I’ve prayed for peace a lot. When you have anxiety, you learn how to manage it and be more calm. Prayer is my favorite and most regularly used tool. If you’re a mom of a child with autism, I will pray for your peace too.
When I pray, I usually spend a lot of time in gratitude. It’s hard to worry about anything when you are being thankful for the present. If you’re in conflict with anything or anyone, you can’t be at peace. Anger is not a peaceful place to be. But sometimes, we’ve reached our limit and we’re angry. That was me yesterday and it got me thinking about all the things us autism moms go through and all the places we need to pray for peace.
You spend your days organizing IEPs, scheduling therapies, and attending day long seminars on inclusion. But you go to sleep at night wondering, will your kid ever be completely accepted and included? I get you and I will pray for your peace.
Did your child get out of school, where they are working hard to hold it all together, only to come home and have a Category 5 meltdown on you? Maybe you were perfectly happy, but then you became the target of their every frustration and it screwed up your whole day. Trust me, I’ve been there and I will pray for your peace.
Sometimes your kid is obsessing about one topic and they’re on repeat. It’s wearing on you and you can’t stay calm, no matter how hard you try. It’s impossible to ignore. The back and forth with your child gets you to a stress level they say is equal to that of someone in combat. You break and yell because you want it all to stop. I was there yesterday, and I stopped to pray for my peace. Today I will pray for yours.
There are days when your child is doing pretty well, and you don’t feel like you even have to mention autism. Then there are days when it helps you to explain it all so you feel required to divulge the information. It’s a love hate relationship with labels sometimes. I struggle too and I will pray for your peace.
Are friendships and isolation struggles for both you and your child? Maybe today you discovered a true friend who truly gets the struggles you face and maybe today you discovered a person masquerading as a friend. Do you dream of the day when your kid has that one true, real friend and not just the ones that feel obliged to be friendly because of your kid’s autism? I’ve been where you are many times and I will pray for your peace.
No matter what level of support your kid needs, assumptions are always made about their capabilities. When they’re struggling, most don’t understand. If they are progressing in some area or doing well, no one but you knows the hard work, heartache and tears it took to get them to that point. Chances are, at one point or another, someone has said something ignorant about your child’s abilities or struggles and you’ve probably wanted to tell them a thing or two. I will pray for your peace in that conversation.
Does the future keep you up at night because you don’t know how your kid will survive when you’re gone? Who will take care of them? Then there is the guilt you feel about their sibling and the burden it implies for them. I know how hard it is sometimes to have faith when you fear what will happen in their world, when as a parent, you aren’t here to fight for them. I don’t know how we find peace in this, but I will pray for yours and mine.
Autism mom, I don’t have any of the answers. I don’t know if it will get harder or better. I wish I could say that over the years it will get easier. It just changes. The challenges, the worries, the interactions, and the inevitable loneliness you will feel on this road is a constant. But there also real joys and amazing things to celebrate, that much of the rest of the world will take for granted. The one thing I know is that prayer works. In those moments when you feel like you don’t know how you can keep on the way things are, take a moment to be still and pray for your peace to get through it all. I will pray for your peace and I hope you will pray for mine too. If you need someone to pray with you, I’m here.