Guilt doesn't just eat parents of kids with special needs alive -- it disembowels us, especially when we think about taking time for ourselves. How can we go away? What if we're the only ones who can take care of our kids' needs? Or our absence would be a very big change, and any change results in air raid siren-volume tantrums? Or we know so many other parents who never get a break, who have no ability to take a break, who need a break worse than we do? How can we even think of getting away when ours lives are so intertwined with our children's? How can we possibly be so self-indulgent, so cavalier?I would have written more, about establishing child care co-ops with other parents where everyone works shifts with one family's kids while their parents go away for the weekend, etc., but I wrote the post between 12:30 and 2:30 AM after finishing a work shift that I couldn't work the next day because I'd been asked to be on the radio and Seymour was out of town and couldn't help with the carpool and Leo's early waking the next morning. All of which is probably why I'm sick now. :) But I'd be happy to brainstorm with anyone who's having a hard time figuring out how to get the break they deserve.
Breaks, Guilt, & Illness
Leelo & I have been sick for the past two days, and are spending all our time moaning and coughing on the couch together while watching Miyazaki films. I'm hoping to write up our KQED/My Baby Rides the Short Bus readings experience tonight, if I feel better. Until then, check out my BlogHer post about the autism moms' road trip, which turned into a meditation on guilt and the jettisoning thereof. Here's the first paragraph: