I tell people all the time, if you feel yourself reaching the end of your rope, for the love of God, walk away.
Sometimes, the very nature of your child’s special needs, can make it difficult to walk away. Sometimes, there’s no one to step in for a few minutes while you regroup.
There are so many different family dynamics, that it’s impossible for me to provide specific advice that will apply to everyone.
That said, I’ve done the single parenting thing, with all three of my kids for almost two years. I was very much on my own, and didn’t have backup. I’ve also been parenting with my wife, both before and after our separation.
When I say, if you feel like you’re reaching the end of your rope, and you can’t take anymore, walk away, I’ve been there.
All I can say is, when you reach that point, you have to find a way to step back. I know it’s not always logistically feasible, but you have to find a way to decompress. Find a way to take a break, even for a minute.
Maybe turn on the TV, and step into the kitchen, or run to the bathroom. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as everyone is safe, and you can decompress.
My whole point is this, we somehow got it stuck in our heads that we have to be strong, show no weakness, and give to your kids, no matter the cost. We somehow got it in our heads that because our kids have Autism, we can’t get angry, frustrated, or anything else.
Here’s the deal.
If you feel any of those things, guess what? You’re human, and there’s nothing you can do about it. By accepting that you’re going to feel things like this, you can begin working on ways to help you better cope with these feelings.
Getting angry, frustrated, or resentful, doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids. It doesn’t mean they’re bad kids either.
What it means is that you are a human parent, and they are human kids. Autism doesn’t mean your child can’t drive you crazy. They may have Autism, but they’re still kids, and kids drive their parents nuts. It’s just the way it is.
The important thing is to recognize your limits, and not feel bad about needing a break from your kids, even when they have Autism. Sometimes stepping away, or taking a break, is the best parenting move you can make.
I would love to hear some of your thoughts, and/or insights on this topic. Please leave your words in the comments below.