Going through the motions

Before Belle, I could never understand why people chose to continue to be stay-at-home parents when their children are in school. Boy, oh, boy, did life smack me in the face with that one! Now, I find myself wondering how families can get anything done with two parents working full time. Our little family falls somewhere in the middle. Belle’s dad works full time, and I work part time with a flexible schedule that allows me to take Belle to school, and pick her up from school every day. That is something I am incredibly grateful for, but unfortunately, most days it feels like I am just going through the motions.

Drive to Belle’s school; walk her to class; head to work; pick Belle up from school; then we head home. I would love to say that once we get home I have the energy to prepare a great dinner for my family, and then work tirelessly on my life dreams, but that is simply not the case. By the time we walk in the door I feel defeated, yet again. Life has won.

It’s easy for me to pass off my feeling of defeat on saying I just don’t have any time to do what I want to do. The truth of the matter is I do have time, but it’s difficult to shift my focus from what I have to do to what I want to do.

I’m sure many people can relate to losing themselves a little once having children, and you don’t have to have a child with special needs to find yourself wondering how exactly you got to this point in life. The point where you feel so overwhelmed with all of life’s responsibilities that all you can do is fall back into your routine where you forget what you really want in life. What I have come to realize, though, is that you have to make the conscious decision to figure out (or remember) what you want out of life and work for it. You have to make that decision everyday and work toward your dreams because it’s all too easy to get stuck in the endless cycle of routine and just doing what you can to get through the day.

Lately, I have really been trying to figure out what I want in life. Like many other people I want my life to matter, and just going through the motions every day is not going to make a difference in anyones life  – including mine.

Having a child with special needs really put life into perspective for me. You could say that my dreams have changed a little, too. I am a nurse. So, most people would probably assume that I have a desire to help others, which is true, and that part hasn’t changed. What has changed, though, is the who and why. My focus is now on support systems and resources for families of children with autism. Sharing our experiences in hopes that it will help others feel a little less lonely on what seems to be a daunting journey ahead.

When we started our journey I wanted nothing more than someone to come out and tell me that everything would be ok, and things will get better. I didn’t want to hear it from a medical professional, or a family member who was being supportive. I wanted to hear it from someone who has been in my shoes. Someone who knows what it feels like to have your heart crushed with one sentence: “Your child is not developing normally.”

So, if you are someone on a similar journey to ours, please know this: everything will be ok, and things will get better, but you must be willing to work for it.


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