I have this absurd idea of what a family is supposed to be like. It’s an amalgamation of all the things that I’ve absorbed from TV, Movies, books as I grew up. That’s how ASD kids learn a lot of the time, you see; it means that we tend to have odd notions of how things should be and how people should act.
My idea of a family is:
A family is two parents (of whatever working status) that are there for their children, no matter what, living in the same house together.
So you can imagine how confused I was when my parents divorced, even though I’d watched TV shows and movies with divorced families in. My Mum stayed with us and had to find enough work to keep a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and clothes on our back. My Dad left the country and remarried; I rarely saw him and my stepmother.
Lots of things happened between my parents divorcing and my meeting TOH, but when I met his mum, she seemed to be exactly what a mum (in my confused mind) should be.
She was always there, she baked christmas cakes and cooked fantastic meals. Her house was always clean and tidy. She never seemed to be unhappy, despite her medical condition.
Of course, I know now that it was an illusion – she had plenty of unhappy moments, painful moments, sad moments – but when I was there with TOH and NOS she was happy because we were there.
So I compared myself to her and the notion of family I had in my head.
Of course I was doomed to always fail – I was comparing myself as a mother to NOS to someone who had years more experience being a mother and full time homemaker. I’ve spent the last fourteen years trying and failing to be something I’m not.
With every child I’ve had, I’ve tried to pick up as the vision of the mother I should be and with every child I’ve failed. Now I’m pregnant again.
This morning, I woke up from a dream where I was the perfect mother – up early, making breakfast for the children, perfectly folded clean clothes for them to wear, clean and tidy house around them… dinner on the table at a good time and so forth – and realised that I would never be that.
Yes I love baking, but I only do that when I am in the mood for it. The house is never tidy because we just have too much stuff – an ASD family collects a lot of stuff in the course of their obsessions and they don’t like to let go of them (too many memories) – and of course TOH has a physical disability which means that we have a lot of DIY that he can’t do (I’ll have to do it though) and he can’t help with the housework, so I have to ask the kids to pitch in.
With this child, I have the chance to try again. To try to be the “perfect” mother of my imagination… and I’m not going to. Every time I try that, I invariably fail because it’s just not who I am and it hurts me mentally each time.
I have to let go of that and be the best mother I can be as I am…