So yesterday was a big day for our family. We took Michael to a local amusement park that is huge, noisy and could be overwhelming for a child with autism and sensory sensitivities. It was an autism sensitive experience, as there was lunch in a quiet part of the park along with an entry that afforded the child and parents quick entry to the rides without waiting. It was a huge success, but as any parent of an exceptional child can understand, extremely intense, exciting and exhausting. For the first time in a while, I fell asleep early last night from all the emotions I had experienced. I think as a family we did great overall. A few times I had to remind Dad to stay calm. He did the same for me. We interchangeably reminded Michael. Eventually, we settled in and had a nice time. A key moment was seeing other exceptional families we recognized and catching up. We met some new faces too. That was fun!
A big lesson I learned though, was at the end of this long and exciting day. Dad did all the driving so fell asleep on the couch after dinner. I cleaned up in the kitchen and supervised bedtime which had some testing moments. Dad was up by the end of bedtime, refreshed after a little nap, and after Michael finally went to bed all the emotions of the day coming pouring out in the way it usually does for me, a long hard cry. I had promised my Mom that I would give a quick check in call just to let her know we had all made it home safely. I asked my partner to make the call and he did. I delegated at a moment I was feeling vulnerable. This is new for me as a woman, Mom and person. I’ve always had a hard time with limits, with me, with family and friends, with my child. But now, I know when enough is enough. I felt good that I let out my emotions, went to bed early, and asked for help when I needed it. It was a small thing, but sometimes that makes all the difference in the world.
Exceptional Parents, how good are you at trying new experiences with your child and asking for help when you need a break? It’s a catch 22. You know stress will build in your family, but if you don’t try new things, no one grows. It’s important to be realistic with what your family is capable of doing and experiencing, and what you are ready for as a parent and person. Go at your own speed, and don’t berate yourself. You and your child will have success if you are realistic about what you can handle and you remember and show them, breaking down is ok. Asking for help is ok. As long as you have your stress management strategies close by, you’ll all be fine. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.
For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS