Not Everything In Life Worth Achieving is Going to Be Easy

About a month back, I wrote about how I had decided to take a step back from my College education due to not having the necessary time, due to my job and homeschooling my son, to do my homework. After thinking hard about it and discussing it with a few select people, I actually decided not to withdraw.

I did take a step back though.

Withdrawing from college is not as easy as it sounds, especially when you have student loans like I do. After talking with my Husband and my school counselors I decided to go down to part time. Take one class at a time instead of two. To be honest I am very glad I made this decision.

While I am happy with my decision to stay in school, I am still very frustrated with everything.

I am tired. I am burnt out. I was supposed to have graduated back in October, but due to having to transfer schools, my graduation date was significantly set back. Everything In me wanted to withdraw and not have to worry about tests and exams and essays! But It really wasn’t the best thing to do.

After I wrote my post saying I was stepping back, I took a weekend to de-stress and make sure It was the right decision to make. I had emailed my counselor tellign him I was done. But I ended up chatting with him that following Monday, and decided to stick with it, but take a step back on my class load.

At the very beginning, I decided to pursue a degree so that I can better my family. I want to be able to provide a secure future for my family and send my kids to college when they are old enough. Having a degree will give me so many more opportunities in the workforce that I would have otherwise.

Some things are hard. College is hard. The amount of homework that I need to get done every week can very easily become overwhelming. and sometimes that makes me question whether or not it is worth it. But here is something that I have to fall back on.

I realize college is not hard for everyone, for some people it’s probably a walk in the park. I get overwhelmed very easily which is why it is challenging for me,but I know that when the day comes where I am wearing my cap and gown and walking across that stage to receive my diploma, I will be very glad I stuck with it.

My point is not everything in life that is worth working for is going to be easy. Some things will be really hard, but in the end it is worth the struggle.

Wait

We live In a very busy world. Everyone is always in a hurry. I like to be busy. It is easy to get caught up in that busyness. I thrive on always having something to do and places to go. Doing everything now in the moment; not waiting for later.

In my busyness it is easy to make decisions in haste, sometimes ones that should be thought through more carefully or that should be considered over a period of time.

I have to make a conscious decision to slow down. You can’t always be in a hurry. Life goes by so fast as it is. Being in a hurry all the time just makes it go by that much faster. SO I have to just stop. Wait. Slow down. DO things that really matter. Like just staying at home for a day and enjoying my children while they are little.

Nothing reminds me more of how short life is than watching my children grow. IF I spend my life always hurrying from here to there, I miss out on a lot. I miss out on a lot of TIME with my family. So I am trying to learn patience. To wait. TO wait till tomorrow or the next day to run this or that errand, and to be present right now with my family.

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This post is part of the Five Minute Friday weekly prompt link up. TO find out more click here.

Why I chose To Homeschool

I have entered the world of homeschooling mothers!

Yes, you read that right!

I have decided, that instead of sending Garris off to Kindergarden at the public school this year, I am going to teach him at home. ( In case you are new here, Garris is my five year old. He is autisic and non-verbal.)

I have always liked the idea of homeschooling my kids, but after Garris recieved his diagnosis, I didn’t think it would be possible. I didn’t think I would be capable of teaching him myself

However….

I decided to do it anyway.

So what exactly made me change my mind? Well there are a few factors that played a role in this decision.

First of all, Kindergarden is a lot different than Preschool. It is all day. Garris went to preschool for 2 years, but it was only four days a week for three hours. The thought of our 5-year-old being gone all day long at kindergarten made me very uneasy.

The other aspect that makes me uneasy is him being non-verbal and having a hard time communicating with others. What if something happened to him at school? what if he got upset but couldn’t express why ? If he were to be picked on or bullied, he wouldn’t be able to ask for help and he wouldn’t be able to tell us what happened.

My second reason is this; I work second shift at my job. I leave around 2 in the afternoon and am not home till after 1am. I would not see my boy at all except for 1 to 2 hours in the morning during the week if I put him in public school. Just the thought of this mad emy anxiety start to flare.

Lastly, schooling him at home gives us the availability we need to be able to take him to his appointments and therapies during the week and His daily structure will stay the same for the most part.

I am very content with our decision to keep him home. I still get to play an active role in his life even while working full time. I know my boy is happy at home. It has been a learning curve for me and will probably continue to be a learning curve, but it is one worth working through!

