Ask Jackie: Unexpected Blessings

Dear Dillon

Posted on Mon, Oct 08, 2012

Dear Dillon,

As much as I love seeing your smiling face during the night, I really need you to sleep.

It’s been eleven years and there have only been a few days where you have actuallly slept through an entire night. I know it’s not your fault and I’m so sorry for complaining. I’m just so tired.

I can remember six years ago when you were 5 years old, Peyton was 7 and Colin was 2. Those were some pretty difficult days to get through on no sleep. I didn’t realize how important sleep was until it was gone. I’ve had so many meltdowns because I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

Looking back, I wish I would have asked for help more. Unfortunately, I felt I was a failure as a mom if I asked for help or was a bad mom for needing help. It was my job to take care of you and your brothers; not anyone else’s. My friends tried to help by offering to watch you so I could sleep. While I appreciated their offer, I felt like I had to just be strong.

Oh, how I could have avoided so much heartache! Thankfully, my mindset changed. I only wish I had realized sooner that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself (something that a lot of moms feel). That taking care of me only makes me a better mom! And, that I’m actually being strong by asking for and accepting help!

It’s getting a little easier now that you and your brothers are in school during the day, because I’m able take a nap if I need one. I’m also very thankful that you’re a happy boy at night and your comments lately are hilarious. It’s like you’re surprised to see me during the night because you’ll say to me, “Look it’s mom! She made it!” or “Oh, Hi mom, It’s you! Come on in!” and then you giggle. Dillon!!!

Hmm, as I am writing this, I’m realizing something here. Are you playing a game with me? I think you are and you probably call it, “Let’s see if mom has her happy face on at 1am and then again at 3am.” Oh, I am so on to you!

Love you tons,

Tags: special needs, Autism, Dillon