I haven’t written in awhile. I didn’t know how to go about it. Things have been hard lately and sometimes it seems like our son’s tantrums are getting worse and/or more frequent. We are in and out of survival mode and the last thing I want this blog to be is a place for me to whine about my kids. I always want to be able to share my experience in a way that is relatable and can end on a positive note. I never want to exploit my son’s struggles in the name of my catharsis. I always want to respect the people in our lives who love our kids and who worry about their privacy. But trying to tick all those boxes can make me feel boxed in (pun intended). And then I had a week like this last one: two tantrums at a 15 (on a scale of 1 to 10) and 2 days with E home from school sick. I just feel like I will burst from the exhaustion and emotion and whining and screaming! The first thing I want to do is share it here because I know there are people who can relate to it, but I’m trying to tick all my boxes like a good girl and that only adds to my bursting feeling and writing helps calm it, so here I am. Bear with me.
Not everyone looks forward to the holidays. There is a lot of pressure: attend parties, be merry, buy gifts, fill stockings, donate to charity, have pictures with Santa, get a Christmas tree, go to Christmas concerts, drive around to see Christmas lights, attend special once-a-year events, bake cookies, cook turkey, have people over, put egg nog in your coffee … IT’S TOO MUCH! And that’s just for me, for my son with sensory needs it is like a mine field. Not for him, of course, he thinks it’s great fun. Except I can tell it overwhelms him because he is restless and fidgety and touching everything and having 15/10 fits. As the responsible adult (how’d that happen?) it’s my job to help him navigate the world and I gotta say I don’t know how to do it well yet. I want to let my kids do fun things and have days where we pig out on junk food and accept all the party invitations, but the price our family pays for straying from our regular routines is too great. So we try to strike a balance and still we struggle. We struggle to know what is best for our family. We struggle to make the best choices for our kids individual needs. We struggle to celebrate holidays that are overwhelmingly exciting and anxiety-inducing but are also very significant both religiously and culturally. So what do we do? I honestly don’t know. So far all I got is: fail, sleep, get up, regroup, try again. That’s it, man.