Super Cute – An Interview with Bitsy

She had me with her tag line “June Cleaver, Eat Your Heart Out!”, and after exploring Bitsy’s blog – My Inner Bitsy – I knew I would be visiting every day. Join me in welcoming Bitsy to the 5MFSN site!

Tell me a little about yourself and your family.

Hi, I’m Bitsy and I am married to a wonderful man whom I would definitely say is the love of my life, my soul mate, and my best friend. A little over four years ago we were blessed with the amazing birth of our first child (a son), Bug. Nearly two years after that we were blessed with our second (a daughter), Bean.

Before having children we talked together as a couple and decided that I would be a stay-at-home Mom. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so. I have been there for pretty much every waking moment with both of the kids and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

We live in Northern Nevada in a nice little house that I try very hard to keep picture perfect – which with two kids is an absolute chore! Bitsy is a nickname given to me by a friend quite some time ago because of my super domestic tendencies and every time I hear it or see it written down I just laugh because it is definitely me. My real name is Rebecca, but that will be our little secret. 😉

Tell me more about your child’s disabilities. Did you know when he was born that he had disabilities? If not, how did you feel when you discovered it?

My son, Bug, has Autism. The official word that we were given was “High Functioning Autism/Apserger’s Syndrome”. There really was no way to know when he was born that he had anything “different” about it – he was just the cutest little baby. It wasn’t until about 10 months old that I started to notice that something was off. I lived in denial for quite some time about it too. I knew there was something just not quite right and I kept pushing it further and further back in my mind until one day I finally knew I couldn’t deny it any longer. After many months of evaluations and a lot of stress for everyone involved we were handed a diagnosis of Autism – it wasn’t until a year later that it was finalized with Asperger’s Syndrome being added in.

I wish I could say I took it well, and some people have told me that they are amazed about how I have held it together, but the truth is that I was a mess when it all came down to it. I was tough on the outside, but a wreck on the inside. I think it would be accurate to say that I went through a mourning stage – I grieved for my son. And I selfishly grieved for me. And I was so angry. Why my kid? It was a hard pill to swallow.

You blog a lot about your child’s issues, and that is so valuable to me and I’m sure, to others that read your blog. How did you go about making the decision to blog about them? What do you personally get out of blogging about them and their issues?

Remember that anger from the question above? Well, that is why I blog. Blogging has given me an outlet to release those frustrations and to just be able to connect with other parents who have felt or are feeling the same way. One day I just sat down and started writing – I wrote out our story and what we have gone through. I wrote out how it made me feel and I wrote out how I feel now. Getting all the frustrations out on a blog has actually made me a better person – and hey, it’s free therapy!

One thing I have gained personally from blogging about my son’s Autism is a freedom from the anger. No one “did” this to me. In fact, it isn’t about me at all. I really needed to sit and write for a while to get that straight in my mind. There was a point through writing about Bug and what we have dealt with when I just suddenly felt relief – it was like “Ok, I let it out, and now I can move on and be what he needs me to be.”

And the truth – I have started and deleted MANY blogs about Bug – this one is the first that I actually kept up and running – the first one that I actually finally felt did my son justice. The first one where I stopped crying and started showing that even with the issues I still love him more than life.

How has your child’s Autism affected you as a person and as a mother? What did you do right? What do you wish you had done differently?

I think the most profound way that Bug having Autism has affected me is that in caring for him and learning about how to better help him I have learned what it means to love unconditionally and I have learned how to not be selfish because putting him first became imperative.

One thing that I have been told that I did right (and now that I know more I agree) is that even though I recognized a difference in him at an early age I still got him out and involved. He started playgroups at 10 months old. We started toddler classes around 15 months old. Even when it became more and more obvious that he wasn’t going to interact or even care what was going on (when he was off in a corner twirling his arms about) I still kept him going because I wanted him to know that he was just a kid and I didn’t want him being left out of anything.

As for what I would have done differently – well, it took me until he was about 20 months to stop denying what I was seeing right in front of my eyes. I think if I were to go back in time I would have woke up sooner, but even so I am grateful that I did come to my senses and get him help because I know there are so many parents out there who live in denial for a lot longer than I did.

What do you want other parents fighting the same fight to know?

I want parents to know that if your children are born with any sort of special need – no matter what type – they are still your children. It can be sad, you can get angry, you can feel that your world has come to a screeching halt, but at the end of the day, no matter what your child is dealing with, he (or she) is still that beautiful blessing that you gave birth to – still your kid – and they love you just as much as you love them.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I think finally I want to add that having Bean has also been a blessing in more ways than one – just by having a sibling to play with Bug has improved in his skills. He has relived so many milestones with her and we really have had the experience of watching him go through his toddler years twice. God couldn’t have given me a better family.

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Sunday and Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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