Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Every parent has had those days when your eyes rolled up, and you silently prayed for more strength and energy to "deal". Parents of kids with special needs have many more days like this, and sometimes on a daily basis. We pray for PATIENCE. It just is what it is.
Perhaps we become impatient when we do not get the "rest" we need. Sure, we may sleep, but sometimes that sleep is "restless". The things to do list, physical exhaustion, eating crap on the run, working to pay the bills, lack of emotional connection, and limited mental stimulation, of course, causes stress overload. It's obvious why we feel the way we do and demonstrates the "patience is bitter" part.
However, we are also grateful for the small miracles that most parents take for granted; "but it's fruit is sweet":
A smile of recognition.
Words that are finally strung in a sentence.
An accomplishment that is HUGE but so little to someone else.
A genuine sign of appreciation from our child for all that we do.
Sweet hugs when we need to be forgiven for losing it.
Laugh out loud ridiculous scenarios that warm the heart.
A real friend that accepts and loves our child.
A family member or dear friend who understands and steps in to help, even if we don't ask.
I offer suggestions that work for me:
Write your things to do list before you go to bed. As Scarlett O'Hara said, "After all, Tomorrow is another day..."
If you can squeeze even 30 min of exercise from you-tube or a walk around the block, this will really help your head and body to unwind.
Our grandmas were right; "Eat more fruits and veggies and anything else that is God made not man- made."
We have to work, but finding the "what was good about today" helps our mindset.
Scheduling a date with a friend, spouse, or with others who make you laugh is the best present you can give yourself. (I am laughing to myself because I need to do this more too).
Creativity and Purpose rewards your soul like nothing else. Get excited about rediscovering what makes your heart sing.
Asking for help when I need it.
Please comment by sharing what helps you release irritability, and promotes a feeling of sweet patience. For Edgar Cayce once said, " You get to heaven on the arms of people you have helped." Thank you!
Debra Taubenslag, Author
No Stone Unturned: How My Special Needs Child and I Transformed Against All Odds