Over the past 8 years, I’ve watched my friendships dwindle. Friendships naturally die off as we get older, but usually we develop new ones. I think that when we get married and have children, most moms have a difficult enough time fostering friendships, especially working moms, because life gets busy. But autism moms become this special class of moms if we’re not careful because we begin to alienate people without even meaning to and I think people kind of look at us with this bewilderment after a while like, “Who are you?!”
Here’s how it happens…
This process is gradual, painful, and feels unavoidable, but perhaps we can do some things to help ourselves. For instance…
- Find autism support groups in the area so that we can befriend another autism mom who, like us, might need friends.
- Leave the comfort zone of the house and get some fresh air, even if that means getting mean-mugged by some people. After all, if they stare, maybe they’re the ones that need some social skills.
- Invite people over to the house that you feel comfortable with from church or the autism support groups or wherever you’ve made social connections. Try not to apologize for the mess. They’ve probably had a messy house before.
- If you have a spouse, try to relieve each other every now and then and get out of the house without the kids. Everyone needs some time every now and then. Make sure you’re fair about it, though.
- Most of all, don’t compare your child to other children. It doesn’t help you or your child. Love him or her for the beautiful, wonderful child he/she is right now. Think of at least three things you love about your child and remember those things. Everyone has struggles with their children. Everyone. Fight for your child and what’s best, but on the bad days (and we all have them), pull out your list of wonderfulness.
Help spread the message…
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