4 Things I Know for Sure about Parenting a Child with Autism

BY: - 25 Feb '14 | Parenting

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Facing Autism on BMWK

Life comes with a lot of uncertainties and a child’s autism diagnosis can bring even more. We have no idea how our children will develop, how much progress they will make, and more than ever we worry about what will happen to them when we are gone. Even with all these uncertainties, here are some things that I know for sure about autism parenting:

Parenting a child with autism is not easy. It will take an emotional and financial toll on your family. There will be days when you will break down and cry. There will be days when you will need help and no help will come. There will be days when you will doubt yourself and feel guilty that you are not doing enough. You will wonder if another therapy, or gadget, or school will make a difference. In the end you will realize that all you can do is your best because this journey is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

Parenting a child with autism can make you empathetic. Remember the days when you used to look at that big kid in the stroller and shake your head? Or maybe you saw a kid having a meltdown in the grocery aisle and you wondered why his parents couldn’t control him. When we become parents of children with autism, it changes our whole perspective on parenting. Instead of being judgmental, we think that maybe that child is in a stroller because he wanders and bolts and that is the only way his parents can keep him safe. We know what it is like when our child has a meltdown, so when we see one in progress we offer a kind hand or even a look of reassurance to say it is okay, we get it.

Parenting a child with autism will make you become their biggest advocate. As parents, we have to fight and we have to fight hard to make sure our children get the education and services that they need. We know that if they are to have a fighting chance in this world we have to put as much into them as we can when they are young. Not only do we become their advocates at IEP meetings, but we become their advocates when they are out in the community. We know that in order for the world to accept our children we have to continue to speak up for them and make the world more aware of what autism really is.

Parenting a child with autism will make you appreciate the little things. So often we hear and read about what our children cannot do. As parents of children with autism, we take every chance we can get to celebrate every milestone big and small. It could be something as small as our child saying sorry in context or putting on their own shoes. We know the hours of speech and occupational therapy they needed to make these things happen. It brings us joy to know that progress is being made. The milestones we celebrate do not come on an age-appropriate chart. We never know when they will come or if they will come but when they do we rejoice.

BMWK: What has being a parent of a child with autism taught you?

About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

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Married Mamas: 8 Ways to Regain Your Sexiness and Reclaim Your Life

BY: - 27 Feb '14 | Lifestyle

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In the past, I lost myself. With all the life clutter in my head about what I’m cooking for dinner, which child has to be where and at what time, and wondering if my husband is feeling good and loved, it’s no wonder I am sometimes left overwhelmed. As a busy, married mom, I know I’m not alone.

Balancing life, family and career is a juggling act, that if not managed properly, could push us over the edge. As a result, we may forget to actually slow down and take the necessary time we need to find ourselves.  I’m discovering when I focus on me, even if just for a minute, the whole family benefits. When I feel good about myself, everyone else is able to experience the best of me.

As married mamas, each of us have personal goals and a desire to live a life that includes a little time to love on ourselves. That type of self-love is universal and should be a priority. Whether you feel as though you’ve lost your sexy, your drive or your energy, it’s time to reclaim it all. If it once belonged to you, it can again. Below is my personal plan to get my life and my sexy back.

  1. Minimizing the amount of times the world sees you looking like a shlumpadinka is first on the list. It’s a word I’ve heard before and exactly how I feel when I leave my home looking any old kind of way. The better I look, the better I feel. Sexy to me is clothing that fits my body appropriately, a little mascara, lipstick and my big signature hair. Because every woman is different, our idea of sexy will also vary.
  2. Find out what makes you feel your sexiest and rock it. Since time is of the essence for a married mom, preparing the night before might be necessary. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to the grocery store or the daycare center, looking good is a great way to show the world you’re loving you.
  3. Another awesome way to bring your sexy back is to play sexy theme songs (on repeat), which will be played whenever your mojo is starting to slip. There are certain tunes I hear that make me feel some kind of way, like Beyonce’s Drunk In Love and The Isley Brother’s Sensuality. In order to take advantage of my sexy moments, I have to get the children to bed early enough so I still have some energy.
  4. Taking charge and bringing something new to your bedroom adventures also greatly contributes to those feelings of sexiness. If you’re searching for some new excitement, check out the variety of apps that highlight sexual positions and foreplay fun.
  5. Filling your treasure chest with sexy pieces that you can pull out at a moment’s notice, will also assist you in feeling like a grown and sexy mama.
  6. Schedule appointments for time with yourself. Informing my family of the time I need to focus on me, or my business allows me the opportunity to be still in a nice quiet space. Carving out the time and explaining why I need it is crucial for me. I’m grateful that my family is understanding of my needs and allow me that time. Your relationships are stronger and your life is simply better when you are restored and rejuvenated.
  7. Pencil yourself into your daily planner and promptly inform your family. Whether it’s 30 minutes or 2 hours, in a bubble bath or on the patio, take it and use it as you see fit. This time is a must and something we should no longer feel guilty about. If you’re just using that time to watch your favorite TV show, do it! You deserve it.
  8. Think about your purpose and your life goals, create an action plan for your life and get busy. Remember, married mamas aren’t any good to anyone else if we’re burnt out and used up.

BMWK, what are you doing to regain your sexiness and reclaim your life?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 632 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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