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Divorce Your Partner!

grief

Divorce your partner seems to be a popular suggestions amongst social media sites.  I am a member of a few social media groups and I am left astounded by people simply suggesting to divorce their partner if they are not on board with Autism.  You rarely if ever hear someone suggest some counselling.  The answer is simply divorce.

It breaks my heart to hear that marriage vows seem so unimportant these days.  Now I am not saying to stay in a marriage if there is violence, abuse but the saddest part is that there are so many posts about partners being unsupportive, not helping, denying there is anything wrong with their child and there is no real question about why is that?

After a child is diagnosed one of the first questions that parents think about is where did the ASD come from?  Most of the research would point to the father.  What help does the husband have to deal with these thoughts?  Not a lot especially if the husband does not talk about his emotions.  Dads also go through the thoughts about what the future hold but if they are constantly working (businesses need to give time off to get to appointments so that they can also be involved).  I know for my husband he felt the extra pressure of working more to help pay for therapy appointments.

There is also the issue of how parents handle emotions in the first place and unless parents receive help with handling their emotions then there is very little chance that these emotions will be resolved for the benefit for the family.

There needs to be more help for dads.  They need support just like mums.

We focus on the family unit throughout all of our programs.  In early 2016, we will be offering emotion coaching as you will be amazed at how strong your connection will become with all members of the family.

All marriages need work, even my marriage needs constant work.  I just wish people would stop suggesting divorce when really no on in these groups know the full picture what is happening within other families.

Five Lifesaving Steps When You Feel The World Crumbling.

mother love

At the moment I am feeling like the world is crumbling around me.  I feel like nothing is going right (ok except my fight with the insurance company) but even that has taken its toll on my emotional well being.

I seem to be at logger heads with Emma.  She seems to be ignoring most of my instructions.  Getting extremely angry over every no.  Not actually accepting the word no.  Don’t even mention homework.

Grace seems to be reacting to everything and all I can think of is that I need to get off the earth for a bit.  Maybe I am having my internal meltdown and my body is screaming it is time to get off the world for a bit.

It is not helping that I am on medication that has been putting added pressure on my body and it seems to be playing with my migraines so it is making things more challenging.

I am also missing my mum and dad like crazy as I can’t just pick up the phone and call them for their advice.  I see the older generation around at the shops and think often how that was robbed from both of my parents.

We all have those moments and it is hard not to feel depressed.

So what can you do?

Here are five suggestions that can help you through these tough challenges.

  1. Treat your body like a temple.  It is very easy to seek out comfort eating to “make” us feel better.  However, if this food is not healthy and with chemical additives and preservatives, it will most likely make you feel worse.  So stick to fresh food and say no to processed food.
  2. Exercise.  I have been finding that when I exercise, the stresses seem to be minimised and I become more focused.
  3. Journaling.  Sometimes it is healthy to write about your problems so they are outside of your head.  However the key here is although we can dwell as much as you like on the past and current problems, it will not get you anywhere.  If you actually do not come up with a solution to the problem then you are not going to come out of the problem.
  4. Speak to a friend or a professional.  Sometimes having someone there to simply to listen can be very helpful.  Don’t expect them to solve your problem but to have an open ear as you work out the solution.
  5. Sitting with your child when they are asleep.  At the present moment I am sitting on Emma’s bed listening to them breathe whilst they sleep.  This is probably one of my favourite times of the day to help me feel grounded.  I also enjoying diffusing some essential oils to help the girls and myself to feel even more grounded.

I could go on and on to this list as there are always many way to solve a problem.  If you are needing someone to talk to I have a support program for parents on a weekly basis.  Support program

Strategies to Help When You Feel Like a Crap Parent

mother love

We all will have days when we feel like a crap parent. I know I felt like this over the weekend.  I do not think there is any parent out there who would not feel like that from time to time.  But here are some strategies to help when those feelings come along.

1.  Know that this is just a feeling and it will pass.

2.  Put some happy music on and jump around even with the kids.

3.  Do something for YOU even for 5 minutes.  Having a cup of tea can be very soothing.

4.  Have a glass of wine when the children go to bed (or before 🙂 ).

5.  Know that you are doing the best you can and it is not easy.

6.  Call a friend and talk to someone about what you are feeling.

7.  Put a DVD on that is happy.

8.  Find an enjoyable book to read. 

9.  Think about your children and think about all their strengths.

10.  Think back to a happy memory that always makes you smile. 

It is okay and very normal to have crap days. You are not alone!

