An parenting blogger has defended a Facebook post in which she revealed she "hates" her children's autism, calling it "absolute hell".
Aussie mum Sarah Mills shares her parenting journey on Facebook page Amongst the Stars, which has over 19,000 followers. Of her three children, Hendrix, 10, Monroe, 7, and Morrison, 3, two have been diagnosed with autism. Her third child is undergoing testing.
Mills made headlines last month with a post revealing she often felt pressure to "embrace" her children's autism.
"I love my children more than anything in this world. But I hate... autism. I hate it with every inch of my being," she wrote.
"I know as autism parents we are supposed to love it, supposed to embrace it, to celebrate it. But today I am battered. I am bruised. I am traumatised. And I am so sick of feeling completely alone because if you're not making it all out as quirky habits and f**king rainbows, then you're a shit parent."
In another recent post which racked up over 2000 shares, Mills wrote parenting autistic children leaves her "tired, confused, scared and sad".
"I'm expected to get up, dust myself off and return to being mum of the year but inside I feel like I'm dying. I often feel like a carer, not a mother. I feel I miss so much," she wrote.
"Imagine the person you love the most suddenly hitting you, hitting themselves, screaming every name at you and just like that they stop. [Then] they are suddenly normal and they ask you to make a sandwich and to hang out with them. It's hard to not hold resentment. It's hard to not feel heartache and anger. It's hard to move on. Just like that.
"I'm 10 years into my autism journey and I have to say I feel it's only gotten harder. Sure I know many more coping strategies, I know how to look for many triggers, but the bigger they get, the sadder it hits. The more hormones mean stronger meltdowns. The more I feel like a failure."
The blogger's candid posts have been met with mixed feedback from followers and other parents.
While many have praised Mills for her rawness in speaking out the topic, she says she also received death threats and claims that she's an unfit mother, often from other 'autism parents'.
"To those that keep commenting shit, sharing it in groups telling people to come 'educate' me, messaging me telling me I don't deserve my children or to live, you're blocked immediately," she added to her post, explaining she had deleted many of the negative comments.
"I don't need your opinions - you don't speak for everyone - nor do I - but my post resonates with many and that's okay. I'm sure the things you feel resonates with some too.
"You do you. This page isn't for you. Just because you feel that doesn't make it right. You have plenty of other places to voice your opinions."
But the overwhelming majority of comments appear to be from other parents struggling with their children's' condition.
"This week I've had every emotion imaginable from both children. Being a mum I can relate to some and my heart cries for the stuff you deal with that I don't have too. You are valued even to me - a stranger. We mums need to stick together," wrote one woman.
"I just sat here reading this in absolute tears, as many have said before, it was like you were writing about my life! I found this to be a comfort for me, to feel like I am not alone and not the only person going through these steps," wrote another.
"Thank you for putting words to my feelings. This makes so much sense that I've never been able to articulate," wrote a third.