Sunday 29 October 2017

I may be a tired mama but my children are worth it!

Before I go on, I want to take my hat off to all parents who may be reading this. Being a parent is, for me anyway, the most rewarding role that I have ever been in. But on the other hand it is also the most tiring.

I've written a post in the past about the lack of sleep that we experience on a daily basis and I've come to the realisation that sleep is a rare commodity in superhero headquarters.

I'm now at the point that on some days I am beyond tired. I am exhausted. The level of exhaustion where no amount of sleep, rest or coffee helps.

At times it feels as though I have no energy left at all and I am hoping that at some point in time all parents have reached this point of feeling totally and utterly exhausted.

And if you are a parent who has never reached this level of exhaustion, pray do tell me your secret.

What I have learnt on our journey thus far is that this level of complete and utter exhaustion is quite often reached much quicker in parents of children with special needs.

As parents we give and give and give to ensure that our children are fed, are healthy, clothed and educated.

As a parent of a special needs child, when you throw in the need to research therapy types, new ways to help your child, endless specialist visits and then we try our hardest to be the best advocate for our children, this all adds to the exhaustion level. The lack of sleep is just the tip of the ice berg.

And when you reach this level of exhaustion, you're absolutely no use to anyone at all.

The cliché "you can't pour from an empty cup" couldn't be more true.

We do so much for our children but it is also important to take time for ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of our families.

When we first began our autism journey I will admit that I felt very much alone. And then I met parent after parent who felt exactly the same as myself and I realised that we weren't alone.

On this journey you are definitely not alone. You just need to find your tribe.

I have found my tribe - parents who have been there, parents who are currently there and those who understand.

When you find your tribe, you will gain support. You can support each other on the tough days and you can celebrate the successes together.

I'm incredibly fortunate in that my husband recognises when I am about to reach breaking point and visa versa.

"Go and get a coffee."

"Take a warm bath."

"Go and get some sleep."

Statements such as these can be heard on a regular basis in superhero headquarters.

Reach out to your partner, reach out to trusted friends, reach out to family so that you too can have someone who has your back. Someone who will recognise the signs of exhaustion and remind you to take time out.

Life is exhausting and it's okay to reach this level of exhaustion.

Reaching this level of exhaustion doesn't mean that you're a terrible parent. It doesn't mean that you don't love your children.

Reaching this level means that you are doing an amazing job as a parent.

So how do we take time out when life seems to be too hectic to stop for even a moment?

There are many things that you can do when you need time out.

Read a book ........

Take a relaxing bath ........

Take a walk outside ........

Go and grab a coffee. A hot coffee. Alone ........

Do something that reminds you of who you are ........

Do something that brings you peace and joy. Something just for you ........

Our autism journey is beautiful. It is tiring but first and foremost it is beautiful. I love watching my little superheroes grow as individuals and learn new skills.

All parents are raising unique, smart, wonderful children and you need to hold your head high and keep moving forward, as you are doing an amazing job at raising your children.

I may be a tired mama but my children are worth it!

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I would love to hear your thoughts on my blog. I do read all the comments that are posted. Thanks so much for stopping by. Jen xx