Friday, oh Friday how I love thee. So, it seems most fitting to begin the weekend writing about love.
I’ve always been a lover of love. Having Tucker made me even MORE of a lover of love.
Some simple rules.
1. Love that child. Love them like CRAZY. I often tell people who ask me for advice, “Love them right through it.” Trust me, I know it’s hard.
In the moment that you have repeated yourself 15 times.
In the moment that they continue to argue about something you know is right.
In the moment that others are staring.
In all moments…the most frustrating moments. Love them through it. Love will take you (and the child) to the other side of the ‘moment’ – frustration won’t. Anger breeds anger. Frustration breeds frustration. Irritation breeds irritation. Just love them right through it.
2. Love yourself. Seriously – this business of parenting is exhausting. Add some ‘special’ stuff to that business…and it’s soul draining. One of the first things that my husband said to me was…’You never stop parenting. Those of us with NT children get a break – you never get a break. Ever. Even if Tucker is sleeping or occupied you’re thinking about the next challenge. Dealing with the next thing that could set him oof. Making special appointments. Taking stock in his progress. Figuring out how to do more for him.”
He’s right – but I didn’t recognize it – because Tucker was my first child.
Take advantage of resources. If you have a friend or grandparent that can care for your child for one night (or weekend) a month,take it! YOU NEED A BREAK.
Be sure to choose someone who knows the bedtime rules, that knows about scheduling, that knows about food/drink issues, someone who ‘gets’ your child. YOU NEED A BREAK.
I get it, it’s difficult to take a break, because a change in schedule may ultimately take a week to recover from. YOU NEED A BREAK.
So, find someone you trust – create a relationship and then take a break. YOU NEED A BREAK.
You have to take care of yourself – if you begin to lose yourself you aren’t doing anyone any good. Not your child, your partner, you other children, your friends, your co-workers. Just love yourself enough to know…YOU NEED A BREAK.
3. Love the journey. It is special and unique and it is your own. No one else has one like yours. Your story is your own to tell – tell it in whatever form you can. Love the difficult moments, love the moments that you celebrate . Love it all…it’s yours and yours alone.
Above all? Love is the thing that will keep you moving forward. The type of love you have for your child on the spectrum is unique. We take HUGE pleasure in small (but huge) battles.
A positive note from school – CELEBRATE!!!
A compliment from a stranger – CELEBRATE!!!
A great ‘play’ in a game – CELEBRATE!!!
Let’s be honest here, your child not having a meltdown because something is different? CELEBRATE!!!!!
This thing has no doubt pulled you in all directions. It has probably almost broken your spirit – it’s been ugly, there have been tears, you have had stress unlike any other, you have screamed, you have cried alone, you have snapped.
But, you know what?
You are still here…and so is this child. Your record for getting through those bad days is currently at 100%.
Just keep on loving them (and yourself) through it…