So it’s been a while….I confess, this summer has been quite busy. I have a new adventure on the horizon. Mom’s Place 4 Grace will soon be taking greater steps to move forward and reach out to a larger audience. More about that another time!
What Comes Before Self-Care?
Truthfully, it has taken me 40 long years to understand a valuable piece to life’s puzzle that was missing. Cognitively, I was aware this piece was necessary but I just couldn’t quite grasp the fact that it was missing.
We all know by now that self-care is necessary, especially when you are the mom of a child with special needs. If you don’t make sure to take care of yourself, you will simply run out of steam. I was running on empty for a long long time. I devoted all of my energy to caring for my son and none of my energy toward caring for myself. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the reason why – I just didn’t think my needs were important enough. Actually, I didn’t think they were important at all. I simply didn’t care about myself. I only cared about making sure my child had the best of everything he needed. This child was entrusted to me and I wasn’t going to fail at taking care of him.
Little did I know that by failing to take care of myself, I was already failing to take care of him. I love my son to the moon and back again. I’m grateful each day for the life we have. But I wasn’t happy. How could I be? I never felt worthy of being happy. I never felt like I was of value. What I recently figured out is I just didn’t love myself.
This phenomenon of loving others but not loving myself didn’t just start when I became a Mom. It started when I was a child when I made a child’s choice that I could never forgive myself for. I thought I was the most horrible person on the planet.
Is Self-Love Really a Thing?
There is definitely such a thing as loving yourself too much but there is a danger in not loving yourself at all. When you end up having a child with special needs, and you don’t love yourself enough to make sure you take care of yourself, I’m here to tell you, you will crash and burn. I did. More than once. The worst part is, I couldn’t figure out why.
When I started on this self-care journey, I didn’t really understand why it was so important. Honestly, I was doing it because I was told it was necessary. The person who told me is a good man with a kind heart and I believed him. I’ve been told many times before, but for the first time, I believed it. So, I followed instructions and began taking care of myself.
For me, taking care of myself because “it was the thing to do” led to taking care of myself because I am worth it. You only know the value of your own self-worth once you learn to love yourself.
Why On Earth Am I Telling You This?
I’m telling you this because so often, as the mom of a child with special needs, our own self-worth takes a big hit. We question our abilities to be Mom; we are often told we are parenting the wrong way; we are often misunderstood by others. Our self-esteem; our self-love needs to remain strong to face the challenges of the day.
How do we make sure we don’t lose sight of that? We need to take care of ourselves and during those weak moments when we can’t, we need to make sure that we have a support system in place to help us see our own value. If you don’t have that support system in your life, I encourage you to seek it out. But, while you are looking, know you can always find it here. At Moms Place 4 Grace we are about giving support and encouragement to all Moms who need it.
Be blessed and be well.