Monday, June 25, 2012

"I don't know how you do it"

When someone finds out that I am a mother of six boys, with four of them on the autism spectrum, this is the most common response I hear, "I don't know how you do it!" Yes, I know that six boys is an endless adventure, and having children with autism is extremely challenging. But, when I hear this reply it always makes me wonder, "Am I NOT suppose to do it?"
Don't worry I am not offended if someone makes the comment, I know their meaning is, "Wow, I am amazed at all you do." For me I don't know any other way of parenting. I am the mom, so I am going to do whatever it takes to care for my sons. Given different circumstances I may wonder the same thing about you. I am awed at your strength and courage to face the daily challenges, even if to you they don't seam like anything special, or you feel like you can't keep going. You are doing amazing work!
I do have to say that I learned a valuable secret from some other wise mom's, "SELF CARE" This is easier said than done, believe me. However, if I take care of myself, I can handle almost anything, ( I say that while crossing my fingers, hoping I didn't just jinx myself for any surprises anytime soon.) I don't mean selfish wants of, "I need this to feel better." Anything that is a distraction will not fill up my "mommy batteries" Instead I am talking about self care physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If I take the time to care for myself, I am a better mom and have the energy to make it the next day. I make it a personal rule to do something in each area every day. I have my favorite list of things I like to do which is different from someone else, but here are a few examples for those who are looking for ideas.

Take a nap or get a full nights sleep (if I am so lucky)
Go for a walk
Listen to Music (or sing)
Talk with a friend
Jigsaw puzzles
Read a great book
Playing a game
Write my thoughts down (hey look, I am doing one right now!)
Get a Massage
Dinner made by someone else, * this one is a BONUS!
Take time to be still
Worship get the idea

One other secret I've learned after caring for myself, is care for my husband. If he is happy and recharged, then that makes two of us to care for our family, which is a heck of a lot easier than doing it by myself. Often we take turns recharging our batteries so we can make it through another day. I am blessed to have him there to give me the much needed breaks so I have energy for later. Hopefully, you have such a great person in your life, if not a spouse, a friend, family, or a neighbor. If not, remember you are not alone. Someone greater than all of us is there watching over you, and He is only a prayer away.

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