Special Needs Parenting + Self Care

Lessons I have learned as a mother of a Special Needs Child

“Finding out your child has autism is a whirlwind of emotions. My son is medically complex kiddo.”

 

Lessons I have learned as a Special needs Mom.

  • What I have learned as a Special Needs Mom

Being a mother is tough on its own. Adding outside opinions and medical diagnoses adds to the struggles. Finding life balance can be a struggle,

He has a ton of diagnosis, not just Autism. He is thriving. What I have yet to learn from my three years of motherhood is to slow down. Take it all in…savor these moments. “I’m busy” is an understatement. There’s doctors, therapists, more doctors, surgeries, MRIs. You name it, my child did it, has it, or going through it as we speak.

Related: Tips on Surviving the NICU

 

I have severe anxiety attacks. I did not realize that Anxiety is what I have been dealing with all of my life. My Anxiety started when we had our first diagnosis before he was even born.

Yeah, I went to a doctor and got a prescription. What I cared about more are my son and his well being. I put myself last. I know everyone says you cannot pour from an empty cup. Us moms seem to manage, don’t we? 

First lesson

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Being a mother is overwhelming. Follow your gut, Mommy. You live and breathe motherhood. You see your child 24/7. Most people see him maybe an hour tops a few times a week. The hardest pill to swallow is to listen to your gut about your child. Questions always with more questions than answers.

Am I doing my best?

Is he going to be ok? 

What could I have done differently today to show him I’m his biggest fan? 

I want so badly to have validation and guarantees that it will all be ok and I’m rocking motherhood. Instead, I have panic attacks, personal attacks, and Anxiety attacks. I’m exhausted and stressed from overthinking every little move or no move at all. You start to obsess about your child’s well being. I need to believe, believe it with anything I’ve got this! That I am capable of giving 100% to my child. 

Start believing.

Related: Stress-free ways to Relax

Second Lesson

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There is no book on how to be the perfect parent. Not being prepared for what comes next is normal. It’s ok to have that Ice cream for breakfast because you don’t have it in you to cook after the night you had with your child that couldn’t sleep. Guilty! 

Third lesson

 

Stop with the guilt and the voices telling you. “that mom does it better.” Her kids are so well behaved. “That mother travels with her whole family and never complains.” Jen is so we’ll put together my outfit is sweat Pants while she’s wearing dresses and looks like a model in a magazine

 I am Jealous of seeing Disney vacations and trips to the beach with everyone smiling. The only thing I did today has survived a trip to the grocery store.

It’s ok. Take a deep breath and move on. Keep scrolling, Karen.

Related: How to change a Negative Mindset

Fourth Lesson

I am enough. Some days, I want to stay in bed and not leave for anything. I want to eat junk food and binge watch pointless tv. I second guess every move I make. Got to cut down on screen time, Got to declutter, got to do all the things, or else I’m nothing. I have to do it all because someone says that’s what it means to be happy and have successful all-around good kids.

In those fleeting moments, “will I ever be content with their progress?” You tell yourself, “wow! Isn’t that something?” He’s doing it *cry happy tears* that is happy right there. You have that proud parent moment when your kids show you that they will be just fine. Soak up those glorious moments because that is what happiness is. 

Fifth lesson

Practice what I preach

On the days it gets too hard to adult, I scream and cry into my pillow. My advice is to take naps when you are burnt-out. I snap at my family and become short when I need a break, but that break never comes. Only when my head hits the pillow at night, and I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Not that I get a good night’s sleep. I toss and turn in worry. I stay up or dream in my sleep that my son needs me. I hear him stir. I look over to make sure he is ok. ” A mother does not sleep. A mother worries with their eyes closed.” The family tells me to take it a day at a time some days I succeed that. Other days I am filled with worry and panic about what the future holds even the next day will bring.

When I see my son pick up on learning skills, he just learned a few minutes ago. I snap back to he’s got this. Kim, you got this! I have days I spend way too much time on Facebook or Pinterest and see all these cool ideas or see a kid my son’s age do something cool, and I try it with my son, he says no way and not interested.

I start doubting myself and think maybe it’s me, and I’m doing something wrong. Then I have my support team snap me back into reality and say we are not all the same. Just because Jimmy down the street loves to paint doesn’t mean your child has to.

Go at their pace

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

This lesson I am still learning. I homeschool, I feel like my fears are getting to me like can I do this? Am I cut out to be that person my son needs? Then I think I show up every day for him, I am here for him always, of course, I can do this I am his Mother. So Moms and Dads out there, If you are questioning your worth to your children. Watch how they are with you. A child will be the first one to tell you their needs. My child proves to me every day that I am doing well by him. 

 

Break down of Lessons learned

  1. Follow your Intuition 
  2. figure things out along the way
  3.  Stop feeling guilty
  4. You are enough
  5. Practice what you preach
  6.  Pace yourself for you and your child

 

Comment below and let me know what are you struggling with as a parent? What are your biggest concerns or questions with your Autism Journey? I would love to hear from you!

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