These last 3.5 years I have been dedicated to motherhood whole heartedly. I eat, sleep, breathe, cry, and bleed for my son and my passion for early childhood education. All I do is read and research about early learning and think of new ways to create engaging experiences for my son to help him develop and learn and to enhance my preschool program. And I am so proud of the hard work I have put into our son and program, and I see the amazing benefits already. But one major loss has been me, I have completely forgotten about myself. I do choose to spend personal time reading about all things children, sensory processing, and learning through play. And I LOVE it....but I can't help but wonder if their is more to me than just my early childhood world and my son. This is a real battle for me. All of my family keep telling me to do something for me, find a hobby for me. And I honestly don't know what to do...so I pick up my latest preschool development book and continue reading. I don't think their is shame in my very intense passion for this, it is a superiorly important aspect in this world and I wish more people to really understand how children think and learn and understand what children are trying to tell us through their behaviours. This is my new passion in life, my new calling, to spread the knowledge and advocate for children and their needs. And I continue to struggle daily on feeling like I should have a side hobby that is not child related. But to be honest, I don't see that happening. I love my job and my early childhood world so much, it is apart of who I am. These last 2 years of our journey with our son, and trying to understand him have physically changed my worldview. I have read countless posts of teachers and educators having no clue or are extremely overwhelmed with the behaviours occurring in the classroom and have no idea what to do or how to help the child, or their mindset is the child is just being bad. It breaks my heart to read these posts all the time, as it worries me for my son and the children who are desperately trying to communicate what they need. So I continue my journey of giving myself the power of knowledge to advocate and educate my fellow educators in hopes of one person changing their mindset. This is a BIG TASK and it takes a lot of commitment. And I am up for the challenge.
Before I had a baby I was a very social and physically active person. Obviously having a child changes your social life and frequency of interactions, but I am still that person. But I feel this is what I have lost. I have lost the importance of taking time for myself to be physically active for my well being and to have regular conversations and social connections with family and friends. As most parents of children with special needs, isolation is a huge aspect of our lives. Its easier to stay home most days, so we don't have to worry about too much or too little stimulation. Or what the person is thinking when your child has a huge meltdown at the park because he can't ride the next swing in the exact order he wants too because their is a child in one and begins to uncontrollably hit and scream. Or how hard it is to find someone you can leave your child with due to their infinite number of particular ways things have to be done. Or if they can even handle being left with someone else!
I feel that after having a baby and being on this journey with our son, that their is no way you can come out of it the same person. I feel I am a way better person because of the path we are on and how our son has changed my view of the world. But now I have to find a way to create a BALANCE of my new found passion and calling in life with parts of the old me that need to come back. Our recent move back to my home town, and the amazing family support we have received here gives me so much reassurance that I can achieve my goal of finding that balance. But the best part is they are encouraging me on a daily basis to reach for my goals, all of them, in the early childhood world and personal well-being. And I am so grateful.
I am a mom to an amazing young son who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 2.5 years old. This blog is about the journey we have travelled as a family to discover how our son communicates and to be a happy child in a world that doesn't quite feel right to him. I am an Early Childhood Educator and I use my passion of play and individual needs to support our son to live a joyous and happy life.