Guilt, as a mom, especially as a mom with a child on the Autism Spectrum happens. You may have asked “why me’ or “why my child”? I know I certainly went through those moments. I questioned myself and began to feel guilty and at times angry. I asked myself so many questions like, was it caused by something I did or didn’t do? I replayed in my head details of my 38 weeks of pregnancy repeatedly. Finally easing my worries knowing that I had a safe and normal pregnancy. I was seen regularly by my doctor and took my scheduled pre-natal pills. As I began to shift my mindset, from guilt to acceptance, from frustrated to fulfilled and from sadness to joy, the random questioning stopped and the true loving evolved. Warning, every once in a while, my mindset shifting exercises are needed, because it’s still a lifetime journey as a mom. Here are 3 ways to release your guilt.
- You are not alone. It is important for you to know along the way as parents that we “ALL” feel this way along the road of parenthood. Especially when caring for a child that may have some difficulties or “dis” abilities. There are many other parents that question themselves and are available to talk to you if you reach out to them. You do not have to deal with this alone because there are others that have been in similar shoes and circumstance. Find parent support groups in your area. I helped to create a supportive group for other parents to meet up and talk when needed called Smart Fit Fam, Inc.
- Accept and embrace your feelings. Try to understand exactly what you are feeling and why. Identifying exactly what you are feeling. This will help you to face and validate how you feel. Once you feel the validation, move on to figure out ways on how to move forward, move past it. Once again, it helps to speak to someone else that may have gone through similar experiences or find a parent support group in the community. I remember a moment when I was feeling overwhelmed and powerless, I met another parent that had teenage boys on the spectrum. She listened to me tell her the smorgasbord of emotions that I was feeling. She was able to relate to me and told me that she also experienced the same. She was so calm and soothing. She helped me to understand that as her boys got older, she regained the power over her emotions.
- Appreciating your child for the unique person that they are. See their strengths above the shortcomings. Take the time to connect with them. Try to see them for who they are and not what anyone else says or limits them to be. You know your child and should not give up on them because you are their biggest cheerleader. Keep encouraging them daily and extending their abilities daily.
It’s time to take a deep breath and release the feeling of guilt. You were uniquely and individually created to be their mother and they were uniquely and individually created to be your child. Time to release and embrace your role as “mom of ________ (fill in your child’s name). They will appreciate and love you for all you do because you are doing your best.
Have you ever had guilt as a parent for your child’s “differences”? What has helped you to release the guilt?