Doesn’t it seem like yesterday was just the last day of school? Where did the summer go? My youngest just started kindergarten and she is thrilled to ride on the bus with her brother each day. And my son just started second grade. What emotions do you tend to feel as your special needs child starts a new school year?
I tend to feel extremely anxious the first week of a new school year. My heart fills with tension as I wonder if my son will make real friends or whether the kids will just tolerate him, the kid who tends to talk about the same things over and over again. I worry about whether he will be able to keep up with the academics that will be thrown at him way faster than his young brain is able to keep up with. If he is being teased will he realize it? Will math be too hard for him to process? Will his reading skills ever improve? What if...the next thing I know, I feel panicked.
FEAR: False Expectations Appearing Real
I just love this acronym because it helps remind me of truth. Fear is something that hasn’t even happened and many times, won’t ever will. I don’t know about you, but I waste so much time being afraid instead of living in the day-to-day reality. What good doesn't do me to worry about something that isn’t even real? If my son isn’t making friends at school, then I’ll talk to his teachers about it. If his reading doesn’t seem to be improving, I’ll hire a tutor. But why waste my energy on worrying about something that
isn’t real right now!
Last night I attended my kids’ back-to-school night. The reality is this: my son’s teacher just LOVES him and said he is doing extremely well so far. She said the boy that sits across from him is very outgoing and he helps my son during the day when he needs it. And in return, my son helps him settle down when it’s time to be quiet. See? All that fear and worry for nothing. My fears never became reality.
I’m sure my kids will face some challenges this upcoming school year, as will yours. But I’d like to encourage you to challenge yourself. Fear is a choice. Choose something
else. Choose joy and contentment. Praise your child for who they are and what they have been able to accomplish this past year, and look forward to all they will do in the year to come. If things come up, then deal with them. But try not to waste your energy on being scared about something that may never happen. Turn your fear into a new fear: Forget Everything And Relax.
~ Trisha Bailey
I remember when I knew something was different about our son. His eyes were turnedsideways and he often wouldn’t respond even if you yelled his name. He was obsessed with spinning objects and his favorite thing was our ceiling fan. He turned his matchbox cars over and spun the wheels with his eyes glued to the movement. He walked in a gliding fashion around and around our backyard right next to the fence with his eyes glued to the boards. We discovered his love for bowling – not because of the fun of it, but because of the sound the pins made when they would crash to the floor. The garbage truck had to always come on Friday. If it didn’t, or if he missed it, it was meltdown time. He wanted our car doors to close in a particular order... the list could go on.
If you saw my son now, you would never know any of this happened. You would potentially pick up on some of his odd behaviors, random noises or slight obsessiveness. If you tried to have an in depth conversation with him, you might notice he didn’t quite follow you. But where he is today is light years ahead of where he was. He is 7 years old now, and I can say that life with him is an adventure every day.
I decided to write this post because I often hear about mothers of children with autism, but never anything from fathers. When I found out our son had autism, I tried to find other fathers to inquire about how they were dealing with it. I found nothing. Everywhere I looked it seemed that fathers were in denial, absent from the situation as much as possible, or just not saying anything to anyone.
Finding out your son has autism feels like a ton of bricks suddenly got dropped on your chest. You don’t know what to do, where to turn, or how to handle the situation. We found out when our son was 3. All of my hopes of playing catch, or doing ‘guy stuff’ suddenly came into question. This is how it felt for me. I felt that I couldn’t talk to any of my friends about it for fear of them judging me, or not understanding, or just not even seeing evidence of his diagnosis. I felt very alone for a few years.
I cried, prayed, and felt hopeless before things began to turn around. I really think I sort of grieved in a way – mostly over the fact that I wanted the best for my son, and I wasn’t sure what would be possible for him in the future.
I want to encourage any fathers who may be reading this now. If your son has a disability of any kind, I likely know how you feel. I want to share 10 things that I’ve learned as a father of a son with special needs with the hope that they may help you get through the hard days.
1. It’s not your fault. If you’re like me, you may think back and ask yourself if there was anything you did that may have caused your son to have a disability. Stop this way of thinking as soon as you can. It will prevent you from moving on. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.
