I always knew that being a mom would be stressful. I just didn’t know how stressful parenthood would be, especially after my son was diagnosed with autism. As a mom who works outside the home (and writes a few nights a week) while raising a seven-year-old son with autism, my day to day is pretty stressful. I am always on the go, leaving little time to relax, close my eyes and just breathe.
And summer is one of the most stressful times of year for me. These last few weeks I’ve been incredibly anxious. There have been changes in Norrin’s school bus schedule. The other day our babysitter cancelled at the last minute and I had no other choice but to leave work early (which messed up my schedule for the rest of the week). I still need to figure out child care for the last few weeks of summer since camp is not an option. And a few other things that have been weighing on my mind. (I’ll write it about all of that in the next few weeks.)
My anxiety prevents me from sleeping. On nights when I can’t sleep, I wake up exhausted. Working when I’m sleep deprived makes me less productive. Most days, I drink between three to five cups of coffee a day to stay awake. By my fifth cup, I’m a jittery mess. And by the time I get home from work, I’m exhausted from my long day but I’m so wired on caffeine that I have trouble falling asleep. When I’m tired and anxious, I become impatient and easily irritated.
I need to learn to manage my stress better.
I am hoping these small changes will have a long lasting impact. More importantly, I hope it makes me a better mother. And I hope that I am teaching Norrin how to deal with stress.
How do you cope with the stress of parenthood?
Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.