It was a mixed bag of a weekend. Lots of anxiety, hyperactivity with a few doses of aggression and finishing off with amazing feats. Michael cooking more amazing dishes. Michael rocking swimming class. Michael chatting on a the phone with a friend sounding like a typical 11 year old- calm, in control, friendly, caring. Wow! It made me feel overwhelmed, grateful and stressed all at once. Then I had to face the fact. How patient was I being with Michael’s moods? How patient was I being with my own? When was the last time I exercised? When was the last time I went for a walk and took real solid alone time, in a bath, to read, or to just be? Yes, I meditate. I write. I do take baths from time to time. But just being patient when I am unraveling is something that I am having a hard time with. And unraveling with my child has been something that has been happening a lot to me. I hold it together with everyone else. I hold it together everywhere else. But like Michael, ironically I push down my emotions sometimes I think. I push down my Mom fears of not doing enough to help control his blood sugars, not doing enough to enhance his love of music and sports, not doing enough therapy. I feel like I am failing him when he is aggressive, anxious and distant. I know deep down it is not me, but Mommy guilt gets me every time. I thought I had her beat, but she is there lurking, waiting to claim me. I have been blowing up so much at Michael lately. Yes, he has been pushing my buttons to get me angry, but I have long ago forgotten to go to my “happy place,” as a friend of mine coined it. I am working hard to get back there.
Today I did a Zumba workout. The other day I went out to a cafe to work on my fiction novel. I am getting back to self-love, self-care, and working my way back to being patient with me, with my process. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how can you love anyone else truly, even your child? Yes, we love our children all of us, but unless we are learning to be patient with our own anger, anxieties and fears, we will always have a hard time guiding our children. Once again, I found myself remembering the words “this is happening for you, not to you.” I realized that the pain and anguish I am suffering through watching Michael suffer and stress, is reminding me to take care of me and grow strong, as I see Michael growing stronger by battling his demons. He is one incredible kid. As his psychiatrist reminded us, how can we expect him to control himself if we lose it? So true. And though losing it happens only after A LOT of stress, I am starting to see that if I am patient and loving with myself from the beginning, I will be able to handle Michael’s stress a lot better too. No more Mommy guilt for this Mom! I am doing the best that I can for both of us to move forward and be happy and healthy.
Exceptional Parents, how patient are you with your Exceptional Child? It usually is directly related to how patient you are with yourself and your weaknesses. Be gentle with yourselves Moms and Dads. You are fragile just like your child. You are scared for them, yet want to equip them for the world. You are tired, resourceful, resentful and advocates all in one. There is no one who loves your child more nor who ever will than you. So the first gift you can give your child is being patient with yourself. Once you have achieved that, be patient with them. Then you can follow their lead in letting them show you the life they want to live and is possible. At this point, the two of you will be guiding each other. 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, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.