World Autism Awareness Day

High School is around the Corner

My son will be starting high school in the Fall! I was a little nervous about the idea of him graduating from elementary school at the beginning of the school year, but have since calmed down. He’s made tremendous strides over the past few years and I now feel confident that he is ready to take the next necessary step! We went to visit a couple of high schools, which helped a lot. Time really does fly!

Managing my Anxiety

So because anxiety always pops up uninvited, I had to learn some combat skills to keep it from ruining my life. I could be having a great day… and then those crazy thoughts come out of no where. Thoughts like somethings going to go wrong soon or thoughts of people that have been nothing but kind to me will betray me soon. I’ve gotten tired of these thoughts ruining happy moments for me so I begin to get to the root of them.

  • First thing I do is remind myself that NOTHINGS HAPPENED. I’ll be sitting there worried about things that haven’t even happened.
  • Secondly, I think of all the possible outcomes of what I’m worried about. I’ve found that the worst case scenario is something I can live with.

For instance, I had terrible anxiety a couple of weeks ago because I hadn’t renewed plate sticker because my car wasn’t passing the emissions test. After I sorted through all the anxiety, I calmed myself by remembering that the worst case scenario is that I will get a ticket…and I can pay a ticket.

Anxiety is always an inconvenience and there is never a good time for it to show up. However, I am determined to continue to fight for the good life that exists beyond anxiety.

Dreams or Delusions

wp-1531415439569..jpeg

Life sometimes leaves you questioning reality. You’re told to do good in high school so that you can get into a good college, and then do well in college so that you can get a good job. Next you’re told to embrace the entry level position offered right out of college so that you can build your resume. However, after more than a decade of skill set building and networking and you’re still not where you want to be in life you begin to wonder what went wrong. Have your dreams turned into delusions?

As the parent of a special needs child, I’ve had to modify the route I planned to take to get to my dreams but I didn’t think I would have to forfeit them altogether. The reality is that spending 9 hours a day in an office does not work for me because I have to get my son on and off the school bus 2 hours before most jobs want you to leave. Of course I am always looking for freelance projects and jobs that will allow you to work a portion of the day from, but they are difficult to find.

Am I to assume that the “Good Life” is reserved for people that don’t have special needs children? Hmmm… I didn’t get that memo when I was racking up student loan debt. I did read in the somewhere that “the race does not go to the swift, but to those who endure to the end.” On that note, I’ll continue to try to put together the pieces of this dream that used to be crystal clear as I don’t want them to shatter and be lost forever.

More Resources PLEASE

IMG_20180711_142250.jpg

The topic of resources and the lack there of for parents never seems to get old. America has several things that it proudly brags about being(Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc.) It sure would be nice if they would add “Most Thoughtful Country” to the list. It’s definitely not a stretch to say that if you are a hard worker, you can make a good life for your family. However, the two key words are work and family. So with that being said, parents need more resources and options for child care so that can work and provide a good life for their family.

The evidence of  this lack of support is always more visible in the summer time when children are out of school for as long as 2 months. Summer camps are typically a primary resource for parents and are great while they last. However, summer camps usually end 3 weeks before the school year begins leaving parents with limited options for safe and reliable child care.

I wish the elected officials that beg for our votes during election season studied their constituents needs more closely. People need more than tax breaks to live comfortably. Furthermore, life goes in cycles. Parents work to provide quality lives for their children so that they can in turn have meaningful careers and provide quality lives for their children. That very principle is why this country is considered great; I just wish it wasn’t so hard to keep it that way.

Single Parent Rant

Day in and Day out I move to the beat of an internal alarm clock. You see in my life nothing can have a minimized importance as everything is operates like a machine, and if one part isn’t functioning the entire machine will cease to work. From getting up at 6:45am to make sure Christian is ready when the school bus arrives, so that I can in turn start working, so that I can afford to pay bills, pay for cool preteen haircuts and clothing and do all the of the things necessary to run a household. And though this juggling act can be redundant, it can also be full of surprises.

I hate to sound whiny, but almost always the surprises are unpleasant. Surprises like my check engine light coming on when I start my car, or waking up with a body ache(which makes me move slower). However, like always super mom powers through and things work out. There’s just one thing(sigh)… I get tired sometimes. There’s so many have to do’s in life and very few want to do’s. For example, I WANT to go get a pedicure and not feel guilty about the 2 hours I spend doing it. I also WANT to go get a cup of coffee and not feel guilty about spending $5 on it.

Overall, most of my gripes can be lumped into the category of single parent ranting. With that being said I’ll close by saying that being a parent is the best and most meaningful gift I’ve ever received and that all of my griping will one day be cool stories to share with my grandchildren.

Summer Camp for our Special Children

Summer camps are a great resource for parents.

All over the country children are bubbling with excitement, for they know summer break is days away or for some has already started.  Many parents are bubbling to; I’m just not sure all of it is excitement as much as a tad bit of stress. For the next 2 months we’re in charge of making an itinerary to keep our children busy and happy for the several hours a day that they were in school.

Summer camps are a great resource for parents. A lot of camps have 8 hour schedules, which allow the children to be somewhere safe where they can interact with other children and learn some cool stuff at the same time. This of course allows for the parents to keep up their work schedule and/or other interests they’re committed to.

The Park Districts in most cities have “Special Recreation” for special needs individuals ranging from the ages of 7- 19. In addition the prices are drastically lower than other camps. However, don’t let that be the determining factor.  We know our children better than anyone so definitely choose the camp that’s a good fit for your child. I highly recommend visiting the park with your child prior to signing them up. Good vibes makes for good experiences for both the parent and child.

I look forward to sharing and reading your summer camp stories very soon.

Big Hug

Bernadette

Run Your Race

Life can seem like a rollercoaster; you sometimes find yourself feeling like you’re about to crash but just before you hit the ground, you’re thrust to new heights you haven’t reached before. I used to wonder if I was the only person going through ups and downs… that is, until I started hanging out with other ambitious people. Regardless of what walk of life you come from, the more ambitious you are, the more uncomfortable you become with mediocrity.

I’ve recently learned to become my own cheerleader. I’m always on the sidelines cheering for other to have success in whatever they’re working toward. Well now I take the time to cheer for me. I’ve heard that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” well so is success and I’m going to keep running until my race is won!

 

 

 

 

 

Single Parenting

Where do I start? There’s so much that goes into being a parent. However, the load triples when you have to be a single parent.

I’ve been a single parent for 11 years as my son’s father died when my son was an infant. On one hand I can say that I am used to being a single parent since I’ve always been one, but on the other hand it is entirely true that I am still uncomfortable with it. Being a parent has so many layers. You’re the provider, comforter, disciplinarian, chef, fashion director, maid, doctor, tutor, speech therapists, friend, personal banker in addition to everything else that is necessary to keep your child happy. And of course I can’t forget to mention that we have to update our skill set as our children grow.

In addition, I’ve had a few detours in life that have altered my career path and completely prolonged my journey to “ultimate success,” however I am optimistic that I’ll eventually get there.

I wrote this piece as a salute to all of the single parents in the world. No matter if you’re in the United States, Africa, Brazil, Italy or the United Kingdom; our journey is still the same. A big hug to all of you.