Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Manifesto of sorts...

It has been forever. I took some time tonight to read over my past entries, mainly the ones dealing with autism. Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on this progressing life of mine. It could be because Asher just turned 12. My little baby is 12. Or, it could be that I feel like someone has turned up the pressure gauge here at home and my boys are about to shoot through the roof.

We have had a lot of discipline problems lately. There is a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Surprisingly, the only person who doesn't end up crying is mommy (and daddy, but I am talking about my battles here...). That's right, I have become the drill Sargent. Strangely, very few of my antics seem to be working. What's the deal?! I should be a natural, right. Right...? It turns out that I have 3 very strong willed boys and one more little toddler who carefully watches and mimics his older brothers on a daily basis. I am starting to think that they even hold secret meetings in the bathroom after I go to sleep where they plot and plan on how they can most efficiently drive their parents crazy. It would appear that they have decided to go with the "tag teaming" method.

My shortcomings in the parenting department are made worse by the fact that I was a psychology major. Childhood development was my favorite and I even worked with troubled teens. Yet I cannot, for the life of me, figure out these little people in my own home. In this process, I also fear that I might be doing irreversible damage to their spirits.

I have never done this before, we are all learning in this process called living. Quite frankly, I truly believe that while there are thousands of tried and true "how to" books out there in the world, the simple fact is this, you cannot plan for the obstacles you will face in your lifetime. Nope. Just to clarify, I don't see my boys at obstacles, but we have some developmental and emotional battles that sometimes stand in our way.

I love my babies so much. Did I think this was going to be my life? I had a rather fairytale existence in mind, one where my nicely groomed children sat at my feet, after doing their choirs and eating their well balanced meals, and hung on every teaching that came from my mouth. In this fantasy we do hours of crafting and exploring, because all I want is to be with them. We also rarely have a word of anger in our house and all disputes are settled quickly, rationally, and fairly.

Nice world, huh?

And flashing back to reality, I am learning, repeatedly, that things don't always go according to plan. (But really, who am I kidding, does anyone other then the Stepford wives have a life like my imaginary one?) When plans don't go our way, we only have two options. We can live through it and learn and cope with grace and joy, or....we can be miserable and angry and decide to give in to the disappointment.

Well, I have had the great privilege of reading several messages of hope recently. I thank God for these messages because, while we all have our down times, if we look in the right places there will always be someone to help us get up again. It is our choice to keep moving. And I DO want to keep moving, to keep trying, keep progressing. I know my boys and I can work together to iron out the kinks and to make ourselves stronger for the next set of wrinkles that will come our way. There will always be more, but I have decided to take a new approach. It goes like this...


That's right, I am rolling up my sleeves and I am ready. I know, I KNOW that my boys were sent to me for a reason. Granted, I might be mentally damaging them for life as their mother but that is a different story....;-) I am going to try to face my challenges with them more diligently, more joyfully, more determined to figure out a solution for change rather then a band aid for the moment. This too shall pass and when it does, I want to be able to look back with confidence and say,"I KNOW that I did my best." That is my hope and goal, not just with my boys, but with all of the challenges that life has in store for me. And in the end, I want to be so full of gratitude because it did happen, and I not only survived, but that I did it well.

If you want to check out some of the amazing sources for my recent enlightenment, here they are-

The Simple Act of Gratitude
Lil Blue Boo's The Cancer Chronicles
And as always,
Teachings from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Kathy said...

I totally understand how you're feeling! We don't have autism, but we have other challenges in our home. It is taxing and tiring. I, too, never understood how hard it would be to be a parent. Jed and I have discussions about it all the time. BUT, I wouldn't have it any other way, just like you. Our boys are amazing, and what a privilege it is for us to parent them on this earth. I like to think about the sweet grandchildren we will have someday, and how our children will eventually appreciate us like we appreciate our own parents. :)

Thank you so much for this post...I know I'm not alone!

skcoe said...

You are amazing Zoe! You can DO HARD THINGS and you are the one and only mother these boys have which gives YOU the power and authority to handle what comes your way.

I love you so much!

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