Hmmm. Easter holidays, three kids, a daily splattering of little friends and a husband/dad with Aspergers are not conditions made for each other!
Ten days, two birthday parties and six play-dates into our Easter holidays and even my head is reeling. And I'm used to chaos.
Ethan, to his credit, is doing really well. The house is a complete mess the whole time, we can't find anything, the volume level is on a permanent high, plans change frequently and every day brings a new selection of visitors to our house. All these things are a struggle for someone with Aspergers to deal with. Normal life is a struggle for someone with Aspergers to deal with. School holidays crank that up to maximum capacity. Thank goodness he's got the familiarity and relative calm of work to retreat to (it's live telly but it's calm in comparison!)
Things don't look set to calm down here anytime soon (in fact, probably not until the kids leave home!). We're ending the holidays with a bang by hosting a BBQ on Saturday and then, (following an early shift at work for Ethan) we're out with friends in the afternoon on Sunday. I know it's too much. I know we're pushing it and that there could be an explosion (or an unsociable retreat into his own head) during a very public occasion some time soon. But it feels like a risk we need to take: in order to build relationships for us and the kids. (And OK, I know that Ethan shutting down during a sociable trip to the park with another family won't do much to consolidate friendships - so I just have to hope, and pray, that won't happen). Most of the time, Ethan's able to keep up the effort to be sociable until we get home. The downside is that I then have to take over with everything as Ethan's burnt out (I don't have the option!).
Life is busy. All the time. The only way to fit people in is to fit them into the cracks around work, commitments, clubs, homework, family events, etc.
So, what's the answer? A tidy, serene house with three friendless kids that play on DS's all day? Or a fantastic social life for the kids, them interacting and having fun and an overloaded husband and neglected marriage? I'm sure many couples with young families, with or without Aspergers in the mix, can relate. As with so many things in life, there must be a happy medium somewhere. But moderation and saying no are things I've never been very good at. And that's where Ethan and I can help each other.
His special talent is saying no!