This year, we have decided to try enrolling Sayer in after school care run by our school district, rather than private care givers. One important reason for this is that the husband is working from home more than he did last year. I work from home, too, writing grants among other things. So, its helpful to not have Sayer underfoot during our "working" hours.
Nervous are we putting Sayer into a care situation without a "one-one-one." The first two days "Miss Heather" was there to get him used to schedules, create visuals, give the staff some tips. While Sayer was there I worked on a grant deadline from the comfort of my home office. I didn't wear pajamas - I've never been able to work in those - but I did dress, let's say, casually.
But, when it came time to pick up Sayer I felt compelled to change into a skirt, to demonstrate that I am a BUSY WORKING MOTHER, not a slouch passing off her special needs kid. And I spruced up the next day, too. I have felt a need to say, "I am VERY BUSY WORKING ON A DEADLINE (which is true!) so need this child care, thank you very much.
Now, would I be doing this is Sayer didn't have autism? I have looked at the other parents picking up their kids; yes, some are in suits but others hardly look like they were enmeshed in corporate America. Maybe they have jobs that are informal, or also work at home. Or maybe playing mah jong - it's their prerogative.
Deep inside I know it isn't any one's business what I do when my child is in child care, as long as I pay my bill and he fits in reasonably well. But that other part of me feels a need to justify my actions. Does anyone else feel they have to "prove" they are worthy of services and treatment that others without "special" kids do not? Is it part of the 'ole "mommy wars" thing? Do you think that being a stay-at-home mom is more "virtuous" when you have a child who has disabilities??
Sayer doesn't go to child care on Wednesdays, but he will on Thursday. That day I actually DO have a meeting in Portland. When I get home, I won't change into a shorts and t-shirt; I plan to wait until after I get Sayer. I know I can't keep this up - for one thing I'll run out of clothes. Any ideas to help me "snap out of it"?
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