Another week down. Halleluiah. Is it school-time yet?
This last one has been particularly rough. The Little Stinker has a camp, the Big Girl has a job to be driven to and I'm going to physical therapy. There's also the revolving door of doctor and therapy appointments to fit in. Besides, the hubby has picked up a few odd jobs to make some cash. So that means I've been in the car more than out of it. And, when I am home it's a simple case of too much to do in way too little time.
It's also resulted in my difficult two being left to their own devices most days. And believe me when I tell you that this is never, ever a good thing.
Messes abound. Come to think of it, so do bad attitudes -- both theirs and mine. Why its been one big, seven-day-long grumpfest.
A while back someone suggested that I write a post on stress management tips for special needs parents. It's a great idea, but honestly, I'd feel a little hypocritical telling someone else how to manage their anxiety, when I here I am doing such a piss-poor job of it myself.
But then I got to thinking...
Maybe my pathetic existence can be used as an abject lesson in what not
to do. Speaking of nots:
- Don't turn to food as an emotional regulator. I'm on the fast-track to obesity these days, thanks to my extreme fondness of Doritos and Milk Duds in times of stress.
- It's probably not the best idea to unleash your frustrations on the grocery store bagger or the receptionist at the doctor's office. You might find yourself hearing whispers of "that's the crazy lady" behind your back the next time you show up.
- Maybe letting your 12-yr-old take your 5-yr-old to the neighborhood lemonade stand, where he proceeds to moon passersby, isn't the brightest move either. Yes, this is a true story. Oh wait, do I hear social services knocking?
- No, that 5-minute shower does not count as meditation time. It may be your only alone time of the day, but attempting meditation while shaving can be a tad detrimental to your health.
In all seriousness, here are some things that might prove helpful when you're at your wits end. Even better they won't land you in jail or get you admitted to the the closest behavioral health center:
- Get yourself out of the situation. Notice I didn't even attempt to tell you to take time for yourself. If you have special needs children, you know this is rarely an option. Instead, just walk outside, go to a different room or lock yourself in the bathroom. Whatever works.
- Vent to a friend. I am lucky to have a couple of go-to gals that will actually listen (or at least do a good job of faking it) when I'm ready to blow. They have talked me down from several a ledge and I thank God above for them every day.
- Great minds think alike. If you are feeling isolated and alone, join a support group. Some of my closest friends are those who have kids like mine. They get it on a level few others ever will. If there are none near you, check out Yahoo or other listservs.
- Look at the bright side. There is a positive side to reaching the end of your rope. It can be a great motivator to make changes in your life. I find that each bout of self-pity is usually followed by a push to get things done...I usually busy my mind so much, there's no time left to worry.
- When all else fails, relief is just a pint away. Ben & Jerry's or beer, pick your poison. Every once in a while it's OK to indulge. Just take my advice, stay away from the Doritos and Milk Duds.
--------------Any other ideas that my help, feel free to make a comment.