Make a Plan: Families with a Child with Autism on Mother’s Day

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Make a Plan: Families with a Child with Autism on Mother’s Day

May 4, 2015, ACES

Mothers Day, Mom and ChildTo want a little pampering and love from your family on Mother’s Day is not unreasonable. Being a mother is a demanding, lifelong job. The rewards of your work are hard won, not taken for granted, and are greatly linked to your children realizing their full potential. When your child has autism though, you may not always feel celebrated.

You’ve learned to manage expectations, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. Most likely you and your spouse have worked out a division of duties system that allows your family to function on a predictable routine. But for this one day, it is perfectly ok to raise your expectations just a little bit. You’re a mom 365 days a year and this is your one time for your family, including your child with autism, to celebrate how awesome you are.

Make a plan. In the weeks before Mother’s Day, communicate to your spouse what it is you would like for him to do, and how he can assist your child with autism in expressing his love for you. Explain that taking care of yourself, emotionally and physically, helps you be a better parent. You expect him to meaningfully contribute just as you will for Father’s Day.

Here are 10 completely reasonable and doable things your spouse can do before and on Mother’s Day:

Before Mother’s Day Your Spouse can...

  1. Help the child with autism make a special card. This may be the best or only way for him to express his love for you. Bonus: It’s a good structured activity for them to do together.
  2. If your child is verbal, help him practice saying “I love you, Mom”. Maybe you’ll hear those words as the card is presented to you.
  3. Tidy up the night before so you can wake up to a clean house.
  4. Arrange for help from a family member or friend for Mother’s Day, if needed. Remember grandparents often like to be asked for help.
  5. Use this holiday to help teach your child with autism the importance of giving to others and that mommy is super special.

On Mother’s Day Your Spouse can...

  1. Wake up before you do and handle your morning routine duties. Those extra minutes of rest will do your body good.
  2. Carve out a few deliberate minutes to make a big deal out of presenting Mother’s Day gifts to you.
  3. Prepare a nice meal for dinner and clean up afterwards. More time for you to rest on the sofa, or to spend quality time with your child.
  4. Set the stage for you to enjoy extended time taking a bath or shower. Flameless candles are a great gift idea and work well in bathrooms.
  5. Kick back and snuggle to your favorite movie once everyone else is asleep.

Even on Mother’s Day you have a plan. Managing expectations is part of your life and that is ok. But think about it… if you lay the groundwork and your husband checks off even a few things from this list, it’s going to be a great day. Go make it happen