As a matter of principle, I try to avoid giving advice because there are so many differences in our lives and familes that any advice I would offer, may not translate into something that would benefit someone else.
That being said, I wanted to share a few words and I hope that you take them to heart. This is of course, my personal opinion but I think it should apply to most of us (most of us being special needs parents).
It’s really easy to find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed by our kids behaviors or even the complexity of their needs. I do.
What I would really like you all to know, is that it’s okay to feel frustrated by our kids. It’s okay to be overwhelmed by their behaviors as well. Yes, I know that most of these behaviors are outside of their control but that doesn’t make said behaviors, any less challenging to deal with as parents.
You have to remember that you’re not only a parent but a human being as well.
As a human being, we are built to experience a wide variety of emotions, frustration and feeling overwhelmed, are among them. Another debilitating and crushing emotion that can rear it’s ugly head is guilt. I would bet a shiney penny, that you are all too familiar with guilt.
I learned a long time ago that I can’t control whether or not I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, much in the same way my kids can’t control some of their respective behaviors.
The only thing that I do have some control over is whether or not I feel guilty for getting frustrated or overwhelmed. For a really long time, I was consumed by guilt because I would think, what kind of parent gets frustrated by their child with Autism?
Eventually, I was able to answer that question.
So if I asked myself that same question again, it would go like this.
What kind of parent get frustrated by their child with Autism? The answer is exceedingly simple. A human parent.
Look, as human parents, we have no control over whether or not we get frustrated or overwhelmed. We do however, have control over how we deal with these feelings. Talk to someone. Connect with other special needs parents that can relate.
Personally, I’ve learned to embrace these feelings because I’ve realized that it’s “normal” to feel this way.
Once I came to that realization, the guilt just sorta melted away.
The way I see it is this, there are plenty of things in life that I’m going to feel guilty about, being human isn’t going to be one of them. I know that even when I feel frustrated or I find myself overwhelmed by my kids challenging behaviors, there is at least one feeling that outweighs them all.
That feeling is pure, unconditional love.
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