Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First- A Lesson Learned By This Exceptional Mom

I knew as soon as the words “Put your own oxygen mask on first,” appeared in my head that it was the Universe telling me I’d messed up. I was frustrated, angry, patience gone. Michael was testing me from the minute I got up in the morning. He was “off.” We’ve all had those days, right? Things are just not working well. We are tired, sick, not feeling like ourselves. As I mentioned yesterday, I have been under the weather this week with a cold, and was still feeling sick myself today. By evening I was better, but the toll of the day, emotions riding high, a trip to the pediatrician to make sure we were both up to date on Michael’s health changes, as well as new health requests  for Michael, (more on that Monday), and well, I’d had it. But I’d pretty much had it when I woke up this morning. I did what I always tell other Moms not to do. What I tell Dad not to do. I woke up feeling negative, stressed, worried about the day and gave into that worry.

The morning insulin injection is always the toughest. Michael stalls and there is usually the pressure to make sure he does it in time, eats right away, and gets ready for the bus on time. Then it’s me running to get out the door and to work, though luckily I usually have at least fifteen to twenty minutes after his bus leaves to do that. On days like today, when he and I were home due to a doctor’s appointment, there is a different pressure for Michael. I think it is the pressure of a different schedule and the stress that produces. From the second we could not get a proper blood glucose reading due to not getting enough blood on the sample strip (sorry for the gore), both Michael’s and my nerves started deteriorating. It pretty much went down hill from there. We managed to get ready and get to the doctor’s office on time, but then the wait for the doctor caused super hyperactivity in the examination room that more stress built up. Coming home I gave in to not sending him into school as it would have only been for an hour and a half of work, and the afternoon was stressful with him not knowing how to keep busy while I had so much catch up with being sick this week. When I did talk to him he was confrontational and wanted to go out while not understanding that I had things to finish up before. With all the anger, tears and confrontation, I did not take him anywhere. We hung out in the backyard together, then I went inside to do my meditation and yoga. Michael came in shortly after, and then we did his evening injection and had dinner.

I realized that not doing my meditation and yoga this morning was a major way I did not put my oxygen mask on. Why? I was waiting stressed to get Michael calmly into the day. That was not possible though. How could I do this, when I was not calm? And then, when was I going to realize that I could guide and show Michael where his tools were, but that it was he who would decide how his day would go and which tools to use? I had to stop trying to take care of what I could not control, and control what I can, which were my emotions and thoughts. The evening flared up briefly again until Dad and I redirected Michael to strategies and told him that to live at home he needed to follow rules of respect and politeness. I think we got through to him, but most importantly Dad and I were reminded of how important taking care of our masks were. When we didn’t, we were that much more stressed and it was harder on us and the family.

Exceptional Parents, have you been putting your needs first? Don’t be embarrassed if the answer is no. We’ve all been guilty of that. Don’t beat yourself up. Start fresh the next day with doing something special just for you. It could be anything-big or small. The important thing is to show yourself self-care and self-love. Make sure your partner is doing the same thing. You and your child will feel that positive strength and it will be a talisman against any of the stress you and your child are feeling. 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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