If there is anything I’ve learned from my almost 7 and a half years of this motherhood gig, it is that there will be highs and there will be lows.
We’re in a LOW, folks.
This too shall pass.
I’ll say it one more time: This too shall pass. It always does, eventually, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier right now.
We are in the thick of it, deep in the throes. We’re muddling through a big ol’ conglomeration of crud, including but not limited to:
Adjusting to the new school year
Three children in three entirely different educational placements
A month with too little space between
Parenting is hard. Parenting an asynchronous child is SUPER-DUPER HARD.
There, I said it.
I love my 7-year-old to the moon and back but he can be an extremely challenging child to parent and boy-oh-boy is he giving me a run for my money these last six weeks. Between his intensity, his energy, his overexcitabilities, his BIG worries, his difficulty adjusting to the new school year, and his difficulties settling his mind at night, I’m just about ready to wave the white flag over here.
That whole many-ages-at-once thing keeps life interesting, and at times super-stressful.
I’m trying to be patient.
I’m trying to be understanding.
I’m trying to help him when he struggles.
But, my goodness it’s been A LOT lately. He is just so much, and I have two other children and a husband and a dog and a job and several other hats to wear. Sometimes I feel like I’m spread too thin and I’m not able to wear each of those hats well.
Do you know what helps? Talking about it.
When you talk about your struggles in raising and educating your gifted child, you realize this truth:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Parenting a gifted child can be a lonely venture simply because no one feels comfortable talking about it. Once you connect with other parents of gifted children you realize that you’re not alone. Yes, your parenting experience may be different than the norm, but you aren’t alone. Your normal is someone else’s normal, too.
There are other children who lose sleep at night, worrying that the sun is going to burn out.
Once I found other gifted parents online, I felt more at peace. These connections have been important to our family over the past two years, and they gave me courage to start a local group, too. If you are looking to find your tribe, you can read more about these support networks in this post:
Take care of yourself.
This goes back to that put-your-oxygen-mask-on-first-thing, doesn’t it? If you don’t take care of yourself, how on earth are you going to be able to take care of those around you?
And yet, when life gets crazy-making, taking care of oneself is often the first thing cut from the to-do list. I’ve written about self-care before. Self-care is unique to each person. Personally, I need:
Time to read
Time with friends
I try to fit in most of these things each day but during the last six or so weeks, it’s been hard. I haven’t been making the time to take care of myself. No wonder I’ve been feeling as if I can barely keep my head above water!
It’s okay to wave that white flag. Ask for help.
I’ll be the first to admit that asking for help used to be really hard. Sometimes when you ask for help as a parent you feel as if you are failing in some way, as if you cannot handle the life that you love.
Don’t listen to that voice inside your head, folks. It’s wrong. Asking for help gives you space to be a better parent.
Ask and you shall receive.
When I learned that this month’s Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page Blog Hop was on asking for help, I laughed out loud. Why? Because I have asked for so much help during the last six weeks. It was hard to do at first, sure, but it was well worth it.
When you ask for help, other people get it. They get it and they rally behind you, just as you would if they were to ask you for help.
- When I told my friends I needed a night out, they rallied despite their own states of September madness.
- I found a great counselor for my little guy who, in the first fifteen minutes of our session, used the words asynchrony, intensity, and twice-exceptional.
- When I confessed to a friend that I had no idea how to make a printable for some talks I recently gave, we bartered skills and reduced each other’s stress levels.
- When looking to fill one position for our preschool, we not only filled it but created two additional positions.
- When I told my friends that yes, I wanted to help lead a Destination Imagination team again this year but oh Lord I’m drowning right now, one stepped up as co-leader and another offered to fill my spot until the dust settles.
- When I told my husband I have to write a book chapter before Monday, he took the kids out for the afternoon.
- When our history curriculum was too much for my super-sensitive 7-year-old, I asked for help from friends and fellow Davidson parents and, in addition to receiving lots of great alternative curriculum recommendations, I learned – once again- that we aren’t alone.
I’ve asked and I’ve received and I’m so grateful.
This too shall pass…
Here’s my new mantra for this month, folks:
This too shall pass.
This too shall pass.
This too shall pass.
It always does.
But… in the meantime… I’m asking for help.
And you should, too.
Tell me folks, have you had difficulty adjusting to the new school year? How have you asked for help lately?
This post has been part of the Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page October 2015 Blog Hop. Click the image below to keep hopping!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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