The Importance of Support Networks For Your Exceptional Self

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Today it struck me as it does many times how lucky I am. Yes, in spite of feeling stressed, worried and angry at myself I have had one of those days when I saw all the good around me and all the support I truly have. I have always been blessed with a great family who have helped me by listening and offering ways to help Michael. But today it was the friends and strangers around me that showed me that I have a whole other exceptional support network to remind me that I am fortunate and blessed. I received gifts, praise and a kind ear from people who were friends or co-workers, and on a day when things were already going well with Michael, put an even bigger smile on my face. Things have been progressively getting better with Michael’s moods since the weekend. I think the extra time we spent together with a PED DAY and a weekend of sledding and Santa visits cemented the rest. But I digress. In all my stressful encounters with Michael over the last month, my work, and trying to manage taking care of our home, I have forgotten about my exceptional care network of people. These are not just the family I sometimes take for granted, but my wonderful friends, childhood and writer friends, and my co-workers who have all had positive and affirming things to say as well as offering me their ears and support during challenging times.

Too often exceptional parents forget they have a network of people there to help them if only they reach out. Sometimes sadly, they don’t take the time to form this network. Both scenarios equally happen, though many of us have more people who care about us than we think. The thing is that we need to reach out to our network of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and ask for help. Let them know we are struggling and need to chat over a cup of coffee or dinner or over the phone or online. We also need to offer our own ears to hear them out. As stressed and down as I have gotten over the last three or four months, I have tried whenever possible to reach out to my network and ask how they were doing, listen to them, organize a get together. These things were as much about keeping my sanity as helping them keep theirs. Even in my darkest hours, I have seen how not alone I am, how fortunate I and my family are to have the people we do in our life that shower us with time, gifts, praise and support. Dad and I try our best to give back  to these souls who have given us back our life and positive outlook. All I could think tonight as I had one kind word and deed after another occur in my life is how important reaching out to people is. This could be virtually, in person, with a surprise gift, with a kind word. And for exceptional parents, this can make all the difference when they are having a bad day, week or month with their child. And if they are not, they will remember,  I have these people in corner to remind me I am not alone.

Exceptional Parents, how does your support corner look right now? Do you have your exceptional people around you before the hardest season of the year hits with your child or children? If not, fear not. It is never too late to find your people. Look for a support group online or in person. Reach out to friends and family who have reached out to you. You need each other to remember how precious, fragile and beautiful life is. You need each other to laugh, cry and commiserate with. You need to remember that you are not alone and neither is your child. Reach out, give of yourself and ask others for help at the same time if you need a kind ear. Chances are they are looking to help support you as you have done to them. You are also showing  your child something valuable, that they are not alone and that they have support too. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website,



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