I am a full-time working mom with a fairly demanding job. I work until 6:30-7 (or later) every night. Most nights when I get home I clean the kitchen and make dinner and help with homework if needed. Or, like last night, assist in the filling out, folding, stuffing, and stickering of Valentine's. Then there's the whole getting the kids ready for bed thing. The hubby freaks out if the kids' room is messy at night so it has to be picked up. Every. Night. Then sometimes I'll sit down at my desk and work even more.
This is my daily life.
But some days, like today, I get to enjoy the other side of me that I don't get to tap into very often during the working day. I got be a mom, just a mom, for a while this afternoon. It was wonderful.
My little guy was diagnosed as High-Functioning Autistic as well as ADHD a couple years ago. It wasn't a shock - we knew it was something. My 3rd grader is ADHD too; the hubby and most of his family are as well so I suppose it's no surprise that the kids inherited that gene. Back to Jamie, my bubba - he's really the cutest kid. Sweet and so loving. He's my little cuddle-bug. He's learning so much. Maybe we have always low-balled him because of the Autism, but when he does something well (that is learning level appropriate) we are just ecstatic. Maybe it's because we're scared he's going to go backwards instead of forwards. Each time he reaches a milestone we are over the moon.
He can seem normal. Sometimes he acts like any other 1st grader. But there are definitely situations we have to deal with more carefully than we would with our other son. Like when we know that his class will be doing something out of the ordinary we have to prepare him for it in advance. Talk it up to him several times and make him aware of everything that's going to happen. Sometimes I think we forget to do that as much as we should.
It really shouldn't have been a surprise when he started being belligerent and difficult this morning. Right before leaving to go to school he got very upset because he didn't like the way his hair looked and started insisting that it be parted the other way and beating his own head with the brush. I soothed him as best I could, and then I left to take the 3rd grader to school before going on to work. The hubby called 30 minutes later and said it took him 20 minutes to get Jamie calmed down and into his class (tardy, of course). I thought, oh boy, that does not bode well for the rest of the day.
So I called the school to find out when Jamie's class party was going to be. Then I looked at my schedule and decided I could make it work. I left the office at 2:30 and, oh, I can't tell you how liberating it was! (I swear I would be an awesome stay at home mom. I would, I really, really would.) Jamie was SO excited when I walked into class. I got to watch him interact with his friends and play games and he did it all so well! You wouldn't have known he was different. My heart swelled.
When the party was over we picked up the 3rd grader and decided to get a Redbox family movie to watch on this lovely Friday night. As I was driving down the road at 4 pm with my kids chattering in the backseat I must say I was as happy as I have ever been. Oh, we have problems aplenty and I like working . . . but, really, none of that mattered at that moment.
Yes, I would be a very good stay at home mom indeed.