I've probably shared this before, but that's okay, i'll share again, holidays are not always the best time for us. We've had our doozies. Holidays where we feel like we are only just hanging on by a thread. It happens... Mum guilt... Too much to get done... Kids saying "I'm bored.."
It is possible to survive the holidays!! Even if you have kids with special needs
Yep you got it, truly possible. You can not only surive, you can thrive throughout these holidays... I dont' tell everyone, but i'll share with you a little story... once you hear it you will know 100% you will be able to not only survive, you will thrive through these holidays .
So it's 2016. I am have a special needs kid in kindy. It's full on. I haven't yet thought about being mindful. I haven't thought about being 'faithful in the little things'. I haven't thought about gratitude. I haven't thought about how my health and eating affects my mood. I just thought about getting through, day by day, surviving.
Life is full on as a parent, especially as a special needs parent...
Yep I am one of them. A KAPS, as we affectionately call them - Kick ass parent of kids with special needs.
When my kid entered kindy, it was FULL ON. Every day I had a report from the teacher about something he did naughty, wrong, out of place ... Don't get me wrong his teacher was loving and caring and kind, my son just had a lot of issues that didn't fit within mainstream school and he was in a mainstream school!!
So... the taps were his thing. Leaving them on and running them. Or squirting them at everyone. He thought it was fun. Others didn't...
Kindy was FULL ON, because he was full on and no one really knew how to cater and look after him.
Each day I kinda tried to hide from the teachers, cause I knew they had something else to tell me about Jordan. "He did... He did this... Oh and he did this...
All of which he didn't realise were an issue and well were a wee bit of fun for him...
Kindy is full on when your kid has autism...
So I didn't cope so well as a parent.
I'd had 2 girls at school. They weren't easy, but it wasn't like this.
Kids with autism are gorgeous. They have been created the way they are mean't to be. I truly believe this. BUT... they can be hard work!! They can be intense.
My son used to get fixated on key rings. We went to Movie world when he was in kindy. it was FULL ON!! He could not decide which to buy, he got stressed.. All of them were amazing to him.
Kindy was hard work. School was new and was at times too much for him. We chose mainstream becasue his sisters were there. We chose it so he would have varied influences. We often wondered if we chsoe right, but we make choices we have to live with, right?!
So we live with consequences
Our choices are what leads us to where we are. We make decisions that either uplift us or drag us down. Back then I wasn't in a good place. I hadn't learned to forgive or to be mindful. I didn't know what I know now. We learn from experiences right?!
Self care is an art form
We learn from BAD experiences how to look after ourselves... I specifically learned during this year that I need to look after myself - mind - mody - spirit. Self care is not just about having a pamper and a spa, or reading a good book. I learned the following:
1. I needed to feed myself well. Cut out the crap. Get rid of excess sugar
2. Get rest. Sleep is super important
3. Work on my mindset. Become mindful and recognise what I am doing well
4. Forgive. Myself and others
What began as a crappy, awful experience actually turned into a learning experience...
Learn to grow from really bad experiences
If I can use a crappy, bad experience to change and grow, you definitely can.
Let me share the story in a few words. There is a hundred more emotions I cannot express in so few words.
You can judge. If you like. But I ask you... if you were me, what would you have done.
Judgement is very easy. Perspective taking and understanding is harder.
I took the kids to the swimming pool. I stopped at the shops on the way home. 2 of the kids would not get out the car. One son was hard work... So i thought I will run in, i'll be quick, it will be okay.
But it wasn't...
Someone called the police. I was called over the loudspeaker at the shops to go to the front. I did. I was upset, shaking, hormonal... "I would never hurt my kids'.
So get home the police turn up. What ensues is an investigation by FACS. 2 young (yes young) FACS people turn up and interrogate me on what I am like as a mother.
Case is closed. Thankfully, but... I am shaken and loose a LOT of confidence as a mum and well in a lot of areas. It's over 3 years before i can get back to that supermarket.
This story as you can see is abbreviated, it's just the facts. A lot of details are missing, but it's all true.
Why self Care is so important as a Special Need mum or Kids with Autism
What is important to note is that I was not looking after me at the time. Life was full on. I knew this. I was not coping well and I knew it. I was struggling daily.
I would spend a LOT of time crying.
I thought I was alone and no one was in the same position. BOY was I wrong...
I didn't look after my eating, in fact i lost a lot of weight and looked very scrawny. I was hormonal. I was tired and my kids were full on.
So really I was in a hopeless and helpless situation.
When you get to this point it is important to ask for help. Reach out.
Self care is super significant
Like i said self care isn't just about what spa you go to, or having your nails done. it's about genuinely looking after yourself.
Guard what you put into your mind...
All these I neglected.
I was a machine . Getting through day by day.
I developed cold cores - #signyourimmunesystemisn'tdoingwell but I didn't realise.
When you are in this situation. I beg you, please don't be like me and neglect thigns. 100% there are people to help you and talk to you. You don't need to sit here... I have some specific tips (I'll share in a future blog), but for now here is my encouragement...
Tips for Self care and self management for Special Needs Parents
If you have kids with special needs - you are special. You have been created for a reason and your kids are with you for a reason also. You are strong and you are worthy. You have all you need to cope... BUT there are times when you will need someone to just listen. I reached out to a friend who was like aunt to me. She talked to me, didn't judge and gave me ideas. You will want someone like this. Who listens. Doesn't judge and can give you ideas to help you cope and well sometimes just get through.
There are others like you. Others who find things hard and have kids who are FULL ON, intense and don't listen. Look for
them. Find them and then support them. You will both need someone to chat to. You can be that for each other.
Our KAPS group on facebook is for parents like you. Who need to chat. Need a listening ear and often forget they aren't alone. When you are alone - it's well crap, it doesn't need to be like this. We'd love to support you.
We'd love you to join our free facebook group for Motivated Mums here. We are like minded mums who connect, think about what are our challenges and support each other. Connect with me online, or access my free guide to 3 Ways to balance your Wellbeing and Emotions Naturally here.