Mothering When Your Well is Empty

Mothering when your well is empty

“I am touched out!” Raise your hand if you’ve expressed those words before. I have both of mine raised. There have been far too many times when I just CANNOT. The kids demanded two different dinners, so you made three because you need to eat, too. Then they decided that whatever you so humbly made them is inedible by the time it arrives to their plates. So you passed out bowls of yogurt and Goldfish because there’s no way you will make another meal. Why are these tiny humans so unreasonable?!

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I’m giving myself three months to manage my mental health without medication.

Self-care can look different for each of us.

Two experiences with postpartum mood disorders, antenatal mood disorders and now situational depression. I’m a parent of two young children on the autism spectrum and realized that I am likely on the spectrum as well. I never anticipated that mental health would play such a large role in my life. But here I am, finally tapered off of a medication that caused an allergic reaction. Two other drugs ruled out due to the level of side effects that I experienced. My doctor and I have agreed on this – I’m giving myself three months to manage my mental health without medication.

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I can’t compare our children to yours, but sometimes I still do.

I can't compare your children to ours

We all know it to be true: comparison is the thief of joy. Parents of special children know that twinge in our gut that immediately follows a comparison. It’s a twinge of pain and guilt. I know that I can’t compare our children to yours, but sometimes I still do.

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Bedtime

Bedtime

Do you ever say the same thing so many times that the words begin to sound odd? This happens to me most nights at around the same time. Bedtime. It’s that magical time when my children run around like wild animals and pretend I don’t exist. Sometimes I spend two hours trying to get these little animals from chasing each other in circles to asleep in their beds.

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Déjà Vu

Deja Vu

There is a two-year-old who is eliminating foods from their diet. They are showing a preference only for crunchy textures. This two-year-old is not eating enough food, getting thinner, lacking energy and constantly saying they are tired. Preferring to be alone instead of with others, this toddler has begun not to notice us every time we talk to them, reduce eye contact and spend large amounts of time playing independently. This toddler is lining up items into neat rows. To my surprise, they are covering their ears at sounds that I do not perceive to be remotely loud. The meltdowns are terrible. It’s a guarantee that the meltdowns will occur when we are trying to leave home, but they often happen in stores and as we get into the car. This two-year-old is unable to leave home without a toy in each hand and throws their body to the ground whenever things don’t go exactly their way.

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Pity Party for One

Pity Party for One

I have been at this special needs parenting gig for a while now and most things don’t phase me anymore; but, there are certain things that hit me a little harder than usual. Sometimes the stressful things happen consecutively and I find myself wanting to crawl in bed, have a good cry and enjoy a pity party for one.

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