At the end of 2015 I hit this place of hopelessness. I know Sensory Processing Disorder is something that our daughter will always have but I have been pushing especially hard these past 3 years for something that would help her and that would help us. We’ve done extensive therapy and have gone to the ends of the earth (almost, does Colorado count?) for her. We’ve seen very little results and I came to this place where now it’s time to work more on me. To process how I’ve felt about SPD as a parent and to accept this as part of life, even though I don’t want to. My resolutions this year are separate from my goals and are more about being and less about doing.
Be more Compassionate. Compassion for myself and Miss Sensory. I’ve learned this year that I am beyond tough on myself. I expected myself to be better at parenting. I thought I wouldn’t feel like a failure so often. I sometimes forget that Miss Sensory takes in all the sensory information in the outside world and appears like she is handling it all and then later explodes and I get mad. I need to be reminded that her battle is just as hard as mine.
An example of calm instead of anger. In 2015, we embraced that we are angry. We are angry at Sensory Processing Disorder. We are angry when she appears like she doesn’t listen, even though we need to tell her 15 times and use a visual guide and take her by the hand to brush her teeth. We honored that it is upsetting. It’s upsetting that everyday life is such a challenge. That simple tasks become an all-out strategic battle of how to get her to complete something successfully. This year, we are focusing on calm. She watches us. She loves to practice being a Mom, as she calls it. So the other day, she was helping me with the laundry practicing being a Mom. She bumped the door and normally she would actually turn around and hit the door. You know what she said to me, “Mom, I’m not going to hit the door because Mom’s don’t do that.”
Celebrate. I want to celebrate more. Celebrate the goodness. I have an amazing child and more often than not I get stuck looking at the negative. I want to celebrate her love for drawing and her joy in running fast. I also want to celebrate and soak in every second of snuggles. There is so much to celebrate. I just need to look for it.
Slow Down. The past 3 years have felt like a sprint to the finish line of therapies. I felt a strong push to get Miss Sensory ready for Kindergarten and hope that our life would change too. We made it to Kindergarten and are still continuing intense therapy. But in my mind, I need to slow down. I need to relax. I’ve known for a long time there isn’t a magical fix for Sensory Processing Disorder, but deep down that’s still what I’ve wanted. I want an OT session and a child that afterwards can function in everyday life. That’s not what happens. Our growth and success in therapy seems like it’s more of a at 1% rate. It’s a slow going process and I need to meet that process at the same speed.
Parenting. Parent how I need to not how I thought I would, or how I think others think I should. Did you catch that one… read it again… let it sink in. Being an adoptive parent, we spent a lot of time before having our daughter learning about parenting. We especially learned about parenting challenging kids. We talked about how we would handle difficulty and came into parenting with expectations like most parents do. That all got thrown out the window really fast. There’s this big space between what I thought I would be and how I have to be. My hope is to be more how I need to and do more of what works, let go of what I thought or others thing I should be as a parent. Do what’s best for our daughter.
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