Well I posted yesterday about what I would tell my 20 year old self. It was something that I had to say. But, today, I talked to a mom and I felt the need to talk about something specific. This is awareness or enlightenment. Normally I post a word and tie a thought to it, but this thought to me is more important.
I am a single mother with three children. Everyday I weave through my day, dispense meds, pack book bags, tie shoes, and the like for my children. My life though is more complex. I have two with autism. A mom that I talked to today with two older children with autism got me thinking. Many people do not think about the level of planning that goes into me just making a movement to travel to the next town over for work, let alone, the planning that goes into planning for their future. I am a human being. I will not live for the rest of my life. I have to make the progression that we all make one day. I have to have comfort in my children being here and someone looking after them.
Last year, I was severely overweight. It hurt to move, I had trouble breathing, and I knew that I was not on a good path. I thought long and hard before I began to plan. I began writing out their medications and who their providers were years ago, but I realized that only certain family members knew. Moms like me don’t think beyond today, but we have to because our children are going to out live us. Today, it was a crushing realization that I’m not the only one out there but that we as single parents have to do so much more to plan. Don’t get me wrong, when you are married, you have a will and you leave the kids and stuff to your spouse. When you are a single parent, it’s not that simple. When you are a single parent with children with special needs, it is really really not that simple. You have to think about who may be the best option, who may be able to handle the meltdowns, sleepless nights, myriad of medications, and loss that they would have to go through.
Would their father be willing to or able to take care of them? You have to ask yourself these questions and make decisions and often the other parent, when you are a single parent, is not involved. So why do I tell you this? Being single parents is tough, it is tougher when you pose these questions with yourself.
So in awareness, we all need to plan for the future. But as a parent of a special needs parent, you must worry about what happens if I’m gone, do I have enough life insurance to take care of them into their old age, do I have everything documented, do I have everyone listed, and what other plans do I need to make to ensure that they are okay? We go through our day and don’t think about these things. This is very important. Formulate a plan so no one has to plan for you.