Having a child with Autism helped to amplify some of my core values and characteristics. Take a look at my favorite quotes regarding purpose, perseverance, and patience.
This past month (April) was Autism awareness month. I always say Autism awareness month is every month as far as I'm concerned. More importantly I promote acceptance, year-round.
Having a child with Autism has exposed me to a range of experiences that I wouldn't have had otherwise. It has taught me lessons and strengthened some core values and characteristics .
Here are the top three things Autism taught me:
Patience I was considered a patient person prior to my son's diagnosis. I also should mention that I worked with people with disabilities before he was born. But, having a child of my own to care for strengthened of my patience and when he began to show signs of Autism it multiplied times 20. Maintaining patience through extreme tantrums and when your child doesn't learn things easily (or the way another child would) is most important. That leads to the next one...
Perseverance In every area: school, therapy, community, and family. I have to be an advocate for my son at every turn. People will try to pacify, ignore, criticize, and override you. When his behavior was at its' worst; I had the knowledge and did even more research. Then and now my instincts guide(d) me. I don't stop until he gets what he needs.
Purpose Helping families and children lead reproductive, quality lives are a apart of my purpose. My current passion projects and future endeavors are all fueled by my purpose. There are lessons in everything. I continue to learn from Joshua everyday. His drive and zest for life inspire me.
I fully understand that some custody and visitation arrangements are complex, to put it gently. So, for those who have ex-partners that don't spend any time with the children, this still applies. That's an unfortunate situation..
In those situations, all you can do is love on them as hard as you can, let them know it's no fault of theirs, and shine a light on those who are around. With that said, anytime Auntie or Grandparents have them, that's your visitation.
Here's what you can do to maximize your time and truly do something for yourself:
1) Decide: If you don't make a decision, chances are you going to get stuck in the fantasy/someday faze. Decide when, for example...the third weekend in August or Winter break. Identify your window of opportunity and coordinate with whoever will have the kids. Decide what type of break you want to have. Of course that would depend on budget and the amount of time you have. Let's have a new excuse mind set on this one. Even if you have a day and a half; make it happen and make it count.
2) Plan: Getting ahead of time is the only way to maximize it. Plans might include staycation type activities like going to a museum. A pedicure, massage, or class might be an option too. Make your appointment and look for tickets etc as soon as you know your time frame. There's nothing worse than driving up to a restaurant for lunch and they don't open until 4 or wasting time waiting at a salon because you just walked in.
There's this thing I'm starting to notice moms are doing. I'm sure you've seen or even passed around the memes about being a less than average, frazzled, or 'bad mom'. In part triggered by the movie the movie I guess....
So...women are taking pride in being frazzled, unorganized, messes?. Let's not forget the large amounts of wine they allegedly consumed to numb themselves through it all. Just like there was a wave of glorifying busy, perfect (on the outside) moms and kids. Somebody took the pendulum and swung it waaaay left to push this destructive narrative. Let's face it, some of it is just to sell you t-shirts and wine glasses.
Sure, we get overwhelmed at times. We forget appointments. The kids eat way too many cheeseburgers in a week. We hang out with our friends to unwind, have a cocktail (or 2), and talk about how hyper the kids were that day.
But, for every 'frazzled' week hopefully you are striving for: a 'personal best' week, I got 'one more thing off my list' week, or 'I am a BEAST' week. Our children (this is especially the case for single moms) rely on us heavily. Those little or not so little eyes are taking it all in. They will most likely do as you do, not as you say. What will they see you do?
Calm over chaos.
There is a common misconception when it comes to strength in women. I've heard men say that they believe women try to be too strong and it makes them feel unwanted or needed.
Now... I did say some. There are men who list strength as a desirable trait. I've also heard women proclaim to be strong but, the behavior displayed seems to be coming from a different place. We need to get clear. Strong does not mean hard. It most absolutely does not mean harsh.
I did a good amount of reflection over the past few months and identified some of the turning points of my life. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to win tickets to a taping of Oprah's Lifeclass.
Suffice it to say, this election cycle brought out a lot of negative emotions.
The day after the results were in, people who didn't vote for Trump had some reactions that were pretty interesting Anger...Shock..Sadness.
