It was a difficult evening with Michael. Not in the way some evenings are difficult. There were not extreme behaviors or aggression, but there was testing, worries as he had a new bus driver who made some mistakes coming home, and lots of it mixed in with wanting Mom to spend LOTS of time with him. I, as well, had had a busy day, and was on alert for the bus being early or late so not my usual serene Mom waiting for Michael to arrive home. He also did not have any homework, so was looking to structure his evening differently. That he did. And for the first part of the late afternoon and early evening it went well. He had his snack, talked to a good friend where he behaved appropriately on the phone, and then had dinner with me. Things started to fall apart with him losing his patience at misunderstandings after dinner, and then though I spent some time playing video games with him as Dad got in late, he became impatient at my playing and demanded his turn before I finished mine.
After that, there was the mini fight to stop what he was doing when it was time for shower (though I had given him warning), and then making a mess with body cream all over the floor just because he thought it was funny. After he finished cleaning it up while I was hanging on to my last shreds of sanity and screaming on the inside, 😉 came the worries about him controlling himself and being able to live peacefully at home without angering anyone on his team. Sigh. I had gotten no housework done, no writing done, and was a bundle of nerves. I had been going non stop since morning, and when usually I take the short time when I arrive home to center myself for Michael, today with the heavy rain and bus being late, it did not happen.
When Michael finally got to bed close to 10:00 pm after a long talk about how much Dad and I love him, how he needed to use his strategies to behave better, I realized I was wiped out. I reminded myself what the remedy was when my soul was feeling depleted. The ideal? A massage and a Whirpool or Hamamm. Tonight? Not possible, so I did the frugal woman’s version- a long hot bubble bath with a glass of wine and soft piano music playing in the background. This actually was something I now did weekly- the bubblebath, that is, even if it meant I went to bed late. This is how I recharge my batteries- by having a good soak. It gives me perspective on things, and helps energize me for whatever free time I will be engaging in. This is self-care. This is nurturing yourself so as a parent you stay calm for the whole exceptional marathon of parenting, not just the sprint.
Exceptional Parents, what is your go to activity to recharge your batteries when they are low? Remember, there is no one right or wrong answer. It’s whatever reminds you that you are a separate human being with feelings and a body and mind that need a Mommy break. Take that time, whether it is reading, a bath, meditation, watching tv, listening to music. You deserve it. Yes, I got to bed later, but I felt rested and recharged in my soul. That is what will carry me, (and you), farther on your exceptional parenting journey. 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.