Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some Lessons are just too Hard to Learn...

And Those are The Most Important

I'm in the midst of cleaning up my act (and the house). If you have read any of the last few posts you know this. One step at a time. I'm keeping the dishes clean, I'm sweeping my kitchen, doing the laundry (and taking some steps toward putting it all away and donating what doesn't belong. I'm following Simple Mom's challenge  of decluttering one hotspot at a time for four weeks.
  But I have a son with autism. This is one of those times I really want to give up. In order to begin on my pantry I had to take off the blinders to see a moat of trash and junk that had to be dealt with before i could even begin. I knew it was there, I just chose to ignore it while I dealt with other things. The moat is gone now.  Then I needed to hang a load of laundry. The Hubby was in the bedroom making the bed, which is another task I want to complete each day. In just five minutes, the previously sleeping J woke up and noticed that the fridge was unlocked and unguarded. He took advantage of this to rid us of the sour cream. He thought it was a lovely snack. 
  Instead of realizing that it was OUR fault, both adults threw a tantrum. Short lived, but it happened. Two lessons here: 1) The fridge has to stay locked when no one is available to keep an eye on it. J only knows that he is hungry and will grab what's available. He doesn't understand a lot of times what is good for him or when to stop, and our pocketbooks are not that deep. Even if we were really well off, we can't allow him to eat anything anytime he wishes. It would make him sick.
 2)Getting angry at a child who is independent and just trying to find a snack isn't very productive. We have to vent a little sometimes, but we need to take responsibility and handle this situation ourselves. 
  Can J be taught to stay out of the fridge and ask for what he needs? Maybe. It takes time, patience, and a lot of energy. He's not dumb by any means. He can learn many things. But being human, and having a child's mind most of the time, he's going to make mistakes. We just need to figure out how best to help him.
  Am I going to give up? Absolutely not. I've worked hard the last several days on this house. I'm not discounting the countless hours I've spent before trying to figure all this out, but this time I think I understand. I wont say that house cleaning gives me great joy, but taking care of my family does. Seeing 'the abyss' turn into a home. I am disorganized, but I am changing. Not because someone else insists I have to, but because I want to. I need to. For me.
  I want a home that I can feel good about inviting others over in. I want to be able to write, or make cards, or otherwise craft, or spend time with my family without feeling guilty that I'm not up folding laundry, or sweeping, or doing dishes.  I know a lot of people don't understand why I cant get the concept of cleaning done, that it's something you "just do." That was the answer I got when I asked someone how you get things done. To me that's as foreign as handing an algebra book to a kindergartener and saying "figure it out." I'm not stupid, I'm not lazy (most of the time), I'm just overwhelmed. I hesitate to say that I'm proud of my accomplishments lately, because I see I have a long way to go, but I'm happy with the progress I'm making. My husband seems to be as well. As long as we both keep this up, especially me, I'll have a home that wont make me cringe every time someone comes by. I can invite others over for dinner or whatever. I like that.  

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