2. Don’t expect your family or friends to understand. You’re probably not going to get the support you need from family or friends. BUT it’s not that they don’t care about you – it’s that they simply can’t relate. Think of it like you just witnessed the MATRIX and came back to talk about it. Some will believe you, and some won’t. Some will see it, some won’t. The important thing to remember is that you know your kid. If you see it, go with your gut and get your son or daughter help. Don’t wait around for friends or family to support you. It may or may not happen.
3. Take comments with a grain of salt. Many times when we tried to share certain things about our son with friends, we would get comments like, “Well, my son does that too.” or “He doesn’t seem that bad to me.” As much as these comments would hurt and frustrate us, my wife and I eventually learned that the reason people make these comments isn’t to hurt us but to try and help us feel better. They didn’t realize it was having the opposite effect. We were seeking validation from people who didn’t really get it. Eventually we learned we had to let these comments slide and not take them so personally.
4. Don’t live in denial. I hear stories of so many parents who deny that their child has special needs. My wife and I see it all the time. If you know that something is
different about your child, the best thing you can do is have your child evaluated.
Worry about how that impacts your world later. Your child needs to come first.
5. Don’t read too many articles. Don’t freak yourself out about vaccines or all of the possible causes of your child’s situation. Worry less about the cause and more about helping your child. All the time you spend researching causes could be spent helping your child.
6. Cherish the surprises. What you think will never come, just might. I remember I longed to hear the words, “I love you”. At the time, I didn’t know if I would hear
those words based on his unusual behavior. He said it on his own in January when he was 5 years old. It was a pleasant surprise and I’ll never forget it.
7. You’re a dad. Be proud. You have been blessed with a child when many can’t even have children. I know you likely have expectations but remember, they’re just expectations. You never know what life may bring, and that’s what makes life so special, isn’t it? You are a dad and play a unique role in his/her life. No one can or should replace you. Embrace it no matter your circumstances.
8. Know your limits. You’re going to need breaks. A lot of them. Talk with your spouse about giving each other relief, and how to communicate when you need a break. Don’t get mad at each other if you’re stressed over your child. Think relay race. It’s your turn, then it’s hers.
9. Love your spouse. You’ve got to be a team to get through this. Your wife is not your enemy, and is likely the only person on this planet who will be able to understand how you feel on a daily basis. Practice putting the needs of your wife before your own. Eventually you’ll see that your attitude will shift and you’ll be more able to put your child’s needs before your own.
10. Encourage other dads. Do your part to encourage other fathers who have children with special needs. 1 in 54 boys supposedly have autism and yet where are the fathers? Join me in being an encouragement to others. They need it just like you.
- Jason Bailey
I’m about to share something that I really struggle with, but this is hard for me to write about. If you were to look at my son you would probably immediately think, “He looks normal to me.” From the outside, (unless you have a trained eye or just that mommy radar that many of us seem to develop over time) my son comes across as a neurotypical child. While my son has an autism diagnosis, his symptoms have always been mild. He has had years of traditional and alternative forms of therapy. Unless you sit and talk to him for a bit or try to teach him something, or observe him at home where he is comfortable and more himself, you may not notice he has a disability. For years, I’ve struggled with feeling like I’ve had to defend his diagnosis with friends and family. But I’ll save that for another blog post. But don’t you mind, we have our difficulties each and every day.
What I want to share about today is this internal struggle I have. I want him to be more “normal” and in my heart of hearts, I don’t feel I always accept him the way he is. Before I continue, let me say that I understand there are many types of disabilities that are much different than autism and even huge differences within the autism spectrum itself. I understand that some of you reading this are in a very different place – where your child’s diagnosis is different or there’s a physical handicap involved. So I do not write this to be insensitive to anyone’s circumstances. Again, this is my own personal struggle.
