I'm not a supermom

Tulika Prasad

I'm not a supermom but I get that a lot. Having a child with Autism does not make me one. Please let me be weak and let me cry, let me make mistakes, let my guard down, and let me just be a mom, a wife, a woman, not a "super-someone.”

The day Vedant was diagnosed with Autism, life handed me a cape and said “now you fight and never stop doing so”. But there are days when I’m exhausted. I want to simply kneel down and wish that never again should a mom have to fight for what is rightly her child’s and hope that the world will be more sensitive to any child who has challenges.

For once, to the bus driver who snatched my son’s straw away, all I want to say is “please, be considerate. It’s my son’s sensory toy. It keeps him calm in a crowded bus full of noisy kids”. Some days I don’t want to cry out loud and ask her to go educate herself on Autism.

Instead of telling that teenager not to pity my son when I tell her that he has Autism, I wish the school and the society taught her better and told her that Autism has its strengths too. I am tired of explaining that Autism is not the end of the world, it’s just a different world. No, I’m not a supermom. I feel run-downed every now and then.

Sometimes all I hope is that the mom waiting in that lobby was more sensitive. My son simply wanted to be friendly with her little one and that is why he came so close. He did not hurt her or scare her. Please don’t ask her if she is OK and implicitly teach her that my son’s attempt to get friendly could make her “not ok”. Let her learn to deal with a different kid. Let her learn to be accommodating. I don’t want to stand on a podium and explain to her the importance of inclusion.

There are days when I don’t want to put up a fight every time someone shows me that the society is still not ready to co-exist with a child with Autism.

Occasionally, when things get overwhelming, I feel like quitting and walking away. I don’t want to feel guilty about that thought. I need that weakness in me. I want those cracks so that my pain can find a way out.

Some days, I feel jealous of moms that take their kids to soccer practice or a tuition class or swim lessons or a recital.

Once in a blue moon I too want to go to concerts, movies, and date nights; to attend parties, stay back late, and take a break from the hyper-vigilance that has taken over my life.

There are days when sifting through all the treatments that have failed, I lose hope and I want to suspend my optimism and cry. Just plain cry for fear of it never getting any better.

Once in awhile, I want to stop trying because it never seems to work no matter how much I try. Occasionally, I want to complain that it’s not fair– why me, why us, why him?

In a weak moment, I wonder if not having a physical deformity works for or against my son.

For a change, I want someone to have my back when I’m exhausted of holding my son’s.

Sometimes, it’s that weakness that is so powerful. The burden of being a supermom is too heavy to carry. I wish it were a world where you were not forced to be a fighter, a supermom, and a constant advocate if you had a son with Autism. If anyone is a warrior and has superpowers, it’s my son–not me. He is a super-kid.

Courtesy of Tulika Prasad

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