I’m not a physician or a mental health counselor, but I sure understand the need to talk about stuff. I highly recommend Talk Space.
Hella Stress Day
Remember that song “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter? Here it is in case you’ve forgotten. Feel free to play it while you read to heighten your sensory experience.
Yeah, I need that song playing in the background because it perfectly sums up my day.
The thing is I shouldn’t even be having a bad day because I’m taking vacation days to hang out at home. I don’t have to get out of bed, I can wear my pj’s and I have very few responsibilities for a few precious days.
Curse My Loving Mom Heart
Me being a mom I’m still helping out my kids when they need it. My 18-year-old threw some super shady behaviors at me when all I was doing was being nice and trying to help. She’s struggling and I wanted to make it better. Nothing good came of it.
That is where my day took a turn, downwards. Cue a headache to go with it. When you’re kids are overwhelmed, sometimes what we end up with are sketchy behaviors usually aimed right at the parents. They trust us which means they can act their worst around us and know they will still be loved.
Mad, Sad, Starbucks
My first response was just to be good old-fashioned mad. I was gonna tell her off and really lay on some mom guilt.
Followed right behind that emotion was sad. I hadn’t been able to help. I hurt for her. Still wanted to fix “it”, couldn’t.
I bounced around between the two emotions and finally got in my car and went to Starbucks.
I ordered my Venti non-fat latte with toffee nut flavoring and sat in my car to think. Being a parent is damn hard. It’s what we can’t control that wears us down the most.
So I have to wonder how moms with autistic children make it through frequent behaviors and how do they still push through and crush their day?
Here’s some thoughts:
Autism Behaviors Checklist
Autism behaviors have 3 things in common:
- They reflect what’s going on within that person
- They send us a clue about an underlying emotion ie….frustration, anger, hurt, fear
- The people emotionally closest get the lions share of the behavior aimed at them
Every Day is A New Day
When I taught kids on the autism spectrum in high school one of our Golden Rule’s was that every day is a new day.
Whatever happened yesterday is over.
Today is brand new, fresh page with nothing written on it.
It’s gonna be a great day.
This goes hand in hand with Every Day Is A New Day
Behaviors can’t be allowed to snow ball from day to day.
This means you can’t collect enough snow to build a snow fort, snowmen, or snow arsenal.
When the day is done, chuck the snow out the door and let it melt.
Okay I tried to make that metaphor work with the snow. What do you think? Too much?
Who are your people or I think we call them tribes now? You know the ones you make an instant connection with because no masks are required. Your truth is accepted raw, uncensored and real.
Call, text or go out for coffee with these people often.
I wrote a post about respite kits. I’m going to link to it here. The idea is to have available to you items or quick ideas that bring you comfort. Some times we can’t leave the situation or separate ourselves because it’s just not possible.
Have your personal respite kit stocked and ready to use wherever you need a quick break from autism behaviors. Home, car, wherever. Give yourself the gift of instant gratification because this isn’t always a bad thing.
Here are a couple of fantastic places to find more information on autism behaviors and assistance.
You’re gonna make it!