Lately I have had a hard time attaching to Michael and truly being there for him. I know. Just saying the words make me feel like a failure as a Mom which I know I am not. What has made it hard, has been his challenging behavior which has made me pull back, get angry myself, and react in a not so positive way. And even when I have managed to hold it together on the outside, on the inside I have been stressed, overwhelmed and angry. Today I am finally coming to terms and starting to change the ways I handle emotions, my own that I can control, and my child’s that I cannot control. That is the harder one. I am blessed to have support from school, in the community should I need it, and the right books and articles are always coming to me at the right time to help me as I mentioned a few days ago.
Still, this is not easy for me. I can see it is not easy for Michael either. He is a child filled with anxiety, and now I see control issues due to anxiety and feeling that he has some power. He actually, like most kids, has more power than he thinks, but I know, due to the way he sees the world differently, experiences it differently, will not read the signs the same way and it is hard. My heart breaks for him at the same time as it breaks for me in wondering how to reach him, help him, and not talk down to him, but give him tools to help him succeed. I also need a break in a big way. Managing my own emotions these days is hard enough. Managing Michael’s is a whole other ballgame.
I am reminding myself of self-care so I can build up my resilience in body, mind and spirit so as to be there for Michael as a whole parent. Right now I am fragments and in pieces and spreading myself way too thin. Part of me is handling my business. Part of me is trying to prepare the house for our long weekend coming up. Part of me is with Michael. I want to feel whole and happy and strong. The way to do that is to pick up these pieces of me that are scattered through lack of down time, lack of acknowledgment for how hard life can be parenting an exceptional child as it is for them parenting you, and how hard it is to maintain a semblance of so-called normality when you feel anything but. What am I going to do? Exercise regularly again, no matter how far behind I fall in housework. Read books or watch television shows that make me laugh. Take time to connect with good friends and family, and above all, delegate when I need help. This weekend and next week I will put this into practice.
Exceptional Parents, how do you walk the fine line of balancing yours and your child’s emotions? How do you attach and detach to them for your own and their sanity? It’s important you both have your space from one another and your togetherness. It’s important that you set up boundaries, limits, but also show your kids that you are there for them to lean on. This is what we all strive for, and when we forget, that’s alright. We start again the next day. We take time for us to get strong so we can be strong for helping our Exceptional Children move to the next level. Until next time.
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