“Autism ~ Single Old Lady Style” Written by Christi Richie
One of the most difficult things I face in parenting children with special needs is being a single parent. Beyond my desire for companionship, to talk or vent with someone who can relate to the stress in my life (because it is their life too!) and for a snuggle buddy, it really comes down to the simple fact that “two are better than one”. My boys are my priority, so if I get involved it has to be with someone who loves them wholeheartedly and will share the load, to be blunt. Of course, I am such a catch that men will be knocking down my door when they find out I am available. After all, dating sites claim there are millions of men out there looking for women just like me. You know, they go for the full-figured, going-on-50 type of gal! Okay, to be more realistic, maybe they will see beyond my flaws and actually go out on a date with me… but when they meet my children, will they go running for the hills? So, I have decided to let my myriad of potential suitors know what they face upfront while also finding out what skills they have to offer. Thus, I have written the following “ad” to place on those wonderful dating websites. Do you enjoy back “massages” from little feet kicking you as you sleep? Is your hearing poor enough that constant LOUD noise doesn’t bother you? Do you savor a good debate… about everything you say? Are you fluent in whine? Have words really never hurt you? Is changing a five-year-old’s poopy diapers the highlight of your day? Can you run fast while yelling STOP at the top of your lungs? Do you know at least one form of safe physical restraint? Have you honed your advocacy skills lately? Does the thought of never facing “empty-nest syndrome” give you warm fuzzies? Are you good at installing deadbolts and window locks… repairing holes in walls? Do you enjoy having company in the bathroom? Can you sleep soundly while a child’s body is wedged underneath yours, yet also sleep lightly enough to waken at the sound of little footsteps? Are your reflexes lightning-fast enough to duck when an object is thrown at your head from close proximity? Do you concentrate well in the presence of repetitive annoying sounds? Does your personal library include books on special needs laws, advocacy, IEPs, augmented communication, sensory issues and other topics not found in the average collection? Will your shoulder and elbow joints withstand the weight of a child going suddenly limp while holding your hand? Can you remain cool during meltdowns? Are you undaunted at the prospect of losing friends who cannot tolerate your children? Do you have enough energy to be a father even though you are old enough to be a grandfather? Do you LOVE children… I mean REALLY ADORE them? If you answered yes to the last question and I haven’t scared you away, then you may be the man for us! In return, you will receive abundant joy at making a huge difference in a child’s life, delight when your children get sooooo excited just because you walked through the door, hero status, a special pass to go to the front of the line at Disneyland, a full cardio workout every day (why pay for a gym membership?), tons of little boy hugs and kisses and undying affection from yours truly…plus the BEST back massages while you sleep! So…hit me up? (Christi_Ritchie@mamaneedsadate.com)
Shared on our page at Single Mothers who have Children with Autism by Christi Richie.
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