You might notice a quiet discontentment. You might not be a yeller or no matter how hard you try you might always end up yelling at your kids. You might have some weeks where you are patient and then others where you have completely lost all your patience. You might snap at your husband over nothing. Sometimes you might even end up in tears. You might wonder why you are so unhappy and why you can’t catch your breath. It’s exhausting.
Sometimes, anger isn’t exactly what you think of it as.
Underneath it all is anger. It’s been a big part of my journey as an Autism/SPD/ADHD mom. Most of the time I didn’t even know it was there. Until, it just bubbled up and I couldn’t keep it bottled up anymore. I needed to start recognizing it and dealing with it.
Anger just has a way of creeping in.
It’s anger over fighting for answers.
Not knowing what to do.
Being completely broken.
Feeling jealous of others.
And just feeling all the hurt.
Anger is a symptom. It’s the result of pain. Special needs parenting is not an easy journey. Anger breeds frustration and impatience.
I didn’t want to acknowledge that I was an angry mom. I wanted to ignore it. I felt guilty about being angry, I knew that my child couldn’t help it. I knew that feeling angry wasn’t helping our situation. The truth until I finally recognized where my anger was from, I felt empowered by its purpose, the guilt ended. Instead of letting the anger take over and building into bitterness and defeat, there was so much good to be found.
Anger reminded me of my needs.
It reminds me that I need to take better care of myself.
It reminds me how fragile our family life is. How fragile I am.
It reminds me to breathe.
It reminds me that I’ve held on to everything too tight. I need to let go.
It gets me to check in, are my basic needs met?
When your child has a lot of needs and you are working so hard all day to meet those needs as a mom you are easily exhausted and by 3:00 anger is already starting to bubble up.
Today, was one of those days in our house.
I had hit my limit early in the day, but there was still more day left to conquer. I was getting Miss S ready for soccer and she was arguing with me and having a terrible attitude for the 100th time of the day. I reminded her about what we were working on and I was angry. I wasn’t patient but I wasn’t yelling at her. The tears started and she said “I never make sense to anyone.” My heart dropped, I had just told her that what she was saying wasn’t making any sense. The second she said that my anger disappeared.
I know the days of living in survival and being angry about it.
1. Remember to breathe.
Take extra time during stressful moments with your kids to breathe before you speak. Breathe before you act and check out for a few minutes if needed to regain your emotional balance.
2. Anger doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it means you are human.
Let go of the guilt. Let go of thinking that you shouldn’t feel this way. Anger is a God-given emotion. Use it for good.
3. Apologize when needed and always remember to model healthy behavior for your children.
Sometimes, anger wins. Sometimes, you yell. You can always apologize, acknowledge your mistake to your kids and remind them how you love and care for them.
4. Seek help if needed.
I’m a firm believer in working through the emotions you are battling as a special needs parent. If you feel your anger is out of control and you can’t get a handle on it, I would highly recommend finding someone to help you learn more coping techniques.
5. Remind yourself that your child’s struggles are real.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the many challenges our kids have. It’s easy to get angry about them. It’s in remembering their difficulties that brings patience and helps quiet the anger. It’s reminding myself that this is hard for her. Everyday life is hard for her.
Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and Mommy Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia!