For some reason, this post has stuck with me, niggling at my subconscious, making me wonder what type of mom am I, exactly? I can't help comparing my attitude to hers, even though her kids are much older than mine, and none of them have SPD or autism. (And she really IS a mom who adores her kids and enjoys spending time with them. She wasn't intending her post to cause anyone to criticize themselves, truly!)
I'm the kind of mom who has allowed her toddler to wear his swimming trunks everywhere for the last 2 weeks. And it's not because I'm all into self-expression or whatever. My ears just cannot handle the screaming.
I'm also the kind of mom, who not 2 seconds ago, allowed her toddler to eat chocolate chips so he would just give me a bloody minute to finish blogging.
And I'm the kind of mom who is alternately thrilled and terrified at the prospect of 3 whole months with all three of my kids at home.
There are exactly two weeks until summer vacation, and I have been looking forward to May 15th with equal parts relief and trepidation. The main reason I am counting down the days isn't as much about family fun as it is about fewer struggles. The idea of 90-some odd days of no homework fights is exhilarating. Add to that the prospect of no IEP meetings, no parent-teacher conferences, and no high intensity, early morning searches for shoes when we are already late for school, and I could weep with relief.
And then, there's the part of me who is nervous about all the coming family togetherness. I'm the kind of mom who actually relishes peace and quiet once in a while, and though I have my toddler at home with me during the school year, we do actually have peaceful moments once in a while. They are rare, but still happen with much more frequency than when all three of my feral monkeys are home. For some reason, adding my two oldest kids to the mix amplifies the noise level by 1000%.
Also, I'm the kind of mom who cringes at the thought of having to provide three square meals for each of my kids every. single. day. No school lunch to give me a break. My kids and their supreme pickiness makes meal time tantamount to warfare for me. The prospect makes me stabby.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am excited to spend more time with my kids; we have all kinds of adventures planned--trips to the local beach, play dates with friends, and long bike rides, along with lots of surreptitious learning that I am sneaking in. (Don't tell Danny that the reason I am so willing to go along with his lemonade stand scheme is so I can get him to practice counting money without screaming at me.)
I have been planning our summer schedule for months. Last summer didn't go well at all, and I am trying to provide enough structure for Danny so that we have fewer struggles and enough flexibility so the kids have a break.
We have a big board with our picture schedule posted in Danny's room. I have a system all planned out. One that is fool-proof.
Despite all that, I know that our system will likely break down in less than a week of summer break. Because, let's face it, nothing is full-proof when you add autism to the mix.
As much as I envision sunny days filled with laughter, learning and cooperation, I'm realistic enough to admit that my summer break never even remotely resembles those glorious, craft-filled spreads in Family Fun magazine. There are always glitches. Always.
I think it's safe to say that my FB friend is in a totally different mothering league than I.
And I'm okay with that, because despite all the glitches, the occasional bickering, and the sensory issues, we do manage to have all kinds of fun. Often of the messy variety:
So, maybe I'm not too bad of a mom, after all.