Siblings. One is autistic, one isn't. 

When you are the parent to a child on the spectrum and other children that are not, it creates conflict in your mind. 

Our autistic children usually have much higher needs than our other children leaving us feeling like we are falling short of parenting the other children.  

I questioned my ability to parent more than I like to admit. Not only Jordan, who is autistic but his sister Maddie, who is not.  

If you find yourself doubting your ability to do it, you aren't alone. I believe as parents, we have all felt that way at one time or another.

Raising children is HARD. Raising children with additional needs creates an entirely different dynamic.  

She saw me at my worst so many times but she also watched me stand back up, dust myself off, and face whatever tomorrow brought. Recently she and I had a conversation from her perspective as a young adult, she's twenty-five now.   

I was wrong. When I thought I was failing, she didn't see that at all.  

All those things that "I thought", those stories I made up in my head of how I was less than what she needed, none of them were true.

She saw a courageous mom who did all the things, loved fiercely, and always made them both a priority.  

She never felt left out or that she got less of me. She told me that she learned to be independent and that wasn't a bad thing.  

She has a compassionate heart for all people and is the least judgmental person I know. She learned that people with differences aren't less.  Jordan required more, but she watched me always make time for her, and make her accomplishments a big deal, and I still do!  

Always showing up to everything she was doing, with her older brother in tow. Older brother only in years, not abilities.  

There were moments of chaos, yes, there were, but we showed up regardless. It didn’t matter. This was our family and thankfully our circle was learning autism right alongside us. They were so supportive and for that, I am so grateful.

I think as mothers we are much harder on ourselves, and we tell ourselves lies. Don't do that to yourself.  

There isn't a manual. We are learning as we go. We make mistakes and then we try again. We go in one direction, then turn around to go in the other direction. 

Your children see you; they see you doing all the things to keep everything afloat and moving in what you believe is the right direction.  

Your children see strength and determination and a mom who isn't giving up.
Remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can with what you know and that is enough.   

And above all, you mama, YOU are doing AMAZING at this mom thing! 

This was written by Shannon Urquiola at Not Your Average Autism Mom
Thank you for being part of our journey.