My son has made huge strides over the years. So why does it never seem to be enough for me? He can make progress in one area, but then I begin to focus on another area that could use improving. I confess I want him to fit in with his friends, to have an age-appropriate conversation with his peers, to be able to physically do things his other friends can do. I wrestle, however, with whether or not this is a healthy viewpoint for me to have. Why do I want him to just be like everyone else? Is that really a good thing? Is that truly what I want for him? I mean, is that what I really want for my neurotypical daughter as well? My motivations are not impure. As his mom, I just don’t want him to struggle. But that’s when I’m reminded that even the “normal” kids have their struggles. They get picked on (I did!), they are weaker in certain subjects, they all aren’t athletic superstars. I’m also reminded that the struggles in our lives are what make us stronger and develop our character. Sure, my son’s journey may end up looking different than my daughter’s, but it would have looked different with or without his special needs anyway.
I guess what I’m realizing more and more each day is that I need to do a better job of accepting my son the way he is. I thought that part was just a given when you have a child. But regrettingly I have struggled with this...a lot. And I hate that I have! So many times I’ve felt like a bad mom because I haven’t. There is a balance of getting your child the services he/she needs to help better their life and accepting your child the way they are no matter what. I’m sad to say this balance doesn’t come easy for me at times.
The dictionary defines normal as “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected”. In other words, average. Is this really what we want for our kids? Do we want them to be just average? No! We want them to be amazing! We want them to stand out from the crowd. We want them to make a difference in this world and for the world to see how special they are. We need (I’m speaking to the choir here!) to remember that our children are amazing just the way they are. Each one of our kids will make a difference in the world. They may, however, have a different way of doing it...and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
- Trisha Bailey
Driving in the car tends to be stressful in my family. Let me correct that...arriving anywhere by car tends to be stressful. This is how the scenario usually plays out. We arrive at our destination and my son (7 yrs, ASD) quickly proceeds to get out of the car. My 5 yr old daughter (NT) still can’t always open the door from the inside by herself so she will just proceed to get out on the same side as my son. He will immediately get upset and yell at her that she can’t get out on his side because it’s his side and she needs to get out on her own side. I quickly try to smother the fire which will then lead into at least a 5 minute conversation trying to explain why it doesn’t matter, etc...etc… This occurrence will usually set off something else he will get irritated about and then, well, it’s just a vicious cycle. My daughter has gotten so used to it that sometimes she doesn’t even respond. Other times she will yell back and it starts a giant argument back and forth.
TV watching also tends to be a bit stressful in our home. Because of my son’s processing delays, difficulty in understanding pretend vs. real, and OCD tendencies, he tends to ask a million questions during a movie or anything else he watches. He will also ask the same questions over and over again (during the same part, even when he already knows the answer). My daughter, who can process things normally, initially will answer some of the questions, but without a doubt (and I can’t say I blame her) will get very frustrated and say things like, “I already told you!”, “I’m trying to watch this!”, “You’ve already asked me that!”, “Stop asking me so many questions!”. It’s painful to watch, quite honestly. I feel bad for both of them.
I mention these two examples because recently, I’ve really been thinking about how on Earth to navigate the sibling relationship of my kids. I realize I am a model for my children. Oftentimes, because of the incessant questions, I will lose patience with my son. And now as I hear the tone my daughter sometimes answers him in, sometimes I hear myself. Another epic mommy fail!! How do I teach my daughter to be patient with the special needs my son has when I can’t always be patient? When do I talk to her about his differences and how do I do it in a way that will teach her to appreciate and love who he is? What’s an appropriate age to discuss it all with her? How do I teach her to come alongside him as a helper and encourager? How do I foster a healthy relationship between the two of them? Because I’m already beginning to see her frustration and hurt when he yells at her for something so little over and over again.
Can I be honest? I’m scared. I’m not so naive to think that neurotypical sibling relationships are perfect. But what I describe, well, it’s just different. I can’t quite explain it, but if you’re a mom of a child with special needs, then I know you understand. I don’t currently have answers to these questions. So in the meantime, I know I need to first and foremost work on my own attitude and how I respond to my son so that I can at least be setting a good example for my daughter. I can’t take away my son’s special needs. But hopefully in the end I can foster a relationship between them where they learn to not just love and respect each other and have fun together, but to also understand and really appreciate their differences. What have been your challenges in this area?
