You know we all look on social media all the time and always see the best in everyone, cause all they post are the most prefect pictures or describe the most perfect life, right?
I’m guilty of this and I’m sure to some extent, all of us are from time to time. So I thought I’d post a “real” post about my life and what it looks like on any particular day.
Now, I’ve written this post so many times and then deleted it. I have questioned whether to publish this or not. Not cause I don’t want to share parts of what makes me, me. But because publishing this makes me venerable and I don’t want people to think I don’t love my life or my family. Life is just chaotic and crazy and wanted to maybe have people be able to relate to me in some respect. My life is far from perfect, but it’s my life and I am grateful for it.
Firstly, I am a mother of 3 teenage daughters. Heaven help me, just kidding. I love the teenage years better than the toddler years. Hands down.
I have a daughter who graduates high school this year. She’s 16! That’s amazing. She already has acceptance letters to universities and we expect more to come. She is taller than me and has had knee surgeries due to complications of growing too fast. So her dream to play sports in high school were not fulfilled. But she was the greatest cheerleader and still is. She’s just now coming to the gym with me so I am excited to have another work out partner.
I have another daughter who is on the Autism Spectrum. With this comes a whole gamut of “interesting” life stresses and stressors. We deal with daily compulsions, rituals, habits, social confusion, delayed social maturity, etc. She’s also in high school and when she’s not controlled by symptoms of this Spectrum, is quite a fun child.
I have yet another daughter who is in junior high (middle school). She’s artistically talented and so sensitive to others needs. She’s definitely the peacemaker and is willing to learn and do anything. Whether its building a car, working out with mom, or even chilling with friends watching tv. This girl is so versatile and free spirited she’s a joy to be around.
Photo Credit: Marla Keown
I’m married to another competitor. He works long shifts at the mine close by. He pushes me at the gym and to being the best me. I love that he meal preps with me and understands the pressures and stress that comes with competing. Makes life a lot easier.
Photo Credit: Marla Keown
Did you like how we took out last family photo and made us “Normal”. Living in Utah we are judged A LOT. Being in fitness and a tattoo’d couple brings a lot of unwanted attention most days. We decided to take family photos in the fall and all covered up. Haha. I love who I am and who we are but it’s kind of nice to have a simple photo shoot just focusing on my family. Not on myself, my fitness, my tattoos, just on what’s most important. My family!
Now, lets get to the “REAL TALK”. Let’s get into a day and life of ME! haha:
I set multiple alarms in the morning as my second daughter (on the Spectrum) can’t get herself up (She’s 14). I go wake her up at 0600,
Then again at 0615,
and again at 0630. Usually super frustrated by now. She goes into the bathroom to get ready. But she has rituals that take time, a lot of time.
So by 0645 I’m reminding her, yet again, to hurry as we need to leave to meet the car pool.
0655 I’m still reminding her,
0700 I’m usually banging on her door to hurry up. The typical response is, “I know”. Which truly means, “Go away!”.
0710 I remind her again we need to get going.
Again at 0715,
0725, I remind her I’m driving another daughter to the bus stop and to be ready to go once I get back. (She had foot surgery so is still on crutches)
0730, I’m usually back at the house and still waiting on #2
and I’m usually in my truck at 0735 STILL waiting for her to come down stairs to go. Remember, this is THE SAME ROUTINE EVERY SINGLE DAY.
0740 I’m back inside super irritated it’s January and we’ve had the same routine since August and she still isn’t capable of getting up and ready and out the door by 0740.
0742 I go inside yelling like a crazy person for #2 to COME ON ALREADY. She runs outside in bare feet, with her bag, shoes, socks and of course deodorant in hand.
0745 Finally on the way to car pool. She goes to a special school who caters to kids on the spectrum so we car pool with 4 other Spectrum kids. On the way she’s applying deodorant. Like 20 swipes per side! Not joking. This girl goes through one stick of deodorant each week!
On the way to car pool we go over, again, how important it is to have time management and to get up on your own and be ready to go. She always says she will try but bottom line, it never changes.
Now I am not saying this to have anyone feel sorry for me or to dog her in any way. I just want to be real about my days. This is what we as a family go through each and every day! Thank goodness my oldest drives, can’t imagine having to add her to the mix to get her to school too.
0805 #2 gets to join the car pool and ride to school. I drive Mondays in Car pool so Monday’s I add another hour driving kids.
If I don’t have car pool I get to head to the gym. That is if I’m not completely overwhelmed and frustrated from my mornings. I am not perfect, so some days I have to come home and calm down! haha. But seriously! I can laugh now about it, but in the moment, it’s not funny what so ever.
My #1 and #3 daughter are completely able to set their own alarms and get themselves up and ready for school daily. It’s hard to remember #2 needs help. Sometimes I wonder how much this is “Spectrum” related or “Just lazy”. But that’s the “non spectrum” me talking.
Needless to say the mornings at my house are BUSY. They have told me that a predictable schedule will help with OCD and Rituals but this is my morning and routine every day of the school year and has been this way every year, for years.
“Rituals and obsessions are one of the hallmarks of High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger’s (AS). In order to cope with the anxieties and stresses about the chaotic world around them, these children often obsess and ritualize their behaviors to comfort themselves. While some may spend their time intensely studying one area, others may be compulsive about cleaning, lining up items, or even doing things which put them or others in danger.” -myaspergerschild.com
To get a better in site to high functioning autism, I ask that you read this article. It has great in sites and are from professionals and not just from a mom.
Now we have #2 daughter in programs to help with all of the challenges she faces. truly blessed for this. Being permanent residents and not citizens creates many issues with qualifying for programs.
Now when we pick up #2 from the programs we won’t get 2 blocks without her demanding things. Going out for dinner or shopping for example. She knows the routine and that 99% of the time we have a healthy meal at home waiting but she pushes the limits of what we will do daily.
As you can see, my one daughter demands a lot and dictates what we can and cant do, day to day, depending on her moods. So leading a healthy living lifestyle with competing can be challenging. Finding appropriate balance in the chaos of a busy house hold and a child with special needs and accommodations is hard. This is not an excuse, its a reality.
I have two other teen daughters who love to get out and explore. These two girls both love fitness and love to see them wanting to go to the gym with me. The oldest has a job and access to her own car (I’m a good mom, lol), my youngest loves time with her friends and anything sporty, skate board, swim, weight lifting etc.
Traveling is something we all as a family love, oldest and youngest are easy and fun travelers but the middle one makes it hard, for obvious reasons. We try to take her on everything, but it isn’t easy. Hopefully one day I will figure out how to have us all on a trip and have it smooth! It can happen, right?
Well, there is a little insight on my daily life. We all know I have an injury I cater too. I am not going to dive into this on this post. My family is my everything and comes above all things. I’ve raised my kids almost single handedly and are their biggest supporters. I’ll advocate for them until I die. They are priceless to me.