It’s Not Your Fault

I was just watching Good Will Hunting on TV and it came up to the part where the therapist says “It’s not your fault” “It’s not your fault” over and over until Will cracks.  This part of the movie has always resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you.

I want to tell you that your PND/PPD/Depression/Anxiety is not your fault.  If you have children with special needs “it’s not your fault”.  If you have had a hard time transitioning to parenthood “It’s not your fault”.

Because “it’s not your fault”.

No one ever chooses having mental health issues and no one chooses to have children with special needs.  Sadly it just happens and you need to keep telling yourself that it is not your fault.

You, as a mum or dad, do not need to add any more guilt about your situation and if you want help to rescue your family relationship, I am here to help you do that 100% of the time.

Argh Stop That Noise!

Have you ever said that when your children are making a racket?  I know I have especially today.  In Australia we are in the midst of summer holidays as well so I am sure some parent’s have once or twice.  Grace and Emma are having a wonderful time at present winding each other up to they make these high pitched noises that sound like nails down the chalk board.  I especially hate it when they are doing it in the car.

But after saying the “stop that noise”, I thought to myself why is that upsetting me?  I paid attention to my inside voices and emotions to work out why this was causing me to become annoyed.  I could feel my anxiety levels raising with this high pitched noise, my breathing became shallower and my hands were gripping the steering wheel.

Is this my issue or the children’s issue?  I came down to realising it is probably my issue and not the girls.  By deep breathing and focusing on my breathing I was able to bring down my anxiety levels and calmly remind them that they need to lower the noise levels.

The majority of parents come with our own issues that stem from our past.  By being aware with this issues and really getting to the root of the issue, we will be able to meet the children’s needs easier and without the stress that it causes us.

How a Mums and Dads Feel During a Child’s Meltdown

screaming childWhen talking to any parent after a child who has had a tantrum in public a common comment that is said is that “people look like they have not seen a screaming child before.”   As a mum with autism, I have had numerous “well meaning” people say to me that my child needs a smack.  Mind you I do get a kick out of asking the person if I could smack them first.  Plus do not even get me started on people do not have any children who want to add in their 5c into the issue.  I like to ask them what do you know?

Usually after their opinion, I then inform them of the situation and they usually walk away with their tails in their legs.  You see a child screaming and in your head naturally you think you know the situation but usually you don’t.

Do you know how the mum and dad are feeling?  I remember a recent situation where Grace was having one of her meltdowns (emotional eruptions) whilst on a bike ride around the Maribyrnong River.  She was beyond being able to calm down quickly and all we could really do was wait it out until there was some change.  We spent the time telling her it was ok. But my goodness the looks that we received were incredible and even with some rubber neckers.

As a mum, I felt like a failure.  I could not provide her comfort when she needed it.  I felt like I had a good understanding of what she needed in these cases and usually it is a hug but on this day it all went out the window.  I felt embarrassed, I felt angry but mostly that I was all alone.

No one gave us any encouragement, not even a smile or any acknowledgement that they knew how I felt.  Instead of making mums and dads in this situation feel all alone, a kind word of acknowledgement or even help may make all the difference.  It is not easy for the child when they feel like this and mums and dads feel the same.  Understanding is what parents need not alienation.

Don’t Link Your Postnatal Depression Journey to Your Child

PND_LogoColour_72dpiLately I have been hanging out in groups on Facebook with women who have been through postnatal depression/psychosis/anxiety and a theme I picked up which does concern me I their linking of their postnatal depression journey onto their child.  Very sadly for these women, who are still in the midst of the journey, they were labelling their child as the cause of their PND.  This brought tears to my eyes as it is really important that there is no link with their journey and the child.  

I know for myself for so long I have had the mentality that I had to make it all up to Emma for being in hospital with her for 5 months of her first year of life and I have been worried that when she hears about my struggles with PND that she may not forgive me for keeping her away from her daddy at the early stages in life.  My psychologist at the time challenged my thinking about this issue with a simple why do I think she would hate me?  When I verbally spoke about my reasoning, I realised that they were not founded reasons.  He then said to me ‘didn’t you do what you had to do for them?  and the answer is yes.  I had to do what I had to do to make sure they still had a mum to look after them. 

It is imperative that you do not blame the child for your journey because sadly it is not because of them that it has happened.  We have to work harder to establish the bond between us and your child loves you no matter what.  The best thing about PND is that you do recover from it and you can still establish strong and amazing connections with your children.  But the first step is do not blame the child for your journey.

