We’ve all been on a plane where we’ve heard some version of the following: “In case there is a loss in cabin pressure, yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment located above you. Please secure your own mask before assisting others around you”.
Because you are useless if you are dead.
Same rule applies to being a special needs parent, you are useless to your child if your tank is empty.
What do I mean by an empty tank?
You’ve got places to go, and things that MUST get done, but your tank is empty. Your load is heavy. Your cup runneth over…and not in a good way.
BELIEVE ME I GET IT and I UNDERSTAND!
So how do you secure your mask? How do you keep on truckin when you are all of the above things – because you will be at one point or another. I see it in the moms I coach, and even I fall victim to negative thoughts from time to time.
I want to be super clear here. There are many pieces to the formula of a WARRIOR MOM but this is one of the important ones.
Self care can look like many things and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be a nap while they nap, a 1 hour escape to your car to watch Netflix (one of my favs), a walk, a manicure, a bath, a book, a lunch with a friend. Anything that is supportive to the cause of filling your tank back up. Ultimately you need to do this at least once but ideally a few times a week. AND here’s the fun part, the more you can do it, the better the outcome for you and your child. BECAUSE you will be rested, focused and capable of handling any obstacles that come your way.
AND I would hope you know already, but in case you haven’t guessed it ..
It’s NOT optional – it’s MANDATORY!!! If you continue on a path of not taking care of your own needs, you will break your family, you will hurt rather than help your special needs child/children, and you will ultimately tear yourself apart, and you will not have anything left to give.
For your child’s sake, you need a secure mask. You need the energy and positive mindset to become the CHAMPION your child needs you to be!
You are your child’s number one shot at a thriving life. If you are not mentally, emotionally, or physically fit for the battle your child will perish. That may sound harsh but it’s 1000% true.
Remember, an autism diagnosis is not the end of the road; it’s the beginning of a new journey, and you need to make sure you are taking care of business which includes SELF CARE for you.
Till next time!