By day: mum of an autistic tot. By night: mum of an autistic tot.
The day will come when I am no longer able to care for the Pwd. I know that. What I don’t know are what the circumstances will be that will bring that about nor when. It may be that the Pwd makes great strides forward and is able to have a level of independence that, we are told, is unlikely. It could be decades away when I am a pensioner and cannot keep up. It may just be a few short years if certain behaviour towards me continues and he is much bigger and stronger than I can manage.
Admitting that I am not up to the job of being my boy’s full time mum will break my heart. Even thinking about it brings anguish and tears. As things are, here in the UK, support is better than in other nations but still inadequate. Our personal support network as a family is flimsy at its strongest point. I do not expect that to change. The other constant is my love for my little man and though I don’t believe that anyone could love him more than I do (or any mum loves her boy more than I love mine!) I am not so vain as to believe that I am the only person capable of caring for him, meeting his physical, emotional and intellectual needs.
Mostly, I am an adequate mother. Sometimes I fall far short of even that. There are times when tiredness gets in your bones in the same way that damp seeps through abandoned buildings. That’s not an excuse for the occasions when I’ve lost my temper and howled right back at a screaming Pwd. There isn’t an excuse. Exhaustion, lack of services, lack of support can wear you down. They are not justifications for murder. The parents who know when to stop parenting and hand their child over to someone or people who can take on that role have not failed their children. They and their children deserve compassion. I may be one of those parents one day.