Last night was a combination of anxiety and low blood sugar for Michael. I have to say that all things considered, he handled it beautifully. He expressed his fears of bedtime and some of the new phobias he is experiencing, and handled another night of low blood sugars (and the ensuing snacks and staying up that went with it) with maturity, calmness and a mindfulness that was incredible. I did not do as good as he, feeling very powerless over diabetes and where we could be going wrong in adjusting his blood sugars. I was short tempered with Michael urging him to hurry up his last snack (which he was eating extra slowly). I reminded him that we were all tired and needed to go to bed. This was true, but I was more upset due to feeling out of control over managing this new diagnosis at least temporarily, and feeling a little sorry for my tired self. What I also realized when we all finally did get to bed was that I had not been practicing something I have taught Michael and usually do really well at- letting out my emotions in a healthy way.
With being at the tail end of a sinus cold and trying to help Michael manage his new anxieties with good strategies on paper and with actions, I was pushing down my own emotions of frustration, tiredness and worries about the future. I was doing this by keeping busy which is a good temporary distraction, but one that will catch up with a person. I always tell Michael not to push down emotions, but let them out. Talking to a friend, writing in my journal (either regular or gratitude), could have been immensely helpful as I worried about Michael’s high and low blood sugars, and how he would fare on his new medication. I also forgot how important practicing mindfulness is for me, for anyone. This means staying and living in the present moment. It means not worrying about the past or future, things I sometimes forget and revert back to, especially when sick and under stress. Had I realized that, I would have stepped outside myself and realized I was worrying too much, being too hard on myself, and taking it out on Michael and Dad. I did see that I was acting out of frustration, and this morning apologized to both boys telling them I would not push down any difficult emotions again.
I am the first one to give other parents advice not to worry over the past and about the future. I also tell them to express their emotions, good and bad. Don’t be afraid of them, and stay focused on the moment and what you can control. Often, when you least expect it, a solution will present itself about your child and for you. This has always happened for me, including last night. I learned that when I forget to practice mindfulness, the Universe will remind me through the people around me what to learn for the next time. Today I woke up feeling stronger, ready to learn from the experience, and humbled. My boys accepted my apologies, and we moved on from there.
Exceptional Parents, how often have you pushed down your emotions trying to do it all with worry and fear at the back of your mind? How have things turned out for you and your child when you did that? I’m sure it was not a positive experience. Today don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn instead to let out pent up emotions gradually. Remember to focus on what you can control, yourself, and make sure to take care off yourself with adequate rest and leisure. A solution will present itself when you least expect it, and you will be amazed at how living in the moment with your child (and yourself), can help with your mental health and theirs. 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.