As a mother, it really isn't a surprise that I put high expectations on myself. But how much can one person really take? I'm a nurse so we give a lot of ourselves at work and a mother of four children under the age of seven has high demands. As you know Zach has autism, and Jack has a severe speech delay and some other unrelated issues including allergies.

So how does one rejuvenate her own batteries and meet some of her own children's needs? Let's face it, children need their mother in ways daddy cannot fill.

Sadly, David and my parent's are not around to provide support or childcare. What do you do when you are both terribly sleep deprived and nearly unable to function? How is depression not brought into the picture? You have certain standards that are completely normal to want to maintain. Is it normal to be constantly lowering the standards of a mother's expectations?

I want to be more than a resounding gong or clanging cymbals. I want my children to feel loved and grow up to be confident children. But let's face's pretty hard to be patient when you are working more than full time to meet your financial obligations, having sleep interruptions with a baby that is still breastfeeding and a three year old that is a terrible sleeper and just dealing with the normal demands of life. I'm not looking for your sympathy. I'm looking for understanding or even suggestions.

Looking for harmony and balance, happiness or even joy. No more stress allowed. Is that even stress and autism in the same family? I think not!