It is before 7am on New Year’s day and I’m sitting on my couch, having been up for over an hour, replaying how I just totally spiraled out of control because my child’s mental health needs don’t take paid holidays.
I’ve not even had coffee before I’ve choked on a full plate of mom guilt with a side of ‘what in the actual hell’!?
Friends, I need you to hear me.
No matter the day, the time, or what others around you expect, mental health doesn’t take vacation days. Parenting an extreme child is hard ALL the time.
No amount of recommended date nights or well-intended offers of prayer, sympathetic glances or hope for new and improved behavior strategies can be a cure for how extreme parents feel.
And that’s okay, sweet friend.
I rang in the new year with a migraine because the hypervigilance required when raising a child with mental health demands never turns off. Ever.
We are constantly ‘on’; our brains never truly relaxing, our bodies never really resting.
Because what if they wake up?
What if they need something?
Could that cause a meltdown?
What about their siblings?
How will we pay for those?
Is this too much strain on our relationship?
And the special goes on and on.
So let’s give ourselves a break today. Even if it’s five minutes (okay one and a half) of taking a breath and regrouping, warming up our coffee and forgiving ourselves for losing our cool because this life is hard. So hard.
But we’d never choose anything else because as much as this journey pains us in ways unimaginable to most, it is ours. And deep down–below our frustrations and fears, tears and turmoil–we love our extreme child and would not change any part of them.
We love them fiercely and we would take a million hard days for those small moments of triumph. ❤️
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