The best thing that I did for myself this long holiday weekend was sleeping in? No! It was getting up super early so that I could have time to meditate and exercise. Yes, you heard me! Weekends are no longer the rest time they were prior to children. They are rest of a sort from my job, my business, but they are the busiest time of the week in family time. That is why I need my energy, my center, and my sense of humor when Michael throws me curve balls. He will sometimes be rude and push his luck by challenging his boundaries with me. At other times, like on Sunday morning, he will come down and meekly ask me “Mommy, please can I have breakfast with you right away?” And of course, I will abandon my writing, the dishes in the sink, the laundry waiting to be folded in the basket and devote myself to him: body, mind and spirit. That is the job of a mother. Any mother.
But Michael lately has been pushing and pulling Dad and I in a million different directions. Some stressful, some entertaining. I can say one thing. I am so grateful, and not just coming off of Thanksgiving in Canada yesterday, but extremely grateful to have Michael in my life, to have a child that has opened my eyes to what is possible to do in the world even with limitations. I’m not saying there are times I have said I am not strong enough to be his Mom. Or questioning why I had children. I have those days. I long for the freedoms of time, space, friendships, time with my partner I had prior to Michael’s arrival. But then I remember there was am emptiness in my life that Michael filled.
His being, his personality, the way he tackles the world head on. He is positive, tries hard, and even when scared or anxious, pushes himself forward. He believes in getting things done, in getting his way at all costs, (even when he gets in trouble). He is admirable for his gumption, for trying to decipher what the rest of the neuro typical world is dong. He works hard, charms all who see him. He comes into a room and lights it up like a firecracker. He is funny, intelligent and quirky. And even when he drives me bonkers I thank God for him every day of my life. I ask for strength to be the strong mother he needs, and help other parents see the beauty that is their child, especially when that child is driving them crazy. That is not always easy to do. That is why making Mom space for me helps me make space for Michael, in all of the stress, in all of the behaviors, in all of the great times we have. Yesterday on Thanksgiving I went for a long walk and park in the morning with Michael and in the afternoon Dad, Michael and I went for a long drive and Michael got to fly his new kite. Seeing the joy of him running with it and laughing made my day and week. I would not have been able to enjoy this if I had not taken care of me this weekend too.
Exceptional Parents, how do you squeeze in “you” time on a weekend and “child ” time with your child/dren? How do you balance it all? Sometimes it is hard. You may only find pockets for you. Remember, it is important for you to find that pocket to fill up your parent cup. This way when your child comes for a drink, you are not depleted and can keep replenishing their supply. Take care of you so you can be the best for them. They deal with a lot and need us to be strong. Until next time.
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