~ Trisha Bailey
Well…we did it! My son graduated from high school. It was such a huge milestone for him, and for me. Only another parent raising a child with developmental disabilities would fully appreciate the emotions evoked on this day. As I reflected on all the years of his educational career, and all the work that went into him, and the money and time devoted to his growth and development, I was overcome with feelings of appreciation. I appreciate all those who gave so much of themselves to help my son become all that he is today.
The advocacy and parenting continues as he moves into the adult system of care. My son has moved to a residential setting, a group home with 2 other young men. For me, it feels like he went to college. Getting him prepared for his new home and “independence” really felt like I was sending him off to college for the first time. The car was loaded with all of his stuff, and we set up his room and got him all settled in. It was a terrific experience and it felt good to let go, while knowing he’s still close by and I will be there for him, as always. It felt good to see him have his own space and his own life. This was the way he was going to be independent. I really saw him as a young man, as I kissed him goodbye and said I’ll see you next week. It felt great to feel confident that the staff would take good care of him and work on the life skills he continues to need to build and learn. It felt good that his housemates were his age and they were welcoming and embracing. It felt good to be able to breathe, after 21 years!
I am excited at my son’s prospects for having an enriched life moving forward. But during this time, I also realize how parents still need to stay on top of things, and keep abreast of the resources out there. This is an ongoing part of parenting an adult with special needs. This part really doesn’t ever end! When school ends for our kids, it’s even more important to establish and build relationships with the supports coordinators, and/or DDD case managers, to access supports needed for our adult children and ourselves. But, in all honesty, I think parents often learn more from one another. Word of mouth and sharing goes a long way….
While you may be tired and feel like the years of parent groups are past you -believe me, I’ve thought this too, participating in a parent group for adults with special needs will keep you connected and provide supports and linkages we continue to need well into adulthood. In fact, what I’ve realized is that it’s all about perspective! Maybe participating in a parent group might be a nice social outlet for you that you’ve been missing.
I have learned that this is how many of us get through... this is how we continue to learn and manage…this is how we make and build friendships, and sustain our wellness and resilience.
In graduate school, one of my professors would refer to feelings as the "F" word. Crazy, right? She didn't see the value in feelings and thought they were more of a distraction than anything else. In fact, much like the other "F" word, she didn't think it was even okay to say the word out loud. She had exceptional training and who was I to question her, but I just didn't agree that feelings were simply a distraction, or a term to not be uttered in a therapy session. At the time, I thought feelings were everything, especially with regards to therapy. How can you engage clients, specifically those with a history of trauma and NOT value their feelings?
Fast forward fifteen years and a few hundred clients later, I have changed my thoughts about feelings. I still value them, and I see the importance of processing them with my clients. I just no longer think feelings are everything when it comes to therapy. I recently had a conversation with a family member who asked me what the big deal is with therapists and their need to emphasize feelings. He said that feelings are nothing more than feelings and there is no need to fixate on their importance. Then it clicked. Why DO we put so much emphasis on feelings? What is up with the need to overanalyze our feelings?
Feelings are no more than what they are- our own emotional perceptions of a situation. They come, they go, they change, and they evolve. Let's take the power away from them. This is not accomplished by denying their value, or their existence. The way to take the power away from our feelings is to actually FEEL them. We spend too much time, as a society, denying our feelings, or stuffing them away because we are so afraid to be emotional, or to be seen as weak. What happens when we do that? Do we ever heal? In my experience, we don't. When we hide or numb our feelings, we develop pathology- and, it can show up in many different forms- addiction, self injury, eating disorders, or depression, to name a few.
Until we are able to learn to fully feel each feeling as it comes, and to remember that feelings will pass, we will continue to give them more power than they deserve. The thing is that the more we ignore or hide from our feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, disappointment, and fear, the more toxic those feelings become. Hiding from them doesn't make them disappear- this we know to be true. So, we might as well embrace each fleeting feeling. Just like our feelings of joy and excitement eventually pass, so do our painful ones. I promise. They will pass. No matter how hard they are, or how painful it is to fully feel the grief, the sadness, the anger- it will pass. But, not until you can embrace them for exactly what they are- just feelings.
