbreaking at times. There is still a part of me that feels like I should be able to manage on my own. But I know that part of me is just my pride speaking and my pride is completely impractical. I'll have to shut it up with some reason. And maybe a baseball bat.
So yeah, I will happily accept the boatload of help that has come our way this week. I will gladly shout my Thanks from the rooftops. I couldn't do it on my own, I needed each one of you. Maybe one day I won't need it. But while I do, I am so very glad you are here. You, my friends, ROCK.