Being present takes more effort than we realise it is not just about dropping our kids off at school or tucking them into bed at night. It means dropping what we are doing such as playing a game, writing, reading or cleaning and paying attention to them. I was reading something in a book this week and it made me think about how we can pay attention to the misbehaviour, to the condition our children have and the therapy activities we engage in. The mistake we can make is to only provide this attention and often in our exhaustion we feel unable to give much more some days. But to build self esteem, worth and a knowledge of our unconditional love we need to look for the opportunities to give attention for positive behaviour when they aren't whining and when they are being funny. In the busyness of life we can let the moments slip by. It means allowing them to have a cuddle when we aren't in the mood, listening to them, going to the park or doing something special with them with no strings attached. These can be simple choices but often add up to significance for our children and build to a great relationship which is what we want with our children.
Some days it does get hard to be strong all of the time, we can get frustrated, overwhelmed and tired. It can feel like a running a marathon which has it's moment of intense fatigue and exhaustion. What we do for our kids is more important than we realise whether or not our children have any special needs if they have SM or not, no-one can replace us. At this stage I am hoping that the morning sickness (aka ALL DAY sickness) will ease up soon. This I know to look after our children we do need to look after ourselves. We are in control of us, what we do, yet our children can not control their need for us which is vital. General self care is important for all of us, good nutritious food, sleep, rest and focusing on the important things. Time with your family, time with your child (individual) not based on therapy or helping them, time with your partner (if you have one) or even a girlfriend for coffee, most importantly having fun.
In case you are struggling to think of a way to have some downtime or have some fun here are some thoughts:
- when waiting on hold on the phone grab a hot cup of tea and sit on the front porch
- in the shopping grab a magazine to sit down and read it once the kids have gone to bed and it is all still
- when the budget allows go out to dinner or have a coffee
- feel free to make a list of your own
Your mission is to first take some time for whoever needs it the most you know who that is. Yourself or others you know who needs it the most. In the future the challenge is to attempt to keep all of these items balanced.