I am a mother to four year old boy/girl twins. I have a 20 year old step-daughter who has never lived with us and who we rarely see. My son was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in November 2010.
Our lives are so different from the other families we socialize with. We cannot just pick up and go to a new park, playground, shop, etc. We have to prepare my son for anything new with photos and social stories. Even then, we sometimes walk into a new place and walk straight out. This is extremely difficult for my daughter, and very unfair, but we know of no other way. To make up for her disappointment if an outing doesn't go to plan, we do special little things just for her. She loves to help her Daddy in the garden, planting and picking fruit and veggies in her little basket. She and I also do lots of craft projects together and occasionally go out shopping together (something her brother detests).
Because my son requires so much extra attention every waking hour, and because I spend every moment I can with my daughter to ensure she feels valued, loved and an integral part of the family, I have not tried to have any more children. I simply don't think I could manage splitting my attention any more. As it stands at the end of the day I feel split in two - and I don't usually feel like I've been the best mother I could be to either of my children. Then again, I am a perfectionist and raising my children is the biggest and most important job I will ever have. I strive to do it right, and regularly fail. The important thing for me is to plan for the worst and hope for the best. A positive attitude is imperative. It would be easy to sink into the mire of self-pity, but that is not the life I want to live or the example I want to set for my children. I have two beautiful children who are healthy, interesting, sweet, loving individuals.
Every day we do our best.
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