For better or for worse, Michael is showing me how he needs me to be there sometimes to quell his fears, and at other times, how he wants me as far away as possible from comforting him. I worry when I see him struggling. Consequently, there are times when I wish he could see that he could handle the situation, yet he clings to me, and I feel like there is not more I can give him, even though I am doing my best. These days he is Mr. Independent;
“I can do it by myself. I’m not a baby, Mommy.”
I like when he says that, even though I see him struggling. He needs to master skills on his own. If he really can’t do it though, he will come and ask for help. It takes him awhile sometimes, but he does it. It’s hard when he is worrying so much about things in the future, and the tools I am reminding him he could use don’t seem to be helping much. He is currently very worried about starting a new school year in September, normal of course. But all the talking, cuddling, sensory massages, social stories, and reminders about yoga and belly breathing, seem to be falling on deaf ears, as they say. How can I help him? How indeed when I am still learning how to handle not worrying about the future. I was an anxious child and adult until Michael came into my life and turned things upside down. At first, it was in a stressful way when I was worried about his development and eventual autism diagnosis. Then, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Michael is really teaching me about how to handle stress and things that are in and out of my control. As the saying goes, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” This is easier said than done, but with each day as his mother, he is helping me see what issues I need to work on in me in order to be the best human being I can possibly be. I cannot be perfect, no human being can, but I can be a human being who is doing the best she can with what she’s got. I am learning how not to be a perfectionist and demand so much of myself in order to feel happy and at peace. It’s not a healthy or realistic way to live.
What are your Exceptional Children teaching you about holding on to you and letting go, while forming their own personalities? How are they more independent from you yet still need that guidance? I find as Exceptional Mothers, once we address our own humanity and emotional issues, we are that much more equipped to help our children handle their emotions better. In being honest with how we are feeling, we can slowly become better guides for our Exceptional Children navigating the difficulties in their world. Until next time.