I'm going to number these because there are so very many hard lessons learned when you have a kid with Autism, some good, some bad, some fun, some not, but all are important steps. Today's lesson is a good one and it is in many parts all leading to a very important result.
- It's okay to need a break, it's okay to take a break.
- Your husband (wife, sister, babysitter, mom, etc) won't do things the same way you do. It's not better, it's not worse, it's just different.
- Preparation for a break can be exhausting, daunting, and down right stressful but it is worth it.
- What you don't get done will still be here when you get back, as will your kiddos and they will be SUPER HAPPY to see you.
- You can't give what you don't have. If you run your batteries down too low and don't recharge them, then what do you have left to give?
- You need an outlet, find one.
- You deserve it.
I tell you all of this because of my to-do list today. Today I am packing for my annual trip to Crop A Doodle Doo!!!! "What is that?" you ask. Well, let me tell you! It is a farm house just north of Indianapolis, Indiana where I meet my mom, my Aunt Debbie and my cousin Dawn for three days of Scrapbooking and Spa treatments. Once we arrive they cook for us, clean up after us, make our beds, etc. etc. etc. It is HEAVEN! My only worry for three days is playing cut and paste with family memories. I get to go though all the pictures I've taken in the last year, lose myself in memories, look at smiling faces and then put it all together to tell the story of my family. My boys love my scrapbooks and that makes the weekend all the more worthwhile.
Here's a secret about this Lunatic Autism Mom, I'm crafty. Not as in a sly, conniving, talk you out of your lunch money, crafty but a cross stitch, scrapbooking, home decorating, crochet, paper crafting kind of crafty. It is one of my outlets along with reading, baking and organizing. These are the things I fall back on when I am overwhelmed. I gain perspective by using a creative outlet. I love a hobby and I think everyone needs one. Specifically a hobby that doesn't include reading Autism books, researching Autism, creating alternative diet meal plans, organizing supplements or planning therapies. I've done it, I focused only on Autism and burnt myself out and in the process lost my interests and my creativity for years.
So.... this is year 5 of taking this one weekend for myself every February and I leave tomorrow morning at 8am, right after the boys go to school. Rob is taking over mommy duties in addition to daddy duties, making meals, giving meds, taking them to appointments, packing their lunches, helping them pick out their clothes, working from home, keeping the house from falling apart and he is going to do a fantastic job of it. I have four years of past history to go by and know of only one instance of Cam going to school looking like a hobo. All in all a good track record, super bonus points for Daddy and lots and lots of extra quality time for the boys. While I'm gone I'll miss them like crazy and when they lay down at night they'll tell Daddy that they miss me like crazy. Then I'll come home and we'll all be so excited to tell each other about everything that we did and there will be lots and lots of snuggles and cuddles. Then when I go to bed that night I'll think about:
How much you have to care about someone to miss them as much as you do when you aren't with them.
How precious a gift it is to recharge your batteries.
How wonderful it is to get to do something you love that is just for you.
How good it is to realize how much home and family means when you return.
"See" you Monday!!!