D.R.E.A.M.S. Blog – For Moms by Moms
Hello. My name is Cherelle Williams. I am from Lafayette La. I am the mother of 3 handsome boys, 2 of which have Autism. I have learned a lot on the journey of being a special needs mom. One of those things is a very important one for me and its self care. As we enter 2022 I really wanted to share my experiences to help other moms embrace the normalcy of taking care themselves.
“Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then honoring them.”-Kristi Ling. When I read this quote, it really spoke to me because it took me years to realize the importance of self care as a parent.
As moms, we tend to feel guilty about taking care of ourselves and as a special needs mom that guilt can be elevated. Personally, I felt like every time I expressed that, I needed a break I was somehow letting my kids down. I would always avoid asking for help and I would continue to pile tasks on my plate.
I worked over 60 hours a week while balancing my sons’ therapy sessions, doctors appointments, homework and so on.I also found myself taking on tasks from others even though I barely had the time and energy to handle the things in my life. I always felt bad when I said No to others. Doing all these things only left me tired, stressed, and emotionally drained and I found that I wasn’t the best I could be for my boys. I wasn’t fully present due to exhaustion and I realized after a stress induced panic attack one day that I had to do better for myself and my boys.
After a long evaluation I decided to start receiving help from others when needed. I started listening to my body when it told me to stop and rest. Also I learned the power of the word “No” I learned that by doing this I was not being selfish but I was actually being self aware. As a mom, especially a special needs mom, it’s important to make sure that you are aligned so that you can be what you need to be for your family.
Every family dynamic is different and sometimes you might need a break but you might not have an outlet. Don’t fret! There are many groups and organizations locally where you can form bonds, trade information, and relinquish stresses by talking and confiding in one another. As you release more and learn more, life becomes just a little easier. To sum it all up, I’ll just say be good to yourself so you can you can be good to others.