“Motherhood is… difficult and… rewarding.”
This is a quote that I’m sure most of us mothers relate to. This Mother’s Day, I’d like to share my journey. From the day I realized I was holding the miracle of life in my womb, to the day I held it in my arms, and every day since, I have found myself stretched to a capacity I never thought I could achieve. In terms of love, in terms of strength, in terms of wanting to do something for someone and going the distance for it; for someone other than myself.
Every day since the diagnosis of my child, I have gone through a myriad of thoughts. It first started with shock, of course. Disbelief that my child had autism. I kept wondering whether it was something I did as a mother. Was it something I could have changed? I’m his mother, can’t I find a way to undo this for him? That initial need for my child to be “accepted” by the world kept resurfacing. This was until I realized, the problem wasn’t the world, it was my acceptance. This was my child, and I was unable to accept his reality; my reality.
I’ve read several blogs by other autism mothers, and it gives me some solace to know that most of us go through similar emotions. Right from figuring out which therapies my child needed, to actually learning more about my own child. It was both all-consuming and yet exhilarating. One moment you can’t believe your child has been “diagnosed” and the next day you’re already aiming at achieving a Ph.D. in the topic! Suddenly you’re thinking about ways you can “stimulate your child’s sensory processing” or learning how to toilet train your autistic child.
You feel this intense need to make everything normal for your child. To ensure they’re getting all the resources they can get. You start reading books written by mothers who’ve been on the same journey, or those who are experts in the subject. The ones written by actually autistic individuals give you even more hope! You realize there are so many inspirational stories around you, and you draw strength from that fact. You even start looking for apps you can download which could help your child. And constantly, you find yourself looking to either educate others on what you’ve learned. Or even seek out those whom you can learn something new from.
You dedicate this journey of realizing, accepting and finding new solutions, to making the best of the situation handed over to you and your child. Every time your child learns something new, you feel pride and a sense of accomplishment. That’s the reward. And that’s what being a mother is all about. It’s about realizing every day that your child can achieve more. There’s more to be taught, more to be learned. And all this, while being their closest friend.
This International Mother’s Day, I wish all my peers, the strong women around me, who are fierce advocates of their children, and their most loyal cheerleaders, a very Happy Mother’s Day!