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MOMS OF Autistic Kids

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The Calm Mom Coach

Providing moms with strategies that create more ease.

When It’s a S#&^!@ Situation

I normally don’t blog on Saturdays, but today, I felt compelled to write while everything is fresh in my mind. If you follow or know me, you’re aware that my bonus baby (my cousin) is autistic, and we’ve been caring for him for two years now. Every day brings its own challenges—some great, some good, and some downright tough.

Yesterday, I was invited to a crawfish boil, an event my husband and I were thrilled about because we don’t get out much because of our bonus baby. Unfortunately, our sitter is unavailable for the next two months, so we decided to bring him along. I was apprehensive because he is prone to meltdowns and has limited communication.   The event had some of my current clients, potential clients, and their families, which made me eager to connect on a deeper level.

About an hour into the event, I stepped outside to grab my first batch of crawfish. My husband’s face said it all – something wasn’t right. Our little one had pooped in the bouncer and was covered in it. We couldn’t bring him inside to clean him up without causing a bigger mess, so my husband took him to the car while I cleaned the bouncer. As I squeezed through a tiny hole, scrubbing away, negative thoughts flooded my mind: Why today of all days? This was such a bad idea! I knew I should have left him on the potty longer!  Why does this always happen to us? We never get to do anything.  My life will NEVER be the same!

For those unfamiliar with our situation, caring for my cousin was supposed to be temporary while his mom got back on her feet. Yet, here we are, two years later, still in the same place. If I’m not careful, I can easily slip into a pity party. But within a minute or so, I pulled myself out of it.

Let me be clear: it’s okay to feel negative emotions; it’s part of being human. However, dwelling in negativity is where the real danger lies.

Here are the steps I took as I cleaned up the mess to regain my composure. You can use these steps to navigate through your own challenges:

  1. Step back and look at the facts – Most often it’s not the end of the world and if it is the end of the world, wouldn’t you like peace? It’s easy to get caught up in the pity party and compare your life to others. Being the victim has zero upside! Yes, it sucks! Yes, we didn’t sign up for this, but here we are right smack dab in the middle of a S#&%, and that’s okay. Look at the facts as the facts.  The facts for me are I’m cleaning poop from a bouncer and giving a thorough hose-down to a 7-year-old. Nothing more, unless I make it more.
  2. Accept what has happened – There’s no use in wishing it away. Why? Because it’s impossible! How much pain does it cause to continually wish for  the impossible and hinge my happiness on it?
  3. Give yourself grace and love – Regardless of how you handled the situation or what has transpired, you’re a human dealing with an imperfect circumstance. Show yourself the love, acceptance, and grace you need while navigating through it.

Once we were driving home, we found humor in our messy day. Picture us with a naked child covered in poop, standing in the grass while their neighbors passed by. Then there was a delightful aroma that filled our car!

Challenges are rarely welcomed, but they can create a better version if we allow them to.

Honestly, I don’t know how special needs parents manage without these tools. I’m grateful for the amazing people in my life who have equipped me with these strategies and continue to remind me that feeling “crappy” is okay temporarily, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

If you find yourself stuck in tough situations, trying to talk yourself out of it or pushing through without success, maybe it’s time for some guidance.

Most of us can’t navigate this alone – I certainly couldn’t, and neither could my clients. It’s like reading a book on swimming and then jumping into the ocean. You need direction. I’m here to help you navigate through your challenges unless you prefer to stay comfortable in your current state. Schedule a call with me. I promise, you can change your perspective on life!

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