Let’s be honest, managing the stress that comes along with every day adult-life can get overwhelming at times. So imagine adding kids into the equation. Or better yet adding a child diagnosed with ADHD or Autism! Have your eyes popped out of your head yet? Let me share with you some ways to help alleviate some of the stress that you may be carrying.
As a special needs parent, most of us are not natural born experts on the diagnosis at hand. You will need to sit down and figure out a plan of action regarding how you will manage the stress that is certain to come with having a special needs child. Things like sleepless nights, sensory and behavioral issues, special education, and IEP meetings. Then there will be all of the paperwork with initiating and maintaining services for your child. The list goes on and on, but you get my drift.
What we seem to forget from time to time is that we are no good to our kids if we don’t learn to be good to ourselves. A huge part of being good to ourselves is retraining our brains to manage the amount of stress we are under without cracking. (Trust me I have been there and done that.)
I am a mother of a son whose primary diagnosis is severe ADHD with a string of diagnoses along with that. The following are a list are things I use in real-life to help manage the stress of being a special needs parent.
I’ve wanted to give up too many times to count, but my faith in God carries me on. The fact that I know He loves me and that trouble will not last always drives me to keep pushing on. I Run On Faith.
When I feel like I want to burst into tears, or a tantrum is brewing with my son I turn on music as loud as my son will tolerate. Both my kids have heard me say countless times, “Music makes me happy” So happiness is the expected reaction in my house. Before I know it, I’m singing and dancing and my son has joined in too!
There is nothing like your favorite, calming scent to change the atmosphere of your surroundings. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out savoring the wonderful smell of peace in a jar.
I can not say enough how much building a rapport with my counselor and talking about what is on my mind has helped. Being a special needs mom is hard and being critical of ourselves comes with the territory. It’s helpful to have another adult remind you to have compassion for yourself.
There is a huge amount of support that comes along with chatting with other parents who experience the same things you do at home. I am an introvert so I was initially nervous about signing up for a Parent Support Group. But that feeling soon passed once I realized there is no pressure to talk. Just listening to other parents made me feel like I was not alone in my struggles and made me realize things could be worse. Many support groups are available online. I even started my own Facebook Group – The Advocacy Garden. A place where parents/relatives/caregivers of individuals with Special Needs and those who advocate for Mental Health Awareness discuss whatever is on our minds. The Advocacy Garden is a strong and supportive community of individuals with whom you can converse to share your experiences. Join me there sometime at https://www.facebook.com/groups/133005577392312/
About the Author
Olena is a full-time mother and blogger. She strives to inspire, motivate, advocate, and encourage others through her own trials and tribulations and the lives of others. Feel free to visit her at her natural hair and lifestyle website: olenarosanne.com.