If you want to know more how Coaching for Lifetime Change can help you break the sense of blame and establish strong and amazing connections with your children, click on the link for more information

http://coachingforlifetimechange.com.au/surviving-to-thriving-after-postnatal-depression/ 

Sunburn and Mother Guilt

For the last 5 days I have been feeling like the

WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD

My husband and I are pretty anal when it comes to the girls and getting sunburnt.  But this week we had our first case of the girls being sunburnt (and us as well). 

We decided to go to Torquay for the day on Melbourne Cup (yes very unaustralian for not even watch the race that stops the nation).  We purchased three quarter length wet suits for the girls and were all prepared even with the Cancer Foundation supported sunscreen.  The bottle was within use by date and we applied it 10 mins before they went into the water.  Steve put sunscreen on and I only covered my arms, face, neck, legs and feet as there was no way I was heading into the cold water.

We had a fantastic time especially with Emma being confident in the water. The only problem is that we shouldn’t have believed that it was water resistant for 4 hours and reapplied it at the 2 hour mark.

The fun day has left me feeling like the worst mum in the world as we all came home sunburnt.  My poor foot was the worst affected and I have been on crutches for the last 4 days as it is too painful to put weight on my foot.  Poor little Emma couldn’t walk the next day with sunburnt at the back of the knee and Grace mainly had it on her knees and legs.  But I felt like I had abused the children by getting them sunburnt and it has taken me days to move past it.

The moral of this story is to buy 50+ sunscreen as the intensity of the sun must be getting stronger and not purchase the cancer foundation sunscreen as I really do not think it works all that well.  Plus it is always important to check use by dates on sunscreen, apply it 10 minutes before heading out into the sun and reapply it regularly (which is tricky with sand being everywhere) even if it says it lasts for 4 hours.

To Repeat or Not To Repeat KIndergarten?

In Victoria kindergarten is the year before children head into the school system so they usually attend between the age of 4 to 5 years of age.  This year Emma is at kindergarten and the transition to kindergarten was pretty much smooth sailing since she spent a lot of time there with my role of being the President and Grace was there.  Late last year Emma was diagnosed with severe sensory disorder with severe defensiveness and she was also diagnosed with autism.  Emma main areas of weakness is social and emotional and all of her sensory areas are in fight or flight mode and they are difficult to bring down.

Emma has done a fantastic job with kindergarten and it has been fantastic to see that she made a couple of really close friends and we did not have a lot of tears.  So I guess when reading this heading why we have been questioning if Emma should repeat another year instead of heading off to school as one of her little friends is going to the same school.  Over the years, she has always been about 8 months behind her peers and when you put that in context of school transition 8 months really is a long time before she does another developmental jump.  But what we see outside of the kindergarten gates is why we have really gone through the massive highs and lows of deciding if we should push for Emma to do another year.

What makes things even harder is that the Government is making it extremely impossible for children to do another year solely because it can cost the Government more money for children doing a second year. I can understand they want to stop the parents who are struggling to accept that their child is growing up and wanting to keep them home for an extra time for their own needs rather than the child’s needs.  But for a child like Emma, she needs an extra year to emotionally develop.  When we go to school to pick up Grace (it is also a small school as well), Emma runs to me to be picked up.  She will not play in the play ground if other children are there no matter if the child is near her or not.  She also has only in the last month (its October now) to make eye contact with Grace’s teacher and still has not said a word at all.  She also is just breaking her aversion to males (had this since birth and she is Daddy’s little girl) and there are lots of male teachers.  The school has also said that Emma is not ready for the transition to school yet and they have seen through Grace the benefits that Emma will have with another year at kindergarten.

We are lucky that we have a very supportive kindergarten but it is sad that children will be sent off to school ready or not because the Government is requiring mountains of paper work and I can not ssee teachers completing all the forms.

For Steve and I, the decision has also been a hard one and we have become quite emotional (ok that is probably more me than Steve) as we have wrestled with the decision but more the fact that her best friend is heading off to school.  Emma has caught on now that her friend will not be there next year and Emma is showing a lot of anxiety with an escalation of behaviour.    I know over the last couple of weeks, I have gone through a grief cycle as they are transitioning to school and Emma is not.

But I know that we are doing the best thing for Emma no matter what the Government says.  Maybe they should come and visit the kindergarten so I can educate them on the needs of some children.  These children will only get lost within the school system or they will be bullied if they have to repeat at school.

 

 

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