What Have Been Your Self Care Strategies?

“Wow, you certainly have your hands full!” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that expression, I would be a very rich woman!  As a parent of multiple children on the Autistic Spectrum it has been VITAL that I take time for Self Care.  I wanted to share what has worked for me in this Blog. 

I would like to hear from you!  What have been your Self Care Strategies that you have found helpful as a parent?     autismcaregiver@gmail.com

What has been helpful for me is: 
1.      Contact with Other Parents of Children with Autism, Aspergers or ADHD.  Sharing funny stories has actually been the most therapeutic!  It has so helped me during difficult times to think, “This is not funny right now…..But when I share it with some other moms…They will find it hilariously funny and I will be able to laugh too!”  Now that is QUALITY THERAPY like no other!   Sharing similar stories with others who are not parents of kids with autism will often get you long lingering stares of first shock, then disbelief and finally the mouth wide open stunned look.  That is not helpful!   Trust me! 

I have been in a psychiatrist’s office and shared what I have experienced and her response?  “I am overwhelmed just listening to you!  You have got to get help!”  This same psychiatrist later asked me to take my children, and never return, stating that they were too much for her office!  Yes, I know what you are thinking….  She was who we parents have to go to, for help with challenging behaviors.

2.      Working the 12 Step Program for Self Care and “Quality of Life Recovery”. [The 12 Steps originated in Alcoholics Anonymous groups and have since been modified to help HUNDREDS of very different life challenges with similar success!!] 

I had returned to Overeaters Anonymous to work on my 80 pounds plus weight gain.  As a result of working the 12 Step Program, I have been maintaining an 80 pound weight loss now for over 3 years.   So I can say with confidence, that the 12 Step Program is QUALITY OF LIFE ENHANCING!  While I was working my own 12 Step Program, I saw immediately that these 12 Steps would also work for parents struggling with raising a child with Autism, Aspergers and ADHD!!!  Parenting Autism is my main life challenge!  I am amazed at how the quality of my life has improved as a parent, since I have been working the 12 Steps in regards to dealing with Autism!  I am so convinced that the 12 Step Program will be QUALITY OF LIFE ENHANCING for other parents like myself….like you, that I can hardly contain myself!!!

Tragically I am also motivated by my friend who committed suicide.  She was a mom of two kids with Autism.  Please scroll down to read, “Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First” below that shares about it. 

I know firsthand the overwhelming challenges of parenting a child with autism.  I also know what can happen, when we as parents do not make self care our first priority.  Autism is a marathon and not a sprint.  If we try to sprint too long, we will not finish the race.  Successful parenting of children with Autism, is not about beating ourselves up for not being able to cure it.  It is not about “trying harder” it is about admitting that it is too much for us to handle on our own.  And that is what the 12 Step Program is all about….overcoming life’s difficulties when they are more than we can handle on our own.


Jayne said…
This is a fabulous concept! I would love to share it with my readers on both http://www.allerjayne.com and on http://www.donteatthatsite.com
(Full credit to you with a link back to your site of course!)
please e-mail me at info@donteatthatsite.com with your answer :)

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