Erin Clotfelter

I am a Minneapolis mom to three boys under the age of 3, two recently diagnosed with autism. I blog about autism, motherhood and my life outnumbered by boys at The Slacker Mom.

Hitting my Wall

Posted by: Erin Clotfelter under Society Updated: February 10, 2012 - 12:17 PM

"Enjoy this!  And when you can't enjoy- ENDURE!"
-sage advice from a fellow Mom of Multiples

I have to be honest- it's been a lot of enduring around here lately.  We've been in a bit of a tailspin since our trip out East for Christmas where there was an obvious shift in routine and a total lack of sensory support (totally our fault) which has been bringing out some pretty intense behaviors in the boys.  Tantrums, sleep issues, etc.

We are in the storm right now.  Looking for the calm on the horizon and not really seeing it.

It got to the point that last week, my darling husband took the day off just so *I* could take the day off and get away from everything.  I must have been particularly panicked because he didn't even ask if I wanted a little R&R- he just told me I was getting a "Me Day".

I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Mom's Day Out was totally on!  But what was I to do?  Go out to lunch?  Hit the gym?  Get my hair done?  Go shopping?

After making my escape and driving aimlessly around Edina and SW Minneapolis for an hour I settled on drinking the largest mocha I could get my hands on and reading a book in my mini-van next to Lake Harriet just blocks from our house.  It was a dreary gray winter day and it was perfect.

It was quiet!  I was alone!  What a luxury.  I alternated between reading in complete silence, people watching and listening to FM107 while I warmed up the van.  I think I was there for 4 hours before I finally drove home.

I felt refreshed.  I felt relaxed.

Of course as soon as I walked into the house Wyatt had a full on melt-down after the episode of Super Why he was watching was finished and the Kindle was put away. The kind of melt-down that has the neighbor wandering over to make sure everyone is OK. (True story- autism is awesome.)

Back to reality.

It's tough to be a stay at home mom sometimes.  Don't get me wrong, I love it and wouldn't have it any other way at this point.  But contrary to what my Pinterest boards would like you to think, it's HARD!  The routine is tedious and it can be really isolating- especially with special needs kids. 

Logistically at this age- there is just no way I'm taking all three of them out by myself.  It would be a safety issue and frankly, I don't feel comfortable dealing with tantrums in public- it's hard enough to deal with them in private.  So we stay home and venture out when I have an extra set of hands.

All my errands are run on the weekends or in the evenings.  I'll try and sneak out with the youngest while the twins are at school in the mornings but other than that, our big outings during the week consist of packing the boys up to go to therapy.  I joke with the other parents in the waiting room that that hour is the only quiet hour I get to myself all week- it's a well understood sentiment.

I know I'm not the only parent who's feeling a little isolated, a little worn down.  Who's days, although certainly fulfilling in many ways, can be tiresome and endless.

How do you get through the tough parenting days?

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