Bipptyboppityboo, snicklefritz, cheese and rice, fudge and more. Of course those are not the exact words streaming through my head the moment I caught Diva coloring on her bedspread and after I just dug Sb’s hands out of her poopy diaper. By the way, Bug was down the hall screaming and crying at the dinner table about me leaving crust on his sandwhich. I yelled at Diva to go into time out and I stopped and thought “can I go too?” I want a break; I need a time out!
At that point I put Diva in her room, cleaned up SB and, I admit, I ignored Bugs tantrum while I put myself in time out. How had I reached this point? How had I gotten so angry at my kids?
Sitting in my office/craft room I didn’t even know what to think. I looked around and saw project after abandon project. I just wanted to close the door, lock it and finish everything I had started. Then Bug knocks on the door; he finally ate his sandwich. I hear SB wandering around the house- “mama, ear r youu?”. I count to 10 and walk out; feeling better by love. I realize I have all these unfinished projects because of them but I’m losing my mind because of them.
Some might call it care givers burn out. I call it parenting. Dealing with children with special needs requires giving more than 100% of yourself: you end up giving even when you have no more. You skip showers to be present for OT appointments, you forget to each lunch because you are fighting a battle trying to get a kid to eat and the list goes on on things we give up. After a while instead of calmly dealing with your children’s tantrums, you are having one with them.
It was hard, but I realized that I needed to do something for myself. I couldn’t even pee alone; so I needed to find one thing that made me feel human again. I had to find myself again.
We all hear it and we preach it to other families with special needs children, but it is an entirely different story to live it. Why? For me it’s guilt. I feel guilty if I do something with the intention of benefiting only myself. But you have to do it.
So I try to put myself in time out now. I try. I lock myself in the den, or sit in my office. I try so hard, but after a while the guilt creeps in. It’s hard to push it away, but you have to. I have to.
So ask yourself- when was the last time you did something that only benefited yourself? Showers and potty breaks don’t count. For me, I just did my nails and wrote a blog post. Blogging is what I do for myself, although I feel others gain from it. So just for myself and my sanity; I write. I’m writing a book along the lines of this blog. Parent with humor or parent alone. Maybe one day I’ll get it published. But until then I lavish in the pages and caress the keys as I lay all my honestly and humor in parenting on the page.