Dear Autism Mom on Mother’s Day

Dear Autism Mom on Mother’s Day,

It’s Mother’s Day once again.  Everyone is posting sweet pictures on Facebook of cards and gifts their children have given them.  While you are so happy for them , the hurt builds with every picture that crosses your newsfeed.  Your day will look like every other day while theirs will be full of pampering and adoration. That stings more than you care to admit.  This is not the vision of motherhood you entertained as a little girl.

You long to hear your child speak. You would give anything to hear coherent words come out out of his mouth. If he does speak, your heart aches to hear him call you mama. An almost unbearable heartache that reaches the depths of your soul accompanies your desire to hear your child say, I love you.  Every part of your being would rejoice in having a simple conversation with him.  You would sell everything you own for your child to say Happy Mother’s Day unprompted.  You long for a homemade card with sappy emotions that he made himself. You grieve for the child you dreamed of that never materialized.  Today your heart shatters as you purposely stay away from social media.  The pain is intense as well as unbearable at times. Your friends just can’t understand how you can be melancholy today of all days.

Dear Autism Mom on Mother's Day

You won’t get a break from autism today. It won’t be a  free day to do whatever you wish. Autism doesn’t turn off just because it’s Mother’s Day, your birthday or any other special occasion. You will spend the day keeping to the Sunday schedule so your child doesn’t get out of sorts. It’s more important to help him remain regulated.  You will have to be on guard all day to keep him safe.  You will prepare his special food of 4 things he will eat then watch his special program or movie for the millionth time while maintaining the appropriate noise level. There is no rest for an autism mom.  You have to do all this in spite of the date on your calendar.  Added into the mix is trying to make the day special for the grandmothers who will expect adoration and praise.

Being an autism mom isn’t for the faint hearted.  It makes being a mom a million times tougher.  Hang in there.  Just when you think you can’t go one more second, your child does something new that you’ve been working on for ages .  You are loved unconditionally by a very special person.  Your child may not be able to express it verbally but you are their hero.  You are a rock star warrior mom. Not any old mom.  Not a soccer mom .  A rock star warrior mom.  You  may not get flowers or sappy cards. You may be beyond exhausted at the moment.  This may not be motherhood of your dreams but it’s your reality. Your child depends on you to make their world a safe and loving space. There is no higher honor on this planet.

Take time today, as well as regularly, to reflect on your past successes.  Take time to appreciate all of the little things that you do for your child day in and day out.  Appreciate all the progress you and your child have made this year. Take a brief minute to breathe deeply while relishing in your success.  Appreciate that you are using your energy and talents to make this world a better place for your child.  You never envisioned being a mom to a child with autism. It’s not an easy role nor can just any person fill it.  Know deep down in the core of your soul that you are fiercely loved by someone with autism. That’s worth more than any Mother’s Day card any day!