Picture Perfect Parenthood
Parenthood. It’s one thing most tend to think about throughout their lives if they are serious about becoming parents. I know I did my fair share of thinking about how I would be as a parent, and I know my husband did as well. We’ve had our fights, he and I, over topics around parenthood. We recently had one that kind of clicked for this article. In our heated exchange, he mentioned something about how he had the perfect idea of parenthood in his mind, but it’s not coming to fruition. And for once, I think I understand where he’s coming from.
Our daughter, Aura, is autistic. With this comes many challenges. I can’t even begin to name them all, and often I feel alone because a lot of my friends have neurotypical children. Which, I know they are challenging in their own ways as every child is, but there is something I feel more challenged by with my own daughter. I have to work with her issues and my own on top of it. I’m sure my husband didn’t expect to have a special needs child, and neither did I. It was the hand we were dealt with, and while it affects all aspects of our lives, it’s also hard on her at times, too.
This isn’t our idea of picture-perfect parenthood. There are a lot of things we often question if we’re doing right or wrong. It’s tough to do anything outside the house because we don’t know what will trigger a sensory meltdown in Aura. We all know how judgmental other people can be, whether or not they’re parents. If your kid is screaming in public, you need to control your brat and discipline or spank them. If they’re on a tablet that’s keeping them calm and quiet, you aren’t even doing your job in raising them; you’re letting a screen raise them.
I used to be one of those asshole parents that would get aggravated by a screaming child in Walmart. I’ll even admit now that sometimes I have trouble determining when Aura is throwing a temper tantrum or having a sensory meltdown because they sound and look the same to me. So, I’m sure I get too mad at her sometimes when she’s in meltdown mode, and I think she’s in sensory mode, and vice versa when trying to deal with sensory issues when she’s just throwing a tantrum.
Aura will be 3 in May. She has been a challenging child since she was born. Always screaming, always needing some input, need to be held against me when sleeping for like six months of her life. She isn’t the child I imagined when I was pregnant with her. I didn’t expect parenthood to be this difficult, because no one really tells you; they all just make it look so perfect and so easy.
This is the hand we were dealt with, and I wouldn’t trade my daughter for the world. This isn’t my picture-perfect parenthood; this isn’t the picture-perfect parenthood my husband imagined. But it is our parenthood, and we are trying our hardest.