I was inspired to write this post after reading a blog post (link coming soon) about a mom who was frustrated when her little boy with autism would destroy his artwork after finishing it. He was no doubt finding some sensory pleasure in ripping the paper and as a teacher and a mom I can fully relate to the frustration she was feeling. I have been guilty of routinely setting up elaborate craft projects for girls. I wanted them to turn out perfect. I wanted to put them on display. I would spend evenings scouring Pinterest for the cutest ideas with full intentions to post the finished product to Facebook and then sit back and count the "likes." It made me feel like a good mom, an organized mom, and a mom who could go toe-to-toe with those Pinterest superstars that make us question our parenting skills because we were not able to help our child build the Taj Mahal to scale from gluten-free pasta. Now, I know there is pressure on the dad's out there for many reasons, but unless you've felt the smug look of the mom who makes all of her kids clothes while volunteering at hospice and chairing the Home and School Committee, you haven't felt mommy pressure (oh and she is probably and avid runner too.) Ever since Kate was diagnosed with autism I have found that keeping up with these moms is futile. These days, I am too busy to compete. The therapies and appointments are non-stop and the research is endless and what little time we have left after all this goes to having fun with our kids. We play and make messes and sometimes we create beautiful paintings or sculptures and then relish in letting the kids squish them or crumple them up. I am learning that the process is much more important than the product. Kids know this innately. Kids with autism live this. Kate does not need to impress you with her artwork. She just needs the chance to be creative. This is a philosophy that could carry forward to many areas of your life. And to the Pinterest superstar moms: It is okay to get some sleep instead of making your life appear perfect. I won't be judging you. I am too busy managing melt-downs and avoiding your disapproving glares.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)