I don't have to reiterate the nastiness that has gone on for the past 8 months or so. You know there was a large amount of hate speech toward minorities especially.
I saw a few videos of people sobbing and saying things like "this is what they think of me/us". For too many, the fact that THAT many people would vote for THAT man was unbearable.
Some feel hopeless right now as things begin to really unfold. At the time I'm writing this, we have less than 10 days before Trump is sworn in. However, now is not the time to retreat and wallow in despair. It's time to take action.
Just as those with opposing views fight for their causes and for their voices to be heard,so should we.
In Michelle Obama's last interview as FLOTUS she reminded us that when people label and judge you (i.e. angry black/brown woman) that is more to do with them. People's opinions of you have nothing to do with your worth! Don't internalize it! As with anything else: Accept what is. Change the changeable.
Love and Light,
I am following the steps outlined in Hal Elrod's book 'The Miracle Morning'. He uses the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S. It stands for silence(meditation), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. Here are my top 7 affirmations for 2017.
1.Today is the future I created yesterday.
2. All that I seek is already within me.
3. My income is constantly increasing.
4. My day begins and ends with gratitude and joy.
5. I am free of destructive fear and doubt.
6. Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.
7. I choose to release all hurt and resentment.
All of these are from Louise Hay and here is the link. She has beautiful affirmation cards, enjoy! To make sure I have inspiration wherever I go, I made a slideshow and put it on my phone using the Minimovie app. What are your favorite affirmations and how do you display them?
The Konmari method became popular recently and in the summer of 2015 I used the method without realizing it when I de-cluttered my home... and eventually my mind.
I went category by category: toys, clothes, books, papers etc. If I didn't love it or it wasn't useful (right now), I tossed it or donated it.
This was before I read the book however, and I had heard people mention the question you're supposed to ask yourself when taking an item into consideration: 'Does this bring about JOY'?
Well, some of the stuff I kept didn't exactly bring about joy but, I needed it for work or whatever.
The one thing that absolutely didn't bring about joy was my wedding photo album that has sat in a box.. in the hall closet of wherever I've lived since my divorce. I would be looking for something and run across it every now and then it made me feel many different ways, none of them positive.
So, why did I hesitate on getting it out of my space? I decided I'd had enough and I disassembled it and put the photos in a box that was going to be shredded. This little book of photos did not take up much space but, throwing it out certainly made a difference in my mind. So, the last remnant of my wedding was just a subcategory of the physical tidying up but, it was then that I realized it was time to do some de-cluttering of my mind...maintenance.
We have to rid ourselves of 'mind trash' daily but, the residue (in the form of self doubt/resentment/fear) is there and sometimes it takes a while to realize it. It's so important to resolve negative feelings from that toxic former work environment, friends who weren't really friends, or that 'thing' you wanted to work out that didn't. I no longer allow anything in my space that doesn't bring about JOY!
Many think of springtime as time of cleansing and renewal but, fall shows us how beautiful it can be to let things go. How are you tidying up your space and mind this season? Tweet me @resilientmomfls or leave a comment to let me know what has to go and what brings you joy.
I have really been working hard to end my relationship with perfection. After all, especially if I'm creating something from scratch it should be exactly what I envision right?
Last year around this time I was just getting back from a solo trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was a much needed beach detox after a taxing year and exiting a toxic work environment.
So...June is my birthday month. It's a great time to evaluate how things are going and make adjustments in different areas.
Everyone has to run their own race but, this is even more true for moms. We have to assess our needs/wants and the needs/wants of our children. Then we have to embark on our customized journey. Seems simple but, it is a struggle for a lot of people.
To quote one famous single mother (J.K. Rowling): "Single parenthood is not all stress and hardship." She has been open about her challenges but, obviously at this point the magic of Harry Potter and all of his friends has made any single mama woes she had vanish.
Repeat after me: Self care. is. not. optional. It's not a luxury. It's a requirement. What does this mean for me? To put it simply, it's the nourishment of mind, body , and spirit. Many times people's thoughts go to spa days or tending to their physical appearance in some way.
Hi, I'm Erica! I truly believe in living life with resilience, one day at a time. I'm in the midst of single mommyhood and enjoy spending time with my son. However, I'm committed to pursuing my personal goals and interests despite any obstacles that come my way.
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