We are a long way away from the end of summer break from school, and I feel like a complete amateur around here. We’ve lost any semblance of a normal schedule, and things are more than a little chaotic in the house. You would think after all these years of being autism parents, we’d know what to do.
But the state of your life is a lot like the state of your house. When you let it get out of hand, it takes a tremendous amount of energy to get it back under control. And the more of that energy you spend, the more worn down you get, which makes it harder to dig out. It’s a cycle that’s difficult to break out of.
Then as our kids get older, the behavioral goalposts keep moving. The fancy, technical term for this is ‘growing up’. We can’t expect to keep applying the same things that worked before and have them continue to work. That doesn’t work whether your kid is autistic or not. We have to grow and adapt as parents, too.
To put it mildly, this is all challenging to overcome when you’re weeks into summer break, out of a good routine, and frazzled from the ensuing chaos. This is our responsibility, though, and we feel like we have to somehow figure out what to do about it.
But as a good friend of mine often frames problems, what if it were OK to be frazzled and worn out right now? What if it were OK to feel like an amateur right now?
I mean it’s perfectly normal and understandable. We’re parents. We’re human. We’re not perfect. We’re not wired to be constantly on top of our game. We’re finite, mortal, imperfect creatures designed to just do the best we can for the ones we love. But that amounts to a lot, so don’t worry.
So maybe this week, pick something in the middle of the chaos you want to try to address, and work on that. Don’t judge yourself on anything else, or even on this for that matter. Just do the best you can toward one goal. Be easy on yourself in times like this.
Just remember, the most important thing is that you love your children. Everything else flows from that. Do small things in love, and so many good things will happen.