Working with one hand tied behind my back

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Okay, here’s the thing.  All this time I’ve been running my business, I’ve tried to put on a happy face and keep all of my posts positive.  But there’s this feeling I have of not being honest with all of you because I haven’t shared something very personal and very present in my day to day life.  I feel like I’m trying to hide it every day, and some days it really wears on me.  That’s why sometimes I step away from blogging, Facebook, and twitter for a few days. 

I’m sure many of you have read that I have 2 boys, well, actually they’re young adults now.  One is in college and the other is back home but hopefully soon to be transitioning to his own apartment soon (fingers crossed!).  They’re incredible, intelligent, kind, and thoughtful, and I love them with all my heart.  They also both have Asperger syndrome (high-functioning autism).  That means that sometimes the world can be too overwhelming for them and they need support.  Especially since they both desire strongly to be independent and are working towards that goal, the stress they feel every day can be unimaginable. 

It’s difficult especially because I’m doing this on my own now, and I can find myself getting overwhelmed sometimes too.  That’s when I have to take a step back from social media for a few days (but still fill orders as they come in).  Otherwise I’d be writing all kinds of “poor me” crap that no one wants to hear.  What I hate the most are those little feelings of jealousy that other craft business owners have a husband to support them and have “normal” kids and don’t have all that added stress.  But then the stress goes away, and I’m back to my happy self again and all is right with the world.  That’s my daily rollercoaster. 

That is also part of the reason why I quit my “real” job.  My sons sometimes need me on a moment’s notice, and the company I worked for wasn’t able to give me the time off that I needed and refused to cut back my hours.  There’s no choice when you have to choose between family and a job.  Thank goodness I have this business to keep us going.

So there you have it.  I struggled with whether or not to post this, but my boys are very open and honest with everyone about their diagnoses, and so am I.  Since I’m so close to a lot of you and sharing bits and pieces of my world with you, it seemed like I wasn’t being completely honest with you about who I really am and what my life is like.  I have to say that it’s a relief to be able to get this out.  So now you know that when I mess up an order, it isn’t because I’m a nitwit or absent minded, it’s because I probably have a bit of stress going on in my life. There’s no greater stress than seeing your children hurting.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement over the past few years.  You make it possible for me to have the time I need to support my children, and I am truly grateful.  Wow, it feels so good to finally be able to thank you for that!

 

About Michelle

Creator & owner of Suncatcher Craft Eyes.

Posted on April 11, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Crochet By Tina

    I understand your struggles! My boss has Autism and is high-functioning. Have you considered obtaining Job Coaches for either son? That is what I do. My boss has several, one would attend college courses with him, myself and another take him to work and stay with him.

    • Thanks for your reply. We have tried a job coach kind of thing a couple times in the past, but my sons didn’t like it because it made them feel like they weren’t independent, and they are more comfortable with me in that role. Thanks for doing the job you do. It’s not easy!

  2. Hi Michelle. I just wanted to offer you a big hug.

    As a fellow small business crafter (you might know me better as “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”) and fellow autism parent, I can totally sympathize with your struggle to balance the needs of your children with your business. I’m proud of you for hanging in there and doing so well by your family and would love to follow in your footsteps. Congratulations to your sons on their achievements (I can guess where they get their strength from!)

    • Thank you for your response, and hugs are always welcome. It’s comforting to know someone else who is going through the same thing. Love your amigurumi by the way. Your baby dragon pattern is adorable.

  3. you may want to read Michelle Sagara’s blog…she is an author who has posted about her experiences with a son with Aspergers… I have a lot of respect for you doing what you have, business with 2 boys with special needs.

  4. You are pretty smart. You have figured a way to support yourself and your children financially and emotionally. Stop to think about some of the “two parent” families out there that will never be able to claim that!
    Do what you have to do to keep yourself balanced and you’ll be OK. One of these days the “right one” might come along to share your world, but if not, it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things yourself!
    Go you!

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