On some days...
I am KILLING this distance learning with autism / working remotely / pandemic parenting / puppy training game:
Sneak, my teenaged daughter with non-verbal autism, sits at the laptop fully engaged in class, while I multi-task between helping her answer questions via her augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device and being engaged on a video conference call for work. I’m able to check in on Tap, my younger neurotypical daughter, in between classes while she works in her bedroom. Our puppy - Slipper - is quietly entertaining himself with a toy in another room. Before I know it, work and school are done for the day and I feel extremely productive!
On some days...
I have back-to-back calls that prohibit me from helping Sneak with her work. She ends up meandering over to her favorite chill spot (the landing on the stairs) while I focus on my meetings. Tap is left to manage herself upstairs while Slipper takes a piss in the house - because with everything going on - I forgot to take him out! On these days, I am overcome with guilt as I feel that my focus was not where I felt it should have been. On these days, this distance learning with autism / working remotely / pandemic parenting / puppy training game is extremely overwhelmingly difficult.
I cannot do it all.
I cannot juggle all of these balls at once and not expect to drop one or two from time to time. I also cannot beat myself up for doing all that I do during a pandemic.
Sometimes I kill it at work and my team takes notice.
Sometimes I kill it at home and my family notices.
Sometimes, the clouds align and I am able to equally balance both.
Today, I did not. And that is OK. I will pick up the dropped balls and begin juggling again in the morning. Tomorrow is a new day.
As I write this, I encourage you to allow yourself some grace when you have trying days.
Dekeda Brown is a blogger who has been featured in The New York Times, on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" and on "Good Morning America." She shares her journey of raising a black teenaged daughter with non-speaking autism because she couldn't find any online when her daughter was diagnosed as a toddler. Dekeda invites the reader to "Walk One Day In Our Shoes" as she shares their experiences in life. Dekeda lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters and German shepherd. In her spare time she is practicing self-care, listening to Prince or watching "Forensic Files." Learn more at www.walkonedayinourshoes.com.