Mother of Two
Updated: Oct 25, 2019
My daughter was born last month, at 4:41am on August 25, 4 days after her due date. The running joke is that she wanted to be a Virgo, like me, rather than the Leo she was predicted to be. =) Personally, I am a tiny bit relieved, to tell the truth, that I don’t have a fire sign on my hands... 🤣🤣🤣
Astrology aside, it has been a thrilling and challenging road - to be a mother, then to be pregnant again, and now to be a mother of two, with ASD.
It was ultimately the experience of motherhood that finally surfaced my need for an ASD diagnosis, support, and resources. I got all the way through childhood, college, grad school, moving to the big city, gaining employment, marriage, and growing my career, with only “personality quirks” as an explanation for my sideways interaction with the world.
But becoming a mother was an altogether newly overwhelming experience. So many new sensations, emotions, responsibilities... So many more variables to consider, sequences to create, situations to prepare for... Another human being depending on me for survival... The enormity of motherhood, on top of marriage and career and all the rest, was what tipped the scale to realizing that my brain simply worked differently than most peoples’ brains.
And now, I am a mother of two.
This time around, the birth and so far the newborn phase have been easier than the first time, simply by virtue of knowing more viscerally what to expect. But now, of course, a toddler is in the mix, which further complicates the whole deal. Now, two entirely different human beings depend on me and - thank goodness - my husband, for their physical and psychological well being. It’s hard enough, especially with the executive dysfunctions and routine dependence indicative of ASD, just for me to (sometimes unsuccessfully) look after my own well being!
How do I make sure my son brushes his teeth every night when half the time I don't even remember to do it myself? How do I face the unending sensory overload of a newborn who needs near-constant body contact and breastfeeding around the clock (but who also happens to smell glorious =D)? Well, in the first case, I remind myself that sometimes good enough is good enough, and as long as my son is happy and fed and otherwise well-groomed, maybe I can tackle more consistent teeth-brushing routines for both of us at a later point, when my arms aren’t full of newborn. In the second case, when I have reached or am nearing full sensory overload, I listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks (Special Interest #1), to help keep me sane. The ultimate answer, of course, is the same as it is for any parent facing their own challenges: I do the best I can. And I know in my heart that I am the best mother for my children.
Because no matter the challenges, there is nothing in this world quite so gratifying, mystifying, and electrifying as parenthood. And overwhelming as it might be, I am thrilled to now be, the mother of two.