Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's in a name?

I've been itching to get this post up for awhile now. I started this blog with no clear idea of what direction it would take or what subject matter I would cover. I now know that the answer to that is lots of directions and lots of subject matter. I mostly talk about Autism because that is what I know and see everyday. But I also talk about other "generic" mommy things.  One thing has remained constant however, and that is the name of my blog. I recently connected it to my Facebook page so people are able to follow it there. On that page, I also share other articles or blog posts I follow and that I find relevant to my life and hopefully to a few of yours. And once in awhile I might share a funny meme. Because how are we expected to survive parenthood if we can't laugh about it?

I don't even remember how I came up with the name for my blog but I am really surprised I haven't grown tired of it and changed it like I usually do with most things in my life. But it still encapsulates me and what I want to say. If you're reading this, you are more than likely a mom (or a fan of moms), and you more than likely put your mom responsibilities before everything else in your life (hence, "mommy first"). But then there is another side to all of us that we don't get to partake in all that often: our rockstar side. You know, your 18-year-old self that wanted to grow up and be ______(fill-in-the-blank). Maybe you followed your dream, or maybe you took a more practical path. Or maybe your dream was the practical path (I never was very practical). Whatever path you took, we are all here together now, stuck somewhere between diapers and college tuition) trying our best. Occasionally, we are rockstar mommies, but more often than not, we are just mommies. And that's okay. But just because we might have had to put some of our personal dreams or passions on hold for a few years (or 18), doesn't mean they're not still part of us. We all have a little rockstar inside us and maybe someday we will be rockstars FIRST, but if not, that's okay. Because being a mom IS being a rockstar.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What if I hadn't

As parents, we spend so much time wondering "what if I had..." when it comes to our children. For example, what if I had ordered more speech therapy for my child? What if I had doubled up on their play therapy hours? What if I had enrolled them in that Autism school instead of public school? What if I had spent more time interacting with them instead of watching tv/reading/sleeping? What if I had taken them to a different doctor? What if I had caught it sooner? You can spend the rest of your life asking "what if I had" questions and, believe me, you will NEVER find the answers. By definition, it is impossible. Unless you figure out how to rewind time. In which case, please let me know.

So instead, I recommend an alternative to asking "what if I had" questions. Try asking "what if I hadn't". Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you I am typically a glass half-empty type of person. So trust me, it is not any more difficult for you to follow this exercise than it is for me. But after all, us parents work SO hard for our kids every single day and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. This goes double for single parents, and quadruple (or more) for parents with children on the Autism spectrum (or other disabilities). So, give yourself a break for 5 minutes a day and ask yourself "what if I hadn't?" What if I hadn't recognized that something was amiss with my child? What if I hadn't started asking questions and doing research? What if I hadn't had them evaluated? What if I hadn't taken them to therapy last week? Or the week before that? What if I hadn't read that article on that intervention that offered a breakthrough for my child?

Sometimes we get so focused on what STILL needs to be done that we forget what we already HAVE done. Of course it is EASY to get discouraged when you compare certain aspects of your child's development to a neurotypical child. But it is counterproductive to compare even two neurotypical children. Instead, compare your child to your child one year ago. Or two years ago. Chances are you have seen great progress. So instead of asking yourself "what if I had", ask yourself "what if I hadn't" and give yourself a pat on the back.


Last day of preschool 2014-2015.