~xoxo

Fall Printables

The leaves are starting to fall and the weather has turned a little chilly! Its the time of year for coats, scarves, boots and warm sweaters! and then of course hot coffee!

I was walking through Walmart yesterday and saw that they already had their Christmas items up. All the Christmas trees were up and I got all giddy, like a little child on Christmas morning.

I love October because, it means the holidays are just around the corner, and it is my favorite time of the year.

I have already started decorating my home for Autumn, and will put up my Halloween decorations very soon. Below are a couple free Autumn printables for your decorating!

Download Here

Download Here

Happy Decorating!

New Beginnings

I had to make some hard decisions the last few days. I am happy with my decsion and I know that it is for the best, but it was hard none the less.

For the past 3 years I have been taking online college classes. WHen I first started taking them I was a stay at home mom. I was able to balance school with motherhood decently well when i only had one child. When Rhonin was born it became a little harder.

This year, not only am I now working full time, but both boys are in speech therapy weekly and we are also homeschooling. Garris is also in Gymnastics. To say our weeks are full is an understatement!

So what was my big decision? I decided to take a step back from my college work. After talking with my husaband, I know this is the right decision, and he supports me fully in it. Every minute I am not at work, or at an activity with my boys, I am doing my homework. A big chunk of my weekend is also dediated to my school work.

I understand that homework is a part of college, however my kids are only little once. The last few days they have both been sick with a stomach bug. my youngest has needed a lot more attention than normal. He wants to be held and cuddled most of the day. I found myself really struggling with balancing my mountain of homeowrk with my kids needs.

This was when I really saw my plate was to full. My family is the most important and they need to come first. If I can’t fully devote myself to my kids when they need me, then the thing hindering me from that needs to change.

This was a lesson for me. I try to do to much. I think I can do it all, but I can’t. I can’t do it all. But that is ok. I don’t have to do it all.

So I am taking a step back. I am a little sad, but I know it is the right thing. Having a little less to do during the week is a change I welcome and I am looking forward going into the holiday season with less on my plate.

What I Have Learned Parenting an Autistic Child

Being a parent has a way of challenging you and making you grow, Sometimes in ways you never thought possible. Before I became a mom, I thought about what it would be like. I would think about holding my brand new babies, watching them sleep, taking them on walks.

God decided to bless my husband and I with our son Garris, who has autism. I had never thought about being a parent of a special needs child before. It comes with its own unique set of challenges, but I will say it has opened my eyes to a whole new world. I see things from a different perspective now. This journey with my son has taught me so much that I don’t think I would have learned with a Neurotypical child.

I thought I would share a few of the lessons I have learned today.

Don’t Be Hasty To Judge

God has definitely humbled me in this area. Not only do I have a toddler who is currently going through a phase of constantly testing his limits, I also have an Autistic son who is often times misunderstood.

My oldest son is non-verbal and we also think he has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). He is leaerning how to communciate but sometimes it just talkes a little while. He gets frustrated easily when he is unable to communicate his needs or when his routine is abruptly interrupted. These things can make him overly upset or lead to a meltdown.

When he has a meltdown, it usually involves crying, yelling. Sometimes this happens in public, like at the grocery store, and when your child melts down in public, it isn’t uncommon for people to react negativly and send some rude comments your way.

Rude comments hurt. I have even cried before. I don’t understand why people can be so mean with their words when they actually don’t understand what is going on.

Experiencing these things has made me realize that just because a child is crying hysterically in a store doesn’t mean they are being a brat. The child could be overtired, frustrated, have trouble communicating (like mine) or a lot of other things. Just because a child is being loud in public does not mean the parents aren’t diciplining their child, or that they are bad parents. There can be a lot of reasons thses things happening.

Instead of assuming the kid “wasn’t raised right”, it is better to have some compassion and understanding. Maybe instead of casting judgement, go up to the distressed mom or dad and tell them “hey, you’re doing a good job. Keep your chin up”. Tell them something encouraging, or leave them alone. I can promise you, they do not need anyone’s snide remarks.

Not to long ago, Garris had a meltdown in the grocery store. I was a little flustered. A very sweet older woman walked up and gently put her hand on my back. She said “you’re doing a great job. Don’t get discouraged.” Then she smiled at my boys and went about her day.

