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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Being a mother is the hardest job in the world

People always say this.

Before I had the boys, I thought it was a load of bullshit.

But it's true. Being a mother means that you hold a life in your hands.

For 9 months, you cradle that life inside you. You eat properly, take care of yourself like you've never bothered to take care of yourself before, because you know you're carrying a little life inside you.

When your child is born, you spend hours staring at their face, making sure they're breathing, making sure they eat, that they're growing, they're hitting their milestones, that they're happy.

You spend your time imaging what life lies ahead for them. How they'll be when they learn to walk, what their first words will be, their first day of kindergarten, graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, having their own child...

But through all that, you take care of them. They fall down and scrape their knee, you want to take the pain away while you hold a crying child in your arms. They have problems making friends, your heart breaks, wishing you could make it better for them.

Now add to that a child with autism. A child who doesn't say he loves you. Who doesn't want you to "kiss his skin" at night. A child who struggles to get through the day. A child who wants to make friends and can't understand why other kids don't want to play with him. A child who is anxious, who is overwhelmed by lights and sounds, emotions, who teeters on the edge of control.

Is your life difficult yet?

Add to that the fact you have to work.

Dreading every time your cell phone rings that he's "gone off" and is in trouble. That he's about to be kicked out of preschool, out of daycare, suspended from school. That he's only six.

Now add on top of that that the place you work knows your son is autistic. The sole purpose of the organization is to work with adults with special needs (including autism), who knows the behavioral challenges, who strive to make the people they serve live as normal a life as possible. And they can't understand that you need to take off for doctor appts for your son. That he's on medications no child should be on, and has to be monitored, that he may go off, and I may need to rush home to take care of him. Who has now told me that I need to decide between my autistic child, and my job. That if I take off any more time (of which I still have alot), I will be told I have 90 days to find a new job. Oh, and you know that family vacation you've had planned since January, that we approved yoru time off for....you might want to rethink doing that. Who cares nothing of the hours of overtime I put in for Board Meetings, it's just expected of me. But begrudges me a few hours a couple times a month to care for my son. Who now wants me to put off getting a severely infected tooth fixed for god knows how long because don't all dentists stay open 24 hours to accommodate jerkish bosses?

I get my work done, I don't have piles of work left sitting around that I don't do. I bust my ass to get it all done. To take care of my job, my responsibilities, AND MY SON!

How can you tell a mother, any mother, and especially a mother of an autistic child that their child doesn't matter. That they can't use time they have accrued, time given by the company to the employee, to attend medical appointments, to attend IEP meetings at the school, to take care of him.

I am trying my best. I am working myself into a mental and physical deficit trying to keep up with everything, make everyone happy.

I can't take it anymore. My child is more important than your job. I'm about to the point of filing for bankruptcy so I can work part-time and care for my son. Through all the shit work is putting me through right now.... I'm still sitting here worrying about my son and how his day will go tomorrow. If he'll have problems, and how THAT's more important than my job.

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