Becoming an Empowered Parent

Don’t focus on how hard it is but also DON'T forget it

Sep 16, 2022

It’s time to find help and advocate for your needs!  You are so worth it!  

It’s hard to take in or understand the depth of what you are dealing with day in and day out when it’s all you have known.    

Some friends might tell you what your child is doing is ‘normal’ or typical.  And maybe it is.  But it really takes you, who lives it, to decipher what is just typical developmental behavior and what is not and the kind of help you need. 

My point is, don’t compare your journey to the journey of your friends or siblings who are raising kids that are very neurotypical.  If you are at New Hope or on this blog, it might be because you need help and things are feeling out of control.  Look to others that live the life you live, that are living it in a way that you would like to live it, and then find out what they did to get there.  

Isn’t it interesting that there aren’t a lot of resources and tools to help, but then we judge ourselves harshly for not being perfect at this task that is incredibly difficult and most don’t understand?  

I look back and think how in the world was I supposed to do any better than what I did? I didn’t have a lot of help or resources for the minute to minute crisis’.  I could only do the best I could do.    

What we forget to think about is the toll it takes on our bodies, our brains, and our spirits.  We become so numb to everything, even ourselves.  

Rarely have we worked with a mom that wouldn’t give their whole heart and soul to help their child heal.  

One of the things we work so hard on with new families at New Hope is self care.  

I remember one time I went for a consultation with a child to a new provider. 

He looked at me and said: You are really angry - do you know that? 

If I was angry to start with, that observation made me even angrier. I wasn’t there to get help for myself.  How could he judge me or point the finger at me?

First of all, he was right, but pointing that out to me was the least helpful thing he could do.  It really just made me angrier.  I could have used compassion and understanding, and not judgment.  

Here’s the deal though.  I was wearing myself out.  And he was right – I did need help.  
I was destroying my body.  My adrenals were fried, and I was damaging my brain trying to give more than I had the capacity to give.  

I was overcompensating with caffeine and sugar and really doing some damage to my nervous system.  I needed a support system.  

I wish I had had New Hope.  

I wish I had had someone that had ‘been there’ and come through it. To put it into perspective for me often - all that I was doing every day, and giving. 

So take your first year with us to heal.  To find your calm and inner peace.  To find YOU again.  Go on hikes, do yoga, go away for a few days each month, etc.  Start painting again, or dancing again.  Find Joy!

If you don’t have a place like New Hope, then insist on time for yourself.  Be realistic about all you do every day and what you need to recover from all that you do.  

We all pay in the long run when we don’t learn to take care of our nervous systems and our brains.  When we don’t take time for ourselves to process all we are going through and find peace and calm in the craziness. The good news is your spirit can bounce back fast!  Your instincts can start to kick in again.  The body and brain take longer to heal, but if you listen to it, and take care of it again, it will start to trust you and to heal too.  

By the time you find New Hope or read this post you may have already paid a high price for the stress you are living with.  

It’s time to find help and advocate for your needs!  Just like you want the help and tools for your kids to heal - you need the same!  You are worth the time and the resources! 

Question for you:  Think about or journal about how you are doing with self care.  What does that look like for you and is it meeting your needs currently?  If not, what do you need to do to make that happen? 

Take it from an oldie!  Do it while you are young and still 'in it'.  Your kids will watch you and learn from you, and you all will be so much happier!