Everyone needs breaks, either spontaneous or planned, from routines, from even the most fascinating work, and from outlooking and scheduling the day, week, month or years ahead.
People whose kids have autism only have time breaks if they are planned in advance.
Many parents can plan on quiet or active times within the household on a typical school night. Kids, their dinner routines and clean-up, homework, online socializing or entertainment, showering, preparing clothes for the next school day, are all usually predictable by the time a child reaches school age, and almost always rely on minimal parental reminding.
Parents can let their minds wander to their own lives, activities and dreams.
Parents whose kids have autism live continuously in a reality which requires focused attention.
Successful and peaceful typical weekday evening activities surely do take place.
The success and peace is quietly orchestrated and masterfully coached by one, either or both parents so the kids stay on track.
There is hardly a loose moment left open to chance.
Kids who have autism handle reality less well than kids who do not have autism.
The responsibility to maintain balance and steadiness of everyday reality belongs to the parent.
The less the child is able to handle of reality on their own, the greater is the need for the parent to step into a management, interpretation and guiding role on behalf of their child.
Love of one’s child and responsibility for one’s child keep many parents involved in this work for the duration of a child’s childhood into early adult years.
The effort is both astonishingly dignified and equally exhausting.
Yes, we can do something to balance for the parent, the fact of their abundant responsibilities in managing the reality of their kids’ lives.
Give yourself the right to dream.
Whether daydreams of where you’d like to be or of a future with fewer duties, creative dreams of the article or poem you’ll write, music you’ll compose, drawing or photo you’ll someday create, or the longer shower you long to have time to take, let your mind and spirit wander whenever you have a spare moment for fulfilling your human need for inspiration.
The creative mind is free from time and reality and once in a while you need to be in this space of freedom.