When you start suspecting your child might have challenges sometimes fear and anxiety take over. The “what ifs” set in and take residence, before you know it you are settled into a place of personal distress. In my experience, a lot of those concerns are valid. We wouldn’t have had the help that we have if it wasn’t for my pushing and my concerns.
However, there is a point you need to get to as a Mom on the special needs journey where no matter what the diagnosis, no matter what challenging behavior that your child is exhibiting you meet it without fear of the future. That takes confidence.
It might take you a few years to get there. But I promise you, you will find your confidence.
Recently I was talking with another Mom who was suspecting sensory challenges. Her concerns were very valid but her fears had completely over taken her.
Concern for what her child would be like during school.
Wondering if she was going to be wild and out of control during Mommy and me classes, while the other toddlers sit nicely in their Mom’s lap.
What if she is always loud?
What if I can’t get her to stop climbing the furniture?
Will she always want to be upside down?
While these all sound very typical concerns even for a neurotypical child, there’s a place where fear comes in and logic goes out.
Many of these concerns go back to thinking about how it makes me look as a parent. Does it make me look like a bad mom when my child is loud? Does it make me look like I can’t parent my child who is running around the room? Does my life look like a mess as my living room is full of sensory products?
I suggested getting rid of the coffee table and adding a trampoline, to me this seemed like a very easy suggestion, but when fear is in control there is no way this would seem like a possibility. This would require letting go. Letting go of having a perfect home and accepting that you have an active child that needs to get that energy out.
Hopefully she will get there, it just takes time.
As the years go on, you learn to let go. That’s the trick to building your confidence as a special needs Mom… letting go.
You let go of the “what ifs” and the concern of being different.
You grow into a place of acceptance.
You find joy in being greeted with bear hugs that almost knock you over.
Although, the chaos is overwhelming you find peace in having a house full of love.
You let go of the wondering about the future and start to look at how far you’ve come. How far you’re child has come.
You don’t even think of the “what ifs” because you are so focused on the now and what you have to get through today.
You don’t worry about having a trampoline in the middle of your living room with not a lot of other furniture because it makes life work. It gives you room to breathe.
So how do you get to this place of letting go?
Look at what areas are trigging your fear and anxiety the most. Honestly ask yourself how valid they are. Are they a valid concern for right now, with your child at this age or is this a concern for the future?
Remind yourself to focus on the now.
Look back at last month, last week or even last year. What has your child accomplished? Remind yourself that you probably felt like you were failing then, you survived that season and you will survive this season too.
Honestly ask yourself, am I concerned about ________ more because of how it makes me look? Does it make me look like a bad parent, spouse or person?
More than anything this process of letting go takes time. Every win you have and every affirmation on your parenting you get will help build your confidence and help you as you continue to let go. You just have to start somewhere. Make a choice to let go where you need to today and you will be one step closer to being a more confident Mom.
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