I want to be straight up and completely real here for a minute. Not that I do anything but that anyway. 😉
I love hearing from my readers, be it here or on Facebook etc. Two of the things that I get asked quite a bit are the following.
How in the world do I maintain my sanity? How do I not run out of patience with my kids and their challenging behavior?
These questions are using preempted by something like, I only have one child with Autism or SPD or ADHD or Anxiety and I struggle.
Something that’s really important to understand is that every single situation is different. Everyone is facing unique challenges and we all have different thresholds for things.
I don’t have any type of super power that prevents me from losing my mind while raising three boys with Autism, ADHD, Anxiety and fragile health on my own as a single Dad. I’m just as human as the next person and I have my limits as well.
The thing with me is that I work very hard at understanding my limits, recognizing them and whenever possible, removing myself from the equation for a brief period of time when I feel myself reaching that threshold. That’s really the biggest trick in my arsenal.
Writing about everything the way I do really helps as well. It’s helps me to process everything, regain perspective and feel like I’m making something positive come out of a very challenging situation.
The other thing to keep in mind is that I’ve been doing this for a very long time. It’ll be 15 years as a special needs parent pretty soon.
I honestly don’t remember anything else.
I don’t remember what it’s like to not have to struggle with everything. I don’t even know what it’s like to cook one meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner and have everyone be able to eat it. As it stands, I typically prepare at least three different meals in order to feed everyone and often have to remake something over and over because of slight imperfections.
I don’t know what it’s like to be able to get the kids dressed and off to school without having a major delay or meltdown due to how their clothes feel on their skin, especially shoes and socks.
People on the outside feel as though I exaggerate this stuff but hand to God, this and more happens every single day.
The thing I really try to do is remain focused on the positive. That’s not always easy or even possible but doing so helps keep me centered.
I always remember that while I’m frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, exhausted or just plain burnt out, my kids have it worse. While I have to deal with them struggling with their challenges, I don’t live it first hand like they do.
Every day my kids get up and face challenges that as a neurotypical adult male, I can’t even begin to imagine.
I do what I do not because I’m somehow better at it than anyone else. I do what I do because I love my kids more than having a normal life. I find strength in every victory we celebrate, regardless of the size.
I’m not exempt from losing patience or raising my voice at times but I really just try to take things in stride, roll with the punches and bend with the wind, so to speak..
Truthfully, no matter much better at this special needs parenting game you think I am, the reality is that I might not last a day in your shoes because everything is relative.
Remember that and never underestimate yourself….