Musings from an Orthodox Jewish work at home mom of twins with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

It’s the week of Rosh HaShanah when all the normal moms are posting their menus and recipes and chatting all over facebook about what they’ve already cooked.

I can’t make a list or a menu with the kids home.  I can’t cook with the kids home.  I USUALLY can’t answer the phone with the kids home although today I was able to have a long overdue chat with a friend, amazingly.  I kept telling her— my gosh my kids are BOTH sitting together calmly— wow!

A lot of people don’t realize how amazingly UN-calm my house can get.  Think screaming and biting and kicking and stomping and hair pulling and child locks on bedrooms to keep munchkins in time out for four minutes.  If she simply says “no” to a request of mine, he goes WAYYYYY overboard and starts turning into the tazmanian devil.  There are 3 facets to his tantrums—- intensity, frequency, and duration.  He’s worked HARD on duration and can calm himself down in 4 minutes flat.  But his frequency and intensity of tantrums have a LONG way to go and he scares the bejeepers out of her which makes her cry which makes him scream which…….  whooooooooooo.

The kids go to school at two different times four days a week.  That means I meet the bus out front (actually my husband does the 8:07 am one) at 8:07, 12:16, 2:42, and 4:05.   Fred goes at 8:07 and comes home at 2:42.  Wilma goes at 12:16 and comes home at 4:05.  So four days a week I get from 12:16 to 2:42 to myself— I consider it 12:30 to 2:30 by the time you factor in the fact that I usually can’t eat when the kids are home either so from 12:16 to 12:30 is usually my brunchtime.  2:30 to 2:42 I usually sit outside and enjoy the fresh air— best twelve minutes of the day.

12:30 to 2:30 is when I can balance the checkbooks, pay the bills, do the laundry, do any cooking or cleaning or shopping, tidy up, sell product, check emails, put together bookshelves (I’ve got 3 more to do in the next 2 weeks– we just moved into this house 3 months ago and we need more shelf space here)…….   after the kids go to bed I TRY to reserve that time to make the kids snacks and lunches, check emails, and workout, but generally I’ve been selling product and emailing customers then to because of a lack of time.

I CAN shop a little in the mornings after Fred goes to school and I just have Wilma— IF she’s in the mood.  But she’s in a whiny funk most mornings because her brother gets to go to preschool in the mornings and she doesn’t.  Mornings are TOUGH.  I CAN cook with just her home but ONLY if I allow her an electronic babysitter– tv, ipad, or computer games.  She used to LOVE to sit and read books but since the adhd diagnosis, she won’t sit still for more than three minutes without electronic stimulation.  SO— during the hours I DON’T want her watching tv or playing ipad, I need constantly to entertain—- playdoh for 10 minutes, ok let’s color for 10 minutes—- ok let’s read this book together for 10 minutes— if I don’t play cruise director she whines for the ipad and it’s NOT pretty.  Not that I don’t give it to her, but I can’t let her play ipad for as long as I need to cook—- 10 or 20 minutes or so.   So while she’s home, I’m not productive.

In the evenings after we put them to bed, one of two things happens (sometimes both).  Fred poops.  Or Wilma cries.  If Fred is still making noise a half hour after I’ve put him to bed I know I have a diaper situation.  Wilma cries lately because of the clonidine, I think— it’s screwing with her sleepiness a lot and she gets overtired at night (and naps sometimes during the day which isn’t great at almost five years old).  So if hubby is out in the evening and I have a to-do list fourteen miles long to accomplish between 8:30 pm and midnight and at 9:00 Fred needs a diaper change and Wilma starts crying….. well, you can see where my evenings go and frankly, some nights I just give up and veg out for 20 minutes in front of Cityville (an addictive facebook game).

Having said all that, we put the kids to bed tonight early.  it’s only 8:00 pm and they are now both asleep….. hubby is staying out of my way because he yelled at me earlier about the kids’ behavior and I got snippy.  I told him we can rehash the whole thing now or I can concentrate on emailing customers— which should I do… hmm.  So I just emailed two customers, and now after this little vent, I’m off to email a bunch more and then maybe later tonight I’ll make a grocery list and start THINKING about the upcoming holidays……   at 10:00 tonight my plan is a well deserved work out.


Comments on: "Why Can’t You Do It While the Kids Are Home?" (2)

  1. mother's helper said:

    ummmm HE yelled at YOU? humph

  2. yeah we yell at each other when the behavior gets stressful. then we work it out— don’t worry, we’re good. Special needs kids either break up marriages or make them stronger. Ours is nice and strong (despite the occasional raised voices!) — no fear.

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