When you are going through something tough and you're feeling discouraged, hopeless and feel as if things will never improve, you want to hear from someone who gets it and has gone through the same thing or something similar to give you hope. When you're doubting yourself and feeling as if you cannot take much more, you need to be encouraged and I hope to be the person that can do that for you today. You are stronger than you could ever imagine or give yourself credit for. Everyone around you sees it and it's time you saw it for yourself, as well.
As an Autism Mom, I definitely have had my fair share of judgement and feeling uncomfortable out in public or gatherings with friends and families. I’ll be honest, sometimes I have avoided social situations because I wanted to avoid that discomfort. And that may be the only good thing that has come out of 2020 because I have been given the excuse for avoiding all public outings. I have trained for this! But seriously, Real Talk today about Fear of Judgement & Discomfort in Public when out with your child with special needs.
In my promise to keep it real on here, today I want to share about my favorite kind of party lately and it’s been the pity party. I have been partying alone over here for the past week and in speaking with a new friend that reached out after listening to this podcast, we talked about how as Autism moms, we really just need to hear that other moms feel it and get it and go through all of these emotions. We don’t want to hear about perfection. We want to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly because that’s exactly where we’re at. So I'm here to let you know that this is where I'm at lately, I accept it and I'm not going to feel bad about it. I'm giving you permission to feel down and not apologize for it.
I’ve been asked and messaged a lot recently from people wanting me to talk about Patience. So I am, but not because I’m an expert on this or have the patience of a Saint because that is not the case AT ALL. If you asked me to describe myself, Patient would not be a personality trait I would use to describe me. I’ve definitely learned to become more patient as I have gotten older but some days I realize I still need even more. I share some things I have learned to do in order to not have myself committed or put my head through a wall.
This year is one we will all remember because it has brought about so many challenges as a country, for our world and has impacted so many of us personally. We've all learned something during this year. There are so many lessons weaved within this Cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs-Kinda year. We're in the 4th quarter of 2020 and as much as I want it behind me, I don't want to miss OR ever forget the important lessons that have come out of this year.
Worry and Guilt. I think it's safe to say that every parent feels these emotions often when it comes to raising their children. However, the worry and guilt I'm talking about in today's episode has to do with our neurotypical children. We feel guilt over the extra care and attention that their siblings may need. We wonder if they get just how very much we love them. We worry that they will feel as if they missed out on special sibling relationships. We feel guilty for having to leave places early. We worry about how they feel when someone calls their sibling "weird". If you're a parent of a child with special needs, you know exactly what I'm talking about in episode 10.
This Friday will be my husband and I’s 16th wedding anniversary so I felt that it was only fitting to talk about Marriage this week and our 16 glorious and magical years married filled with nothing but love, laughs and adventure. If you just rolled your eyes or that last sentence made you regurgitate your last meal, I'm sorry that you did not pick up on my extreme sarcasm.
Oh there’s been adventure, maybe not exactly the type that involves travel to interesting and gorgeous places but the adventures have definitely been interesting, nonetheless. And laughs, we’ve had lots of those but there’s also been our fair share of tears, as well. And love, yep, lots of that because I do love my husband to pieces but I will admit that Marriage can be hard and if you have a child with special needs, well then it’s even harder. I’m getting real in episode # 9!
Have you ever felt embarrassed by your truth? Concerned about how people see you? Do you try to hide things about you and your life in fear of judgement that if someone knew the real you, they'd be horrified? Do you hide behind some facade in order to please people or make people like you? Have you done that for so long that you actually don’t even know who you really are? Girl, we need to talk because I have done all of the above and was absolutely exhausted from trying to be everyone else but me. I was miserable. It wasn’t easy to start to showing up as my authentic self in this world and I still have to check myself now and again to make sure I don’t get off course.BUT there is so much power in being who you really are. I’m talking about this in episode 8!
I don’t think there is a parent of a child with special needs on the planet that hasn’t had tough days and felt hopeless and like they’re not seeing progress even after all of the therapy. I know what it’s like to fear the future and wonder if they’ll ever be able to live on their own or walk to the end of the street alone. Have a real friend. Get their license. Sometimes I can get so caught up in the unknown of the future or the rough patch we may be presently in and completely overlook all of the progress we have made to date. When you’re in the trenches everyday and so busy being Mom, it’s so easy to lose sight of how far you really have come. But focusing on that and celebrating what may seem small to others is exactly what we need to do because the little things are usually a REALLY BIG deal
When my son was diagnosed with Autism, I will tell you that I was in denial. I couldn’t say the word, Autism. I couldn’t write the word, read the word, hear the word. None of it. I remember at our first BIG IEP meeting after I had just been told that my son was Autistic, that I had to sign the IEP. One particular document had his printed diagnosis on it. I remember not being able to put that pen on that paper to sign and my hand shaking uncontrollably. But what did hit that paper were my tears because they were streaming down my face. It’s crazy how I remember that day and the emotions like it was yesterday. I hope that this episode helps you to accept and move forward to helping you to be the Courageous Mom that I know you are to advocate for your child and get them what they need to live their best life. Let’s do this!