Every human being knows what it means to be tired. Life is hard, work is taxing, parenting is exhausting. We all get what it means to be tired on some level. But, when an autism mom says she’s “tired,” there’s a whole lot more to it — and few people understand that whole lot more. Let me try to explain it…


What, “I’m tired!” really means for autism moms

I’m an autism mom.

I’m tired.

I mean, I’m scraping-at-the-bottom-depths-of-the-center-of-the-earth tired.

I’m often-visiting-crazy-town tired.

I’m feeling-like-I-can’t-go-on tired.

You see, for autism moms, “tired” encompasses a whole lot more than feeling like you need to sleep. It’s a never-ending stint in exhaustion. Full-body, full-emotion, full-soul exhaustion. It can affect every fiber of our being.

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Why are we so tired?

  1. To be an autism mom means to be on call 24/7/365. Kids with autism need more from their parents.
  2. To be an autism mom means a lot of calls, emails, and notes home from school to field and troubleshoot.
  3. To be an autism mom means hours upon hours of school meetings, often as the one and only person truly looking out for your child’s best interests in a room full of opponents — like playing tug of war and everyone is on the other side of the rope, except you.
  4. To be an autism mom means laying in bed at night, every night, worrying about your child’s future.
  5. autism-mom-meansTo be an autism mom means trying to reconcile the world’s expectations of your child with their actual capabilities.
  6. To be an autism mom means accepting a never-ending quest, a burning compulsion, to find that thing that might make life a little easier for your child.
  7. To be an autism mom means often feeling overwhelmed with sadness that your child is burdened with these struggles.
  8. To be an autism mom is to live every moment under tactical alert, waiting for the next emergency, waiting for the next shoe (in a never-ending supply of shoes) to drop.
  9. To be an autism mom is to work hard and diligently to craft moments of joy, success, and celebration.
  10. To be an autism mom is to truly love unconditionally, with your whole heart and the whole of your being.

Are there good times in life parenting a child with autism? Of course! Ab-so-friggin-loutely! There’s lots of joy in raising a child with autism… but there’s also a never-ending, underlying exhaustion. An exhaustion few people know, unless they’re an autism mom, too.