Recently on a camping trip, we stopped and looked at a field of flowers. There were many different kinds of flowers. The wind was blowing, and all the plants were moving around a lot. As we got closer to a few of the flower, we noticed some of the bugs clustered together for support from the wind. The butterflies even overlapped part of their wings to help support each other from the wind.
That was incredible to watch the flower move back and forth, but butterflies held on strong together. They supported each other when the solo butterflies had a much hard time on the flowers they were on.
We watched several solo butterfly fall off the flowers several times, and they would struggle on the ground. My oldest asked why that one butterfly did not find help or support from another butterfly. We talked about how we don’t always know when the wind is coming, or it might not have got closer to other butterflies before it got to strong.
Finding support is just like these butterflies. We don’t always see the wind in our life or we are so deep in the problem we can’t always get the support we need.
The butterflies reminded me a lot of how much I often spend my time clinging to my flower by myself, while and not realizing just how strong the wind is. I struggle with daily routines some days and other days go just fine.
There are days that I feel like I’m going crazy and just might pull out my hair. I’m at that point where I can’t stay on my flower on my own. I know I need help but just struggle with the day until I’m drained. I’ve fallen off the flower and letting the wind toss me around.
What Support Do I Need for My Winds?
Support is different for everyone. Everyone has different needs and the support they might need would be different. I know that a friend only needs a day out of her own once a week and is fine. Where I know, I might need more than that.
In the last month, I had tons of hands on help, and it lightened my load a lot. I was not always struggling in the wind on my own, BUT that help is only every few years and thousands of miles away. It is not something I can depend on. I have to work on my support team where I live.
It has made me think about what support would make the difference. Just what would make the difference to you in your support needs? Here are some questions I have asked myself:
What support would make the difference to you?
– Can someone help clean your house?
– Can they bring you a meal?
– Can someone be a person you can vent to?
– Can they watch your child?
– Can they just visit with you in your house, playground, or another area?
– Can you talk to others online?
– Is it someone giving therapy to your child?
– Is it find emotional support for you going to help?
Finding Support in Different Places and People
Back to the butterflies that we watched, we saw a butterfly and a bee on the same flower. They were very different types of bugs but when they were on the same plant or flower it did not sway as much. It seems an odd way, but we saw them not struggle as much. Can you find your support in an odd way?
For me, I have a small support team of several people that do different things.
I have two people that will babysit for me. But I don’t ask them often. I stretch between times before I ask them. I will reach a breaking point before I ask. I’ve had people quit helping because they found out there was a problem they might have to deal with.
I don’t have family in the area to depend on, and that makes it hard sometimes. I do talk to my family a lot on the phone. This helps me vent, and my mom will listen and does not always give advice because I’m not always looking for advice.
I have a friend who I can call and talk to about the problems that will help me by just letting me vent the problems. I don’t do it often, but I know I can talk to her.
I have a friend who is over often who will ask if I need something from the store before they come over. I don’t ask for much but they will gladly grab me something I’m out of like milk or eggs. That small bit helps so I don’t have to take everyone out when days are really bad.
I have a few online friends who I talk to as well. There are loads of support gives you can find. Just be careful to find one that fits and you don’t always have to stay with the first one you find.
My husband is a huge support for me when he gets home. He will help take over what needs to be done, and I can relax for a few minutes. I try not to dump my load on him, but I do at times. I just need my mommy time out.
Don’t Abuse Your Support People Or Yourself!
This is really important! Support can’t be overused or they burn out as much as you do! I keep a list of people I have called or asked help recently to avoid overusing people. It does help me not abuse what little support I have. We had a good friend who we asked help for a lot and finally they said they did not want to help out anymore. It was a sad time. We had grown to depend on them too much.
This was when I started my list that I mentioned above and also realized that I needed to support myself as much as others might. We plan out nights out well in advance, and we also take a date in nights to take time for ourselves.
I also have started to make a list of ways to better support myself in my role as a special needs mom. I started to make to-do lists. I start this with my month goals. On that printable, it has space for me to write in personal time for my day, along with fitness, drinking water and reading a book. I made it my goal to fill that in every way and try to check it off!
What can I do to help support myself?
– Will taking a “mommy” or “daddy” time out help?
– What can you change in your day to better support yourself?
– Am I causing more problems than solving?
– When did you last take personal time?
– What task can I get rid of that would open up more time?
– What does my child need that I can provide for them to do on their own?
– Have I created an environment that best help support our needs?
Final Thoughts On Support
Support is a big complicated part of our lives. We need it and I’ll be honest I don’t often ask for it when I really do need it. I fear sometimes that someone will say no. Supporting others is hard at times.
Asking for help is huge but find different ways that people can support you. Just don’t let yourself get so overwhelmed that you are like the butterfly struggling in the wind.
This is the third post with 12 other bloggers. You can read everyone’s posts about support. There are so many different ways to look at support with special needs parents.
- Supporting Yourself and Your Child with Special by Needs Natural Beach Living
- Am I Going Crazy? by Every Star is Different
- Tips For Supporting A Child With Trauma History by STEAM Powered Family
- Special needs parents: we all need support (even you) by My Home Truths
- 12 Things That Special Needs Mom Needs from You by The Chaos and The Clutter
- Simple Ways You Can Support Special Needs Parents by B-Inspired Mama
- Classroom Supports & Accommodations for Kids with Hyperlexia by And Next Comes L
- A Letter to Parents with a Child on the Spectrum by Carrots Are Orange
- Supporting a Family with High Medical Needs by Grace and Green Pastures
Here is a look at all the themes for the 12 months:
Check out my posts in this series:
- Ripples on a Pond: Warning Signs of Early Childhood Development Problems
- Navigating The Stream: The Trails of Daily Routine
Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com