Patience is a virtue. Once you become a parent, you really realize how you have to ooze patience. You have to live it, breathe it, and practice it. Things don’t always go according to plan. For Michael’s Dad and I, as I’ve said many times in this blog, he has taken us down a path that is not one we thought we’d be on. At times it is brutal. At times it is beautiful. At times, it is spiritual. Michael too is learning from us, good and bad, though lately more good, I hope how to be patient and calm. This is something hard for the adults around him.
So where does this leave most parents, stressed with jobs, housework, family responsibility and personal space? It’s hard. I know it is even tougher for single parents out there. They must shoulder having patience for the child, themselves and life stresses all on their own. I take my hat off to them. It is hard enough to parent with a partner, especially as sometimes you can’t talk to each other due to time constraints (Dad and I), or work responsibilities, but sometimes you clash on perspectives too. However, you can sit down, listen to the other’s point of view and go forward with a united front. This is mandatory for the child and the parents and for the family to survive as a unit. The single parent has to do it all with no break. In this case, finding your extended family (blood and other) is very important for you and your child to thrive. You need a break. Don’t be afraid to reach out if patience is wearing thin in either case. Some strategies that have worked for me to maintain patience or find it again are the following:
- Finding 5-10 minutes of alone time every day: This could be through meditation, prayer, sitting in nature, going for a massage etc. You need to connect to you to find your power center again.
- Call or meet up with a friend at least once a month: Connections to each other have been known to build immunity, strength, resilience in times of stress. Call up a friend on the phone, meet for lunch, a coffee, a drink and laugh. Oh yes, make sure you laugh as it is medicine for the soul.
- Exercise: Walking, aerobics, running. Your body think and handles stress so much better when it is healthy and fit from physical activity. Michael’s Dad gets up early and walks to the bus stop when he can’t make the gym. Likewise I get up at an early hour now to do my workout to recharge for the day.
- Watch a funny movie or read a great book: Escaping through a great film, book or reading poetry or looking at beautiful artwork can remind us of beauty that is all around. It’s so important when we are frazzled to remember that.
- Spas, baths or swimming: Being in water can recharge us in a way nothing else can. If you are able to, once the kid(s) are in bed, try lighting some candles, putting on soft music and taking a bath. It can do wonders.
Exceptional Parents, what do you do to build your patience arsenal? What has and has not worked? Remember, you know your body best, and you need to be at your best to stay strong and resilient for the tough times you will encounter with your children. However, it is also important to stay strong so you can enjoy the beautiful moments and the happy times you will have with your Exceptional Child/dren. There will be many, I promise you. Until next time.
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