My heart has been quietly breaking these past few weeks. I’m working with the most beautiful clients who are doing it so tough it’s not funny. There’s mums who are on their own, mums whose children are being suspended from school, mums whose families and marriages are falling apart. Autism can be a bitch.
I wish I could help more. I wish I could wave a magic wand and send them some help, some extra hands, some support. I can’t fix it and I wish I could. All I can do is shout from the rooftops.
START TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.
Yes they will scoff, just like I did. HA. I didn’t have a minute to look after myself, I was way too busy with autism. HA. I know it’s a marathon and not a sprint, but I don’t have time to go slow, I need to do every single thing I can to help my child and I don’t have a minute to waste.
I know that’s what you’re thinking, because I was you. And I didn’t listen to anyone else. And I hit the wall and nearly destroyed my family right along with my health. I was lucky because I was able to get back up and learn the lesson. But many aren’t.
Please don’t be me. Don’t think you know better. Don’t think that you can do this on your own. Don’t think you have to be superwoman to help your child. Don’t think that you’ll look after yourself when your child is better. The reality is, your child can’t get better if you are not there driving the bus – cooking the meals, organizing therapy, dealing with schools. If you’re not there to do that, then your child won’t get better. Your child needs a healthy, happy mum to move them through to the place where you dream they will be – healthy and happy. They can’t get there if you’re broken.
PLEASE. Start putting some time into the most important person in your child’s life – you. Please.
I’m going to give you two small things that I hope will help – some Self Care ideas (which you can download here) and a video from a wonderful Counsellor who is also an autism mum and she can tell you from a personal and professional perspective why looking after yourself is so important, as well as give you some more tips to integrate into your life now. Watch Lily’s video here.
I’m not going to lie, this won’t be easy. It’s hard to change old habits and I know that you have put yourself bottom of the pile ever since you got that autism diagnosis. You can start with 5 minutes a day. That’s all you need to start turning this thing around.
The airlines don’t ask you to put on your own mask first for no reason. Your child’s life may just depend on it.