November 9, 2009

Out there

I'm a pretty social person, and leaving work to become a full time stay at home mom hasn't been easy. I joined a mom's group before Moe was even born. Moe and I had activities planned almost every day. We took music classes, Gymboree, and had lots of playdates. We went shopping and out to lunch. Even with all of this, I still got lonely at home sometimes. I thought about going back to work, but decided it wouldn't be worth it since we wanted a second child.

Then Jelly Belly was born. I couldn't do as many activities with both of them, but planned to take a music class with both kids and take Jelly to activities when Moe was in school. The other moms in my group were also having babies, and our playdates expanded to include the newborns. Moe had some delays, but he was in school and getting help. It would work.

But things have changed. Moe wasn't quite ready for school and needed more. So now we're home. We're home all the time. And though I try to keep busy with projects around the house, finishing up a needlepoint project I started years ago, learning to sew, cooking, and of course blogging, I'm bored. Do you remember the movie LA Story with Steve Martin? At one point he writes on the window: Bored Beyond Belief. Yeah, like that.

So I try to get out when I can. We're going to keep one afternoon a week open so that we can all go to a playdate. But that is tough too because I see all the ways in which Moe is so different from the other kids. And as they get older, the differences become more and more obvious. I think it is important for Moe to be around typical kids on a regular basis, but it's not easy.

Even going out with other moms is hard. I really enjoy spending time with my mommy friends, but now that the kids are turning 2 and a half, and even 3, the conversations inevitably turn to the cute things their kids did and said, the little troubles they've gotten into. I listen, and I do really enjoy hearing about these kids I've known since they were babies. But it again reminds me of what I'm missing. When the conversation turns to me, it is "How are you doing?" and "How are things progressing with Moe?" It's depressing.

I haven't yet found a local community of parents with autistic kids, and even if I did, I don't want to completely immerse myself in that world either. I long to be out and about in the "real" world as much as I can, but out there I'm reminded of everything that is so different in here.


  1. It is hard. We've been there.

    But remember, the world of autism IS the real world too. Don't forget that. Sometimes it's easier because those parents are living it too.

  2. Thanks, Mary. I've been thinking a lot about what I wrote today and I know you are right. I hope I don't offend anyone (especially you guys!) by implying that I don't want to be with them (typical or not). I haven't found a community of parents in my area yet but I am looking. I think I'm just feeling a little sorry for myself, trying to adjust to our new normal and figure out how to balance life inside the house and outside of it.

  3. I SO wasn't offended! Really JennieB, I just meant that the term "real world" is overrated. You remember in high school, when the teachers would say something like "Just wait until you're in the real world!" Actually, high school IS the real world for high school students. Do I look imaginary?

    It became MUCH easier for us to have a "community" when the J-man started school. We still don't really go out much, but he has friends at school, and we see those parents, and there are birthday parties and such. So, it's our "real world" right now.

    See if there is a mailing group (like Yahoo has) in your area, and try to join it. Talk to the therapists who are coming in, and ask them about ways to meet other parents. Those are 2 things we did before school...

  4. It can be very isolating, that is for sure! My child could not fit in with typicals, but kids with autism set her off. Their unpredictable behaviors (and hers) would collide and it was a disaster.

    It gets easier. You will find your community. You will.


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