Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘work

Order and Chaos

with 8 comments

I’m sitting here doing paperwork.  Really.  There is a pile of health insurance “Explanation of Benefits” (which offer precious little benefits, without explanation) sitting on my lap from 2009 that I’m trying to put into order.  Then a few other piles.  One for each member of the family for the last 3 years, some bigger than others.  You can see that this task is so particularly dreadful that I had to take a break from it.

I’ve managed to neglect this task for the last three years, but today it is my priority.  I need to make some order out of this chaos.  For I know all too well that if I couldn’t manage to get this paperwork in order in the last three years while at home, it surely won’t get any better now that I’m to go out to work.

I can see from this paperwork, that I was once an organized person.  The health insurance paperwork was dutifully submitted, and returned, filed and stapled.  And then boom!  An ASD diagnosis for the first child, and paperwork comes at the bottom of a very long list of priorities.  Order was no more.

Chaos has reigned for three years.  Oh, there was order to certain things.  Therapy schedules and school were always very structured.  The rest of our lives, not so much.  Every once in a while I would try to bring some more order to our lives.  But Pudding never needed a visual schedule.  Unlike her brother who needs to know what is coming next, Pudding is- dare I say it- flexible.

But, by and large, our life is chaotic, and moving to a different continent hasn’t exactly helped with that.  This morning was the usual story.  Pudding woke up at 3.20.  Shortly after she woke her brother up.  I persuaded him to return to sleep on the mattress by our bed, but nothing was going to make Pudding go back to bed.  She was A-WAKE!  

Spectrummy Daddy dutifully removed her downstairs and the boy and I slept until 6.  And then?  I don’t know, but somehow between getting the two of them dressed and myself ready, together with all the extra things they need at the start of another school week, we were already late for Cubby’s pre-preschool occupational therapy session, and then late for Pudding’s school, and then dealing with a car that breaks down at least twice a journey.

And it occurred to me that this can’t happen any more.  We need order.  We need control.  I need to look presentable to go to work.  We need to factor in Pudding’s commute to her new school, which will have her leaving the house even earlier.  It isn’t compatible with our current lifestyle.

So I need to go back to being the person I was when I last filed this paperwork.  Organized.  Prepared.  

I’ve taken something on board that I learned from my kids over the last few years.  I’m concentrating on the visual.  Massive piles of dusty paperwork cluttering the house make me feel bad.  Nice little storage boxes look clean and orderly.  I’m going to have to commit more time in the evenings to getting read for the mornings.

Then if I’m really lucky, I can enjoy a morning of order, before heading out to the chaos of work.  Or maybe the other way round.  Either way, it will be a change from the last three years, and a much better example to set for the two pairs of eyes that are always looking, even with averted gazes.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Testing

with 4 comments

I took a test yesterday.  It has been years since I sat for an exam.  I kept waiting for that familiar sensation of worry mixed with dread to appear, but it never did.  As I typed away, I kept glancing up at the clock ticking down, but was surprised to find no panic there.

Not like there used to be.  For every test, big or small, throughout my academic life, and on into the world of work, my nerves always got the best of me.  But not any more.  In fact, and I know this sounds a little odd- I enjoyed myself!

This test- a business writing exam- was the first of many steps I’ll be taking for possible, potential, one-day reentry into a career.

Or starting a career.

After six years of staying at home, I’m pretty sure this classifies as the start.  And if I do, you know, return to work…then what?  What about…everything?  It almost feels to big to tackle.  Just the coordination of school and therapy for two kids feels like a job in itself.

There it is- there are days when parenting feels like a job.  I said it.

It is really hard work at times, and I don’t get to clock off.  That isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy being home with the kids, or that I think going out to work would be better, it is just that taking an exam was so different that it felt like a break.  Perhaps the last few years in the trenches of motherhood have taught me more about how to handle myself than climbing the corporate ladder could ever have done.

The thing I used to fear most as a student- taking tests- is now a walk in the park.  For our family an actual walk in the park can be exhausting, and it can be exhilarating.  But it is rarely just a walk in the park.

Then again juggling work and special needs parenting isn’t going to be a walk in the park either.  It will be more like a series of tests, and I won’t know until I take them whether I’ll pass or fail.

The fact is that for our family like many others, going back to work isn’t a choice.  Just like how my husband has never had a choice when it comes to working.  We need a second income to help ourselves out of the debt we incurred on a single income family paying for therapy on top of other bills.

I’ll never regret the time I’m spending at home with my kids.  I felt like I needed to be there, during the earliest and most critical stages of their development.  There are no right or wrong answers here.  Staying at home cost us a great deal, and when I return to work, that will come at a price too.  I’m just hoping it will turn out to be worth it.

When I return to work, it will be a testing time for our family.  But you know, it turns out I quite enjoy taking tests these days.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm