It is so hard for any parent the fine line of meeting their own personal needs and those of their exceptional child’s. There are days that are hard for all of us, and unless we are perfectly feeling balance and in control we cannot meet our children’s needs, never mind our own. This is easier said than done. There are days when all of us are feeling rested, calm, and good about ourselves. Those are the days we parent better. Then there are the other days, when we are stressed, tired and having a difficult time. It is normal when you parent an exceptional child to have some days of struggle. Even neuro typical children give us those tough days. These are the days that our children need us, but we either miss their cues due to feeling wiped out ourselves. So the question is how can we find that balance between meeting our needs and those of our children? There is so easy answer.
I like to think most days now I do meet my own personal needs to feel at my best. I know what my personal boundaries are. I try to eat right, exercise regularly, and do daily meditation and yoga. But still there are days, particularly lately when I see who anxious Michael is at night, that I worry I have failed to meet his needs. I stop everything when he comes home after school and then by early evening am stressed to try to get it all done. That is every parent’s issue. But I see that when he seems to want my time the most. He is clingier and last night even acted up in the bathroom at bath time due to loneliness. He said he misses Dad and I being in there with him and supervising bath. We were moving to a new independent stage with him as in the day he is telling us to leave him alone. Go figure. Last night’s incident reminded me how sometimes when we as parents are understandably distracted with life and our own stresses, we may miss signs our children are sending out about needing extra TLC or other feelings. It does not make us bad parents. It makes us human beings that need to balance being in touch with our own feelings of what we are prioritizing when, and how we could not forget the people around us and their feelings. This is not easy to do, but as long as we start from a center of strong self-care-rested, calm, positive, we an ring that into our relationships. When I start to panic about work, the state of my house, etc. I remind myself that people are more important. And I adjust if I forget.
Exceptional Parents, how do you walk that fine line of balance between yours and your Exceptional Child’s needs successfully. How do you stay calm and patient when they are losing it. If you yell and handle things stressfully, forgive yourself and move on. Learn from your mistakes and use that as a way to teach your child to learn from theirs. You’ll grow together in a place where you are both stronger and closer than ever. Until next time.