New member, 42, mom, married 10+ years,....

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Saja
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22 May 2009, 3:03 am

Zola and bhetti, thanks for giving me a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

bhetti, it sounds like you've been through h*ll. You sound very strong, though I'm sorry you've had to be. I hope the battle with your ex will end and you will be able to move on to more peaceful, sane times. I know how horrible a crazy ex can be (my first, father of my eldest, was an alcoholic as*hole. Still is, actually).

I know things will gradually get better on their own, as my kids get older. The youngest is now 14 months and sweet as can be, but I'm drowning. I'll get some time back when he starts school in three years, and more and more time as they all three get older and, eventually, leave home. But will I survive that long?

I don't even know where to start reclaiming. I go through brief periods where I decide not to focus on housework at all, but it eventually comes back to bite me on the butt, because I really, really want an orderly, clean, organized environment. I can't stand the clutter and chaos that builds up in a single day. And it feels like however much I do, it all gets undone in a flash. On top of which, I'm LIVID about having to spend so much of my time (re)doing household tasks. No joy either way. Sigh.

And the constant noise drives me batty, but I don't think headphones will work at this point, with the toddler as young as he is.

Zola, how did you manage when your kids were young?


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Zola
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23 May 2009, 3:02 pm

I managed with a wing and a prayer, honestly. Later on as the kids got older (I was still undiagnosed at this point), I started to analyze things a little differently.

One of the things that really helped me that I wish I'd had in my early thirties was a book called Organizing from the Inside Out. It was the first book on organization that I'd ever picked up that didn't tell me I had to retrain myself to do certain things--what I actually had to do was make it easy to do things.

You might borrow a copy of this book from the library and see if you can save yourself steps this way, that would probably help with feeling like you are just doing things over and over. Once I got my living room straightened out, then every single day the kids and I would spend a half an hour at most picking it up. The side benefit of that was that the kids got neater because if they left stuff strewn everywhere they'd end up picking it up anyway so it was worth their while just to take care of it in the first place.

I can't tell you what to reclaim, though, because only you know your priorities. Maybe a good start would be a half hour after supper that you get to relax. Even a child of three or four is perfectly capable of scraping their plate and putting it next to the sink. If you put the plates down in a low cabinet, the kids can set the table for you.

I guess you could put this under "cooperative living". If you're trying to do everything for your family, you're going to wear yourself out, and you are doing them no favors either because you aren't teaching them the basic skills they need to take care of themselves. At the age they are, the kids will really enjoy being a part of what you are doing. Check out the book for strategies on organizing things to make it easier--for example, instead of trying to keep their toys neat, you could use strategically placed baskets that they can put their toys in themselves.

I also had a strict bedtime, and that was the case until they were old enough to decide their bedtime for themselves. The rule was that they were in their pajamas and ready for bed at eight. I had no objection to them pursuing a quiet amusement like reading a book or what have you, but at eight o'clock they had to be ready for bed and settling down. If they hadn't turned out the light on their own by 8:30, I'd just quietly go in and let them know it was lights out.

That helped a lot, though, because then I knew I had an hour or two of quiet, which I desperately, desperately needed. During that time, you should NOT be frantically trying to catch up on chores--don't you worry, they will still be waiting for you.

I hope this is useful--everyone is different, so what worked for me may not be right for you.

The other thing I strongly, strongly suggest is to enjoy them! That sounds stupid, but oh, you will not believe how fast the time goes! I love the people my children turned out to be, but I miss them being little, for all the work it was.



Saja
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28 May 2009, 12:24 pm

Thanks for the tips, Zola. I know things will get easier when the youngest (14 months) gets into school...but that's three years from now. My biggest issue right now is that I'm with someone pretty much all day, aside from the baby's nap. Once he starts school, I'll be back to having about six hours a day to myself, and that worked pretty well for me. Usually. :-)

Aside from the time-alone issue, I'm just generally having a mid-life crisis or something, around my AS vs NT behaviors. I don't know if I'm making any sense here. I started a blog to sort out what I'm thinking and feeling (writing has always been a catharsis and a catalyst for me). The blog's at sajasajana.blogspot.com if anyone is interested. I'd love to hear about others' blogs too--Millie's suggestion of Rachel's blog was GREAT. I really found a kindred spirit there.


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millie
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28 May 2009, 2:21 pm

hi saja - glad to see you met up with rachel at aspergerjourneys. :)



TurboGirl
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05 Jun 2009, 3:48 pm

Real glad to have been able to read your conversation, gels! Not just me having a crisis then... :roll:

I've lost all the areas of *me* in being what I was expected to be- and cringing inside at my inability to fulfil those roles fully. It's a blur when the kids are babes but grab those minutes during naps to do things you like rather than a housecleaning dash, don't loose the enjoyments that recharge you.

You sound amazingly together- your own best life coach, so I'm real grateful you're back on WP and hope some of that good sense will rub off on me!!


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Saja
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05 Jun 2009, 4:46 pm

TurboGirl wrote:
I've lost all the areas of *me* in being what I was expected to be- and cringing inside at my inability to fulfil those roles fully.

Exactly! That's exactly how it feels.

TurboGirl wrote:
You sound amazingly together- your own best life coach, so I'm real grateful you're back on WP and hope some of that good sense will rub off on me!!

{blush} Thanks for the glowing praise! Though I think my writing style tends to sound far more together than my actual execution. :-) Writing does help me figure out what's going on inside, though, and reading everyone's responses makes me nearly weep in gratitude....I'm not crazy, I'm not alone, and it does pass.


_________________
Much madness is divinest sense, to a discerning eye; much sense, the starkest madness. --Emily Dickinson
http://autism-fallingintoplace.blogspot.com