“How to be a HAPPY special needs parent”

Working as a team.

  1. My husband and I came up with a genius sleep schedule, and may not work for everybody, but to keep everyone happy (including Mommy) sleep is important. Since I am a stay at home mom I get up during the week days at night whenever Conner is having seizures, or whatever the issue is. On the weekends my husband takes over Friday and Saturday night. I use ear plugs to have a quiet peaceful sleep and even though it’s only two nights, it does make a huge difference!
  2. Stop keeping count of who last did what. My husband and I have done this a lot in the past. “Babe, can you please give Conner his medicine?” “But I fed him all night I thought you would do it.” “But I have to take a shower and get ready to take him to the doctor” STOP IT! All that matters is, is you are each equally contributing to your child’s needs. This will save a lot of arguments! 😉 If you know something needs to be done, why not buck up and just get it done if you can.
  3. Having disagreements when it comes to your child is only natural, but its best to express your opinion lovingly. When Joel and I were new special needs parents, Joel thought I was over reacting every time Conner did something weird. I sat him down and told him WHY I did this. I explained to him that the constant worry I was experiencing was taking its toll, and the only way I could cope was to make sure I did my very best at being in tune with Conner and if I was over reacting, I felt that it was better to be safe than sorry. After a while Joel saw that sometimes if I hadn’t been worried about it, things could have taking a turn for the worst. I don’t mean the wife is always right, sometimes the father can be right too lol, there have been lots of times when Joel had to explain how he felt about a situation. Give each other a chance to speak up, but never belittle each other in front of family, friends, or medical staff. Stay on the same page as much as possible. Come up with a plan for each situation that may arise. It will help things go smoother. That I promise!

Say no! Those of you that know me…you are going to think “Huh, she should listen to her own advice!” This is so true, but I have learned that when I say “No” to extra things I know I am doing myself a favor. I love helping people out because it helps me get my mind off of my own stress, and I know people appreciate the help! There are times though I say “Yes” too often and I end up becoming overwhelmed. So on top of taking care of my special needs son, my 4 year old daughter, being a wife, and a busy Christian (Jehovah’s Witness), I choose to put too much on myself and I just crumble under the pressure. DON’T DO THIS TO YOURSELF. Know your limits. Your friends and family will understand…

Beautiful inside and out. To begin with, being a special needs parent automatically makes you beautiful inside. What about outside? I’m not talking perfection here… BUT! Have you noticed when you put extra effort towards your hair and makeup it actually benefits you more than others? (Of course, I am doing everyone a favor by putting my face on, otherwise I would be ran out of town with pitchforks lol) I have noticed whenever I take a few extra minutes on my makeup, I feel at least 2x better than if I don’t. There is nothing wrong with sweats, messy buns, and naked faces! I am all for that! Try dedicating more time tomorrow for getting ready and see how you feel.

Romance. Why is romance important? Well that should be obvious! See my other blog…http://onerummymother.com/2015/01/13/never-neglect-date-nights-again/

Quiet time. Of course you all know I am a HUGE Quiet time advocate! See my other blog….http://onerummymother.com/2015/01/21/mommy-needs-quiet-time/

Ask for help. Don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help. We all need help time to time. I couldn’t be a special needs mom without the help of my family, friends, and support groups. Knowing you have people there to help you will put your mind at ease. If you keep trying to take on the world alone, you will fall apart, but with support, your peeps will keep you strong when you most need it. Even when you don’t need them, just knowing they are there for you can be really comforting.

Night out with friends. I try to make this a monthly priority. For you special needs moms and dads, you have got to take time away from home to be with your friends, and try your best not talk about your kids. Though it may be hard because they consume every second of the day usually and love them so much, but having some normal conversations is healthy and it’s okay, don’t feel bad. Remember, if you aren’t happy then your kids won’t be happy. Make time for you and your friends to just hang out.

Online support group. Since my son was first hospitalized I connected with other parents online via Facebook, Inspire, etc… The support was at times overwhelming! I would post about a bad day and I would instantly have over 20 comments posted. All to encourage and to keep us going. At times, I know you agree, you don’t even answer your family’s phone calls. Somehow getting online is my favorite way of receiving support. Not that my family doesn’t give great support because they do, but accessing the internet and talking with other parents saves my voice from cracking and emotional break downs over the phone, which I avoid at all costs. LOL

Dedicated family time. Family time, I know, can seem rare because of all the stress from therapy, doctor appointments, just everyday life with a special needs child but just take a moment to clear your mind and ask yourself these questions “How can I be happy?” This is one of my favorite quotes “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to be like and celebrating it for everything that it is”- Mandy hale. We get so caught up with our busy lives that we forget what life is all about. My favorite thing to do is just sit and watch my kids play on the floor. I always think to myself how much time flies. I have to gobble up all of this cuteness and enjoy time with my family. We shut the TV off, and our phones and just relax, and listen to your kids play. That is how I celebrate the life I have. I listen… Also see http://onerummymother.com/2015/01/20/how-to-find-happiness-after-life-hands-your-family-lemons/

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Mommy needs quiet time

Definition of QUIET TIME: It’s the time when Mommy’s blood is turned down to simmer.

I am a mother of a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old special needs child. I also suffer from CD, so quiet time, for me, is a must. Every home/family is different, but reading this will show you how important it is for you and your child to have quiet time, and how you can accomplish it. Use that time to do whatever your heart desires. Get some rest, watch some TV, or read. Whatever, but this is YOUR time. HAPPY QUIET TIME!

First of all, just because you are feeling in desperate need of quiet time, does not mean you are a bad parent. You need to let go of the guilt and realize that having a break is necessary because you can regain your patience. Have you noticed, some days with your kids just make you so impatient that you just automatically start answering “NO!” to everything? It time for a break… Children also need quiet time for them to relax and wind down a bit.

What is my strategy?

CONSISTENCY & ROUTINE…It is best to start training your kiddos as early as possible. I knew from early on, with my first child, that I had to establish a break for myself daily. Stick with your quiet time plan!

Most children refuse to take naps, but I make it inviting. I say something like “Lacie, you don’t need to take a nap, but you have to play quietly. Maybe do some puzzles or color?” Because my child is so used to this being a daily thing, she knows what quiet time means. I bring her into her room with a Sippy cup of water. I tell her to please play quietly so Mommy can rest. She knows the only reason she comes out of her room is to go potty or if something is wrong. Usually I will take this opportunity to take a cat nap. If she does end up needing the bathroom, she will stand at her door and yell “Mom can I go potty?” “NO!” Just kidding LOL.

Because my delayed son is so well-behaved, I can put him in his play pin for an hour with a few toys and he will be so happy!

I know Lacie is safe in her bedroom because it is childproofed. Plugs covered, windows locked etc…I know she is safe. Of course you wouldn’t want to do something stupid like stick ear plugs in to sleep, you need to be able to hear if anything happens while you are napping or relaxing. I am a very light sleeper but I also have a baby monitor hooked up to hear if she opens her door.

I hope you find this strategy helpful, please comment below if you have found other ways helpful! Thanks for reading! Please follow & share… 

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