Handling Ups and Downs With Your Exceptional Child When You Are Sick


So it’s not the end of the world. I caught a sinus cold and have been feeling under the weather since Tuesday. I tried with all my might to deny that it was a cold saying to myself it was late season allergies, but I knew deep down inside. I hate being sick. Most of us do, I think. I am lucky that when I do get a cold it usually does not progress to worse. I do my best to use my usual remedy of day and night cold medicine, lots of liquids and resting when I can, in between work and motherhood.

However, the hard part of being sick as a Mom is when your child is having ups and downs and you are not at your strongest to deal with them. We’ve had a few moments with Michael this week where he was stressing, crying, yelling and I was pretty close to doing that myself. I have been feeling so tired, particularly at the hardest time of the day for most people- late afternoon-early evening. This is when I come home from work and Michael comes home from school. We are both usually tired to begin with, but when one of us is tired and has body aches, a sore throat combined with sneezing and coughing, well, it’s not fun. I always think of that old saying, “Moms can’t get sick.” It’s true only it’s not. We get sick, but we still need to function for the rest of the world even when we want our own Mommies to help us feel better.

So this week I’ve had to handle some difficult emotions and some anxiety with Michael when I was not at my strongest. It was challenging, but I realized that I could manage very well if I did one thing as Moms we tend to forget to do-ask for help. This is something all women have a hard time with, but it is so important that we pace ourselves all the time. Probably part of what got me sick was pushing myself a little too hard on the work and home fronts. I was reminded of how asking for more help around the house from Dad, Michael and in general taking on less and sleeping more, can make a world of difference.

boy and mom

Not surprisingly when I asked for help and began taking little breaks when I could this week, I was better equipped to ride out some sugar highs Michael was experiencing, some anxiety about things happening at school, and better able to continue to place limits on inappropriate behavior at home and reinforce positive behavior when it happened. Recognizing my own limits when I am not feeling well, has helped me to better understand Michael’s limits when he is feeling out of sorts emotionally or when he could be coming down with a virus. I have been trying to find the positive in being sick this week. It has shown me the importance of rest, physical and mental. It has shown me the importance of slowing down. It has shown me what I need to keep and what I need to cut out of my daily routine to stay healthy. It is also teaching me patience with myself so that I could continue to have more patience with Michael, weeding out testing from real fears, and the importance of both of those things happening and how it is affecting his development.

Exceptional Parents, how do you both take care of you when you are sick and take care off your Exceptional Child? It’s not easy. But the worst thing you can do is be hard on yourself. Remember, this is your chance to practice self-care so that you can be at your best to help your child and feel back to your old self in no time. Your child will also learn respect for you as you respect yourself and respect for their own health and well-being. And before you know it, you’ll be back to your old energy level. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with Autism and Type 1 Diabetes has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of  living in 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 on their own exceptional parenting journey.

For more information on my coaching services,  for a FREE 30 min consultation, and to receive a  copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY,” see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com. 


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