Dear Autism Mom,
When your child has autism, it’s easy to get caught up in everything you have to do.
From careful routines to specialist appointments and therapy sessions for your child, your schedule is busy. Then you have to add in all your everyday “stuff”, like caring for other children, working or managing your home, cooking, cleaning, managing finances.
You have a lot on your plate.
Yet, you might sometimes feel like you’re not doing enough. (You might feel like that much of the time!)
Today I want to share three simple “secrets” or reminders that have helped me tremendously over the years as an autism mom.
3 Secrets for Reducing Overwhelm
1. Do your best and don’t stress the rest.
Life happens. You can only do so much. Do your best and try not to stress the rest.
It can be hard to let it all go, but that’s okay.
Because you are only human! It’s hard to remember that sometimes, isn’t it? As an autism mom, you are almost expected to have a superhuman kind of strength. And you do… in a way.
But in truth, you are just human so be kind to yourself.
2. Don’t think in permanent phrases.
Try to stop thinking or saying “Never, always, etc.”
I used to think very negatively. Things like:
“He’s never going to get better.”
“He’s always going to be like this.”
“MY life will always be like this.”
“Will my life always be this crazy?!”
It was depressing and so final!
It’s not that I didn’t believe in my son, but in those tough moments, it was hard to see any light in that dark tunnel.
But I’ve learned it’s a mistake to think like that. Because friends, in the 14 years I’ve been an autism mom, I have yet to find a situation that was truthfully a negative “never or always!”
No now when I find myself slipping into that “never/always” thought pattern, I stop myself.
My son does improve. He has for every single one of those things I used to despair over.
Of course, those worries and concerns change as our kids grow and I now have new sets of things to think about:
How will he do in high school next year? (Yes, I’m scared!)
Will he be responsible enough to learn to drive in 1.5 years?! (even scarier!)
But I keep pressing on because I never want to limit my son or put him in a box. He’s amazed and surprised me more times than I can count.
If you find yourself thinking those negative “final” thought patterns, be aware of what’s happening and try to stop yourself.
3. There is always hope.
Like Anne of Green Gables says: “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
Yes, it’s very nice.
As frustrating and discouraging or downright awful as today may have been, tomorrow is always there as a potential for something better.
And if your day has been amazing and wonderful and encouraging, tomorrow can be as well!
Hang in there, dear autism mom. You’re doing a great job!
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Carolyn Smith says
Thank you for your words of encouragement! I too am so scared about high school and driving. My biggest worry/fear is the bullying that goes along with my child’s everyday school life. The thought of him being “laughed at”, talked to rudely and shunned is too much for me to grasp! Thank you again and I’m glad I found this writing.
This is wonderful advice. Often it is not the event that stresses us out. It’s our reaction and self-talk that make it worse. I get caught up with the permanent phrase words too. Any time I say something like, “I’m so tired of ALWAYS _____ ______…. No matter what that blank is just that statement causes the situation to get much worse and my stress to elevate too.
Firstly I want to THANK YOU. You are an absolute amazing and I can not thank you enough for the information you have written for us moms. The time you have spent creating this site,blog or what ever you may call it. I can’t stop reading and trying to more understand my child. I thank you for all the natural things I am now venturing into making and so excited about it… I’m so glad I came across your site …Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart…
Kindest regards Rani.
Rani, you are so sweet – thank you! I am so glad I can help in some way. xxx