Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mommy Reminders - Especially for Moms of Special Needs Kids

It's May which every mom knows less for Mother's Day and more for the crazy school year end madness.  We are juggling end of the year celebrations, field day, thank you gifts, graduations, summer planning, etc, etc.  If you are the parent of a special needs child you are also juggling IEP meetings, summer therapy schedules and any last minute errand you need to run before next September.

There are lists everywhere around this house and piles of work to get to.  It is easy to overlook the necessities.  So as a service, I have compiled a list of reminders which should help you keep your sanity.

- Breathe.  That's always a good first step.  If you forget to just take a second where you are and take a deep breath, you will collapse under the pressure.  Just breathe.  Bonus points if you go outside and breathe fresh air.

- Take A Shower.  No, I'm not kidding and I'm not being a smart aleck.  I know there are fifty blue million things to do.  Not a one of them will get done unless you take a moment to take care of yourself.  Take a shower.  Take care of your basic needs.

- Eat.  This goes along with the previous reminder.

- Exercise.  Again, this goes with the previous two reminders.  I am the last person to give you unnecessary things to do.  I am not saying to exercise at the gym in cute workout clothes for three hours for a twenty year old body.  You know already the insanity of that.  I am asking you to do something.  Move your body so that your soul and mind can function.  Mood follows motion.  You know that.  It's hard to take even a moment to yourself.  I'm asking you to take five minutes if that's all you can.  A DVD for five minutes in front of the television (My favorite is Leslie Sansone who I find much more realistic than Jillian Michaels...http://www.lesliesansone.com/) ....a walk around your house...five jumping jacks...you can do that.  You must.  If you don't function, you cannot give to your children.

- Accept help.  There is help out there even if its not your first choice of help.  No one else is your child's mom and no one else will do things the same way you do.  OK.  That is ok.  The world still spins.  You need help or you will fall down exhausted.  Check with the service coordinator.  Look into personal care aids, family to family connections groups, respite services.  Its out there and you need it.  You might be able to be supermom for a while but we are communal beings.  We are not meant to conquer mountains alone.  Aren't our children prime examples of that?  They need our help and in order to give them all of ourselves we must accept assistance when offered.

- Remember who you are.  No, I'm not making a Lion King reference.  I'm actually serious.  Remember who you are at the core- your honest self.  Nurture that.  You may have to be creative with how to do it, but its so important.  You are giving so much of yourself to your child...and rightly so.  Still, if you forget who you are in the first place....what are you giving?  Read for a moment.  Listen to books being read while you do laundry.  Listen to music.  Write.   Create.  Craft.  Be.  You are not doing any of this to seek perfection.  You are nurturing your spirit.

- Accept the imperfect.  Do your best.  Try.  And when you can't try anymore...try to try.  Messy is ok.  What is the actual requirement?  You fight the world for your child whom society deems less than perfect.  You scream for the world to accept your child for the beautiful soul that he is.  Be as compassionate and open minded to your own value as you demand the world be to your child.

- Keep moving.  Even just a little bit.  Baby steps are steps, and even baby steps progress us forward on our journey.  That's the key really.  Keep going, keep moving, keep on.  But nurture yourself so that you can.

Dear One, you know that I am writing to myself as well.  I struggle and am just as human and much more imperfect than you.  That's ok.  We must keep on.  We must encourage each other so that we can progress...so that we can do what we must...so that we can be there for our children...so that we can impact...so that we can make our mark...so that we can matter.

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