The few words she said to me made my day and gave me the mental strength to keep going. You don’t know everyone’s story. Be the person that offers encouragement instead of judgement.

Patience and Understanding

This is a big one. By nature I am not a very patient person. My level of Patience is being challenged every day!

I have had to learn to be patient, and really i’m still laerning. Garris has sensory sensitivities and like i stated previously, he is non verbal. He is very slowly learning to talk again, but he still has a long way to go.

Him not being able to speak can make him incredibly frustrated. This is where patience comes in. I have laerned, and am still learning, that when he gets frustrated and I don’t understand him, I need to be patient and try and understand what he is trying to tell me.

This in and of itself sounds very simple, however in the moment it is often times not. Many times his frustrations lead to crying and sometimes a meltdown. Although the meltdowns happen less frequently as he gets older.

My Child Does Not Need To Be Fixed

One of the most prominent messages I have gotten, either from articles I read online or just comments from others in passing, is that my son needs to be “more normal”. He needs to be “just like everyone else”.

Yes my son does have areas where he needs extra help, like with his speech.

It is a very common mentality of nerotypical people to speak about autisic people as people who need to be fixed. Who need to be more “normal”.

WHen Garris recieved his diagnosis, I kind of looked at him like this. Not that I saw him as broken, but I constantly thought about things that needed to be changed about him. Like his speech. I was so focused on gettin ghim to talk to he CAN communicate, that I didn’t understand I needed to find another way he can communciate, because the fact of the matter is, he may never be able to have speech be his main way of communicating.

My focus is helping my son learn how to work through the challenges he has. Not because I need him to be “normal”, because I don’t, but so that he can have an easier life. He can’t talk, so we focus on how to help him communicate where he is at right now.

I personally believe, from my experience and from hearing the opions of adults in the autisic community, that seeing my son as a person that needs to be fixed is harmful. It is harmful to him. I will NOT have my little boy grow up constantly being told that he isn’t whole.

I have found it to be way more constructive to meet him where hes at. Help him through the struggles he is going through, not because he needs to be like everyone else, because he doesn’t. But because thats what you do for your children, help them through their struggles.

Little Miracle

**This post discusses the topics of miscarriage and loss**

Yesterday was National Rainbow Baby Day.(For those of you who do not know, A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or if a baby dies of natural causes.) I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about my experience, and hopefully offer some encouragement to other moms who are currently dealing with the loss of a pregnancy, or moms who have dealt with a loss in the past.

My youngest son, Rhonin is my Rainbow baby. Before I got pregnant with him, my husband and I lost two babies. I remember the first miscarriage I had. I had been so excited that my oldest was going to have a little brother. Then I found out I was going to lose my baby. I was devastated.

Four months later, I found out I was pregnant again. Right after I found out, I started bleeding heavily. This time my grief turned into anger. Why me? Why did this keep happening to me?

We decided to put our want of having another child on hold for awhile and went on with our lives. A year later I found out I was once again pregnant. I was excited, yet hesitant. Then I started bleeding again. I laid on my bed and wept for a long time. I was sad and I was very angry. However, the bleeding never got heavy, and went away after a few days.

I went in to visit my OB and to my surprise, there was a heartbeat! Rhonin was born the following March. Words cannot describe how much this little boy has blessed our lives. He is such a happy little boy. HE is always smiling and giggling. He brings my heart so much joy, and I thank God for blessing me with him every day.

And THEN…

This past April, I miscarried again.

The one thing I didn’t let myself do for so long, is grieve. After my first two miscarriages I didn’t let myself grieve long enough. After awhile I just felt that I had to “get over it”. So I did, or I thought so anyway.

I didn’t.

I think grieving can be hard because society, and sometimes the people close to us make us feel like we shouldn’t still be upset. Or we feel alone.

After the loss of my last baby, I realized that I hadn’t grieved. So I let myself be sad, and be upset. I am still grieving in my own way. I think about my babies every single day. Multiple times a day.

To all you moms out there who have lost a child, whether it be because to a miscarriage, or a still birth, or from other causes, my heart goes out to you.

Its okay to be sad. Its okay to be angry. Allow yourself to grieve. Your feelings are valid and real, and they matter. Only time can heal your wounds. It doesn’t have to happen overnight.