- Say "NO" - it is a complete sentence-NO need to provide an explanation with it!
- to people
- to projects
- to anything that doesn't serve you!
- Set boundaries!
- with yourself...such as limiting your work hours
- with others-you get to choose what you receive from them
- No people pleasing!!
- I see you! As a recovering people pleaser, I get it! You are not responsible for other people's happiness!
I hear from many parents that they’ve been told their child has executive functioning challenges, but they aren’t really clear what that really means.
Either way, parents will typically follow up with some time on Google seeking answers. 'Cause that's where we all usually end up!
- time management
- emotional regulation
The emotions come in waves.
I was on my way through the grief process for my grandmother. She was 99, there was anticipatory mourning for her. Time to say “I love you” and time to visit (though sadly on Facetime instead of in person). Time to ease into the loss.
Then last week unexpected loss hit. An acquaintance lost her baby at birth, An old friend of my kids, struck down by a car. A friend to Covid. Suddenly I was transported back to denial and anger.
Frustrating thing about grief is that it's always there to resurface. Suddenly I was feeling deeply depressed about my grandmother and angry about the murder of my dear friend gone for over 5 years.
My window of tolerance was closing! I knew I needed to pause, rest and allow myself to feel, process, and nurture. SELF CARE!!!
While sitting quietly in a dimly lit room, essentially zoning out, it struck me that there were other areas of grief I was tapping into, fear and anxiety were creeping in.
I was reminded of a conference I attended years ago with Ken Moses, a psychologist that focused his work on grief in parents of children with special needs. He taught about parents having core level dreams for their children, even before they are born. When those dreams get shattered they must go through the grieving process, separate from those dreams and begin creating new dreams.
Most parents experience a feeling of isolation and go through a similar grieving process as with a death, though it includes other stages such as fear, guilt, and anxiety.
Fear. The unknown, fear of the ability to cope with their specific situation, fear about the future.
Guilt. Did they do something to cause it? Could they have done more? Analyzing every stage of development, looking for how they could have done different/better.
Anxiety. They don’t know how to move forward, what resources do they need, do they have the stamina to do all the things?
It's a cyclical grieving process.
- your child’s behaviors sometimes have you in tears
- you question your ability to adequately meet their needs
- your child rejects you
- your home is more chaos than peace
- you feel like your friends with “neuro-typical kids” just cannot understand
- you feel isolated or alone
- you sometimes think about the dream you used to have for your child
- you think about “before” your child’s illness or diagnosis and feel sadness
Give yourself time to feel, allow yourself to cry, find others you can connect with, and do all the self care. You are the perfect parent for your child and in order to be at your best: SELF CARE :: SELF CARE :: SELF CARE!!!!
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Take a deep breath
Pit of doom in my belly.
Shoulders fold inward as my neck and back roll down into hunched over mode.
It all happens in a matter of seconds….and feels like time is standing still.
Every cell in my body deflates, my breath is shallow, and my head pounds as I clench my jaw.
In slow motion I turn the phone to look at the number.
Huge sigh of relief…
Panic sets further in as I answer…
I spent years waiting, day in and day out, for “the other shoe to drop.” *
*I just learned where this expression comes from! It dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century in New York City. In the tenement buildings the floors were so thin and you could hear your upstairs neighbor take off their shoe and drop it. Then repeat the action. It became shorthand for waiting for something that was inevitably coming.
Pains me to write this and recall the fear and constriction in my body even though it’s been over a year since I’ve responded to my phone ringing in this way.
Grateful to have cultivated the resilience and mindset to shift myself from this detrimental pattern.
For me, back then, it was the school calling or the police. Though it was really the constant state of fear I was stuck in that was the challenge.
I was freed up by releasing the paralysis of fear, opening my window of tolerance, and accepting that stressful calls come, AND that I don’t need to be suffocated by the grip of waiting for them to arrive.
I hear from many of you that are exhausted...caught up in this cycle of fear.
Mama, you are the only one that can make it stop.
You and your reaction/response are the only control you have.
You can break the pattern.
Reach out for a free 15 minute coaching call. I'm here to help you.
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