Guilt. This is a hard concept for a lot of us to wrap our heads around. I for one am still working on it. And, like with many other things, Michael is helping me learn to overcome it, by first feeling it so intensely in my heart and then releasing it. I feel it on nights when I fail him and lose my temper as happened last evening, and my good intentions go out the window. Then I remember it’s ok to fail once in a while. That is how we learn, move, and grow. It’s ok to get angry, after all, I am a human being with my own thoughts and feelings and I’m entitled to feeling overwhelmed, tired and stressed too, just like him.
I was feeling tired yesterday, and I didn’t even realize the resentment building up over the course of the day. I pushed aside my feelings of an overwhelming to-do list, some of it necessary, some of it not. Dad was distracted too with his things, and when Michael feels that he will push a little more at times, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously with stalling for bed, with attention seeking behaviors, or with just pushing his luck. Normally, I can distance myself from it. But when I also am tired and feeling underappreciated and a little sorry for myself, well, we all know what happens. The solution is not just self-care, but self-care with no guilt attached to it. It is self-care for survival so there are no strings attached for the people you love.
I did a full workout yesterday morning. I have been attending my writing workshops. I have been reaching out to friends. I have been producing my normal workload and even keeping up reasonably with my share of the house duties. But have I been doing this and on some level feeling guilty about not being there for Michael? And he has had his challenges. His anxiety about things is so high and he has made such progress. Does he not know how proud I am? I know with autism things are so much harder. I don’t know. Dad and I also need to sit down and talk. We haven’t done that in awhile and there old guilt pops up again that I am failing as a wife too, though I know it works both ways with two of us needing to set a time to talk, unburden, and move forward. Time is so precious. It’s how to use it properly that’s important.
Exceptional Parents, do you feel guilty sometimes as a parent? Do you feel you are shortchanging your child or yourself? Remember, you are not alone. We all have what I call “do over days” where we look back and can see our thoughts processes and where we went wrong. We also have days where we are amazingly successful as parents. It’s important to learn from both days what to do and not do, and in the meantime, remember we are a parent who loves our child more than anything and is doing the best that we can. Until next time.
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