How Raising a Child On The Autism Spectrum Helps Me As A Military Wife
Raising a child on the autism spectrum has taught me a lot over the years. There are so many lessons to be learned when your child needs a little extra help and a little extra patience. Some of these lessons have helped me as a military wife and through the years of everything that comes with being a military family.
Life doesn’t always look the way you think it should
One of the biggest lessons I have learned by having a child on the autism spectrum is that life doesn’t always look the way you think life will. Your children will surprise you. You will do things differently than you thought you would.
Military life is the same. You can’t really plan what your military journey will be like. You won’t be able to tell when your husband joins the military, how many times your spouse will deploy or how many times you will PCS. You will have to change your way of thinking so that you are not frustrated by every little thing military life brings.
Not everything is going to be “Pinterest” perfect, and that’s okay
There is a certain type of pressure in this social media world to make everything “Pinterest” perfect from our kid’s birthday parties or snacks for their class. With a special needs child, a lot of what you do is simply making it through the day making sure they have what they need.
The same is true with military life. Somedays you have to just make it to the finish line. Others, you might have a little more time, but please remind yourself, not everything has to look like it does on Pinterest.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
As a mom of an autistic kid, I have had to let a lot of things go every day. I have to pick my battles. Not everything is worth a fight. I simply do not have the energy or even the desire for it.
As a military spouse, I also am not going to worry about every little thing. I am going to do my best, make the right choices, and go from there. Trying to worry about everything is going to burn you out.
You need to ask for help
This has been the hardest thing for me to do. Asking for help. I want to do everything by myself. But there have been plenty of people who have helped my son along the way. Without them, I am not sure where we would be.
Being a military spouse, there are of course times when my husband is not home. For the most part, I can handle what comes my way by myself. But sometimes, I do need that extra help. And I shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it.
Good friends are a must
Over the years I have made some pretty amazing friends that have been a good support system for me and my kids. They are understanding of my son’s autism and have helped me through the journey. I am not sure what I would have done without them.
In the same way, finding good friends has helped me as a military wife. From being other people who get what we go through to being a listening ear. Good friends are a must for so many reasons.
Whether you have special needs kids or not, they are always going to teach you something. You will learn through parenting them, and that will be a good thing. Even if it feels like you are not doing everything right, you can still grow from the process.