How do you learn to feel feelings that you have spent a lifetime stuffing down? It isn't an easy process, but there are some concrete techniques that can get the ball rolling. Get a journal. When you find yourself in a "mood" - pull out the journal and write about it. Your writing does not need to be grammatically correct, hell, it doesn't even need to be coherent. Just get it down on paper.
Another thing you can do to exercise your "feeling" muscles is to play music that pulls out emotions in you. We all have a few songs that will remind us of a time in our life when maybe things weren't so easy. For me, my go to song is Rachel Platten's "Fight Song". When I start to feel a flood of emotions, I blast that song and express exactly how I feel. Sometimes, I need to play it a few times. But, afterwards, I ALWAYS feel better. ALWAYS. And, I am able to go about my day without feeling paralyzed by a multitude of scary and overwhelming feelings.
So, I guess my point in all of this is that maybe, just maybe, my professor knew exactly what she was talking about so many years ago. Maybe my 23 year old self missed her point completely. Maybe, feelings really are the "F" word of therapy, and we need to do the work in order to take our power back from them. And, in order to do the work, we need to first acknowledge that feelings carry too much power over us. We want our power back. We are tired of living in fear of our painful and scary feelings. "F" YOU, FEELINGS! Who is with me?
My son was in early intervention therapy from the time he was a year and a half. I was there through every session and swore I had gained most of the knowledge of our DI (developmental interventionist) by the time he aged out at age 3. As a stayathome mom, I took him to all of his therapies, I went to his IEP meetings, I read countless blogs on alternative therapies and special diets, I dealt with most of the meltdowns, and as a result, I inadvertently got into the mindset that my wonderful, loving husband, who was a great father, knew nothing at all about how to parent our special needs son. Because after all, I was the “expert”. Have you been there?
I can’t begin to explain how dangerous this mindset can be. This mentality can quickly wreak havoc in a marriage. I speak from personal experience because I’ve lived it. An innocent conversation quickly turns into a nasty argument or a casual question turns into namecalling and doorslamming.
Let’s be honest though. Is there truth in the statements I made earlier? Absolutely! If you are the primary caregiver for your child with special needs, then you are the one who is probably more skilled in handling meltdowns or correcting certain behavioral issues. And there is a good chance you’ve gained some beneficial knowledge from the hundreds of blogs you’ve read or from the 15 groups you belong to on Facebook. But, does this mean your spouse doesn’t have any valuable input? Are his recommendations and ideas less valuable because they aren’t coming from a licensed ABA therapist or some famous blogger? See, the sad part is that I probably would have answered yes to those questions at one point.
You see, I began to disregard anything my husband would say before he was even done speaking because automatically, in my mind, I knew my son better than he did. Afterall, I sat in on countless therapy sessions and I knew the “proper” way to handle each situation. Therefore there was little value to anything he had to say. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of tension this caused not only in our marriage, but in our household.
I have learned quite a bit about marriage in the 10 years we have been together, and one of those things is that when a man does not feel respected, he does not feel loved. The way I was treating my husband was an act of utter disrespect. It took me a long time to figure out why I was acting this way. It all came down to this: CONTROL. Parenting a child with special needs requires nothing short of superpowers. You get good at controlling everything...schedules, meals, therapies, school, homework, playdates, and the list goes on. This control is a necessity in order to function when your child is a baby, and then you begin to feel like the control is even more of a necessity if you want to give your growing child any chance at succeeding in life. If you’re anything like me, when someone tries to take that control away, the mama bear reflex kicks into high gear. As sick and twisted as it may sound, I viewed my husband’s parenting as a threat to my control. Disregarding his input and the way I would react made him feel disrespected and soon, it seemed like every discussion would turn into an argument. We both got really tired...tired of the fights, tired of the stress, tired of being unhappy.
You might be wondering at this point, did things ever change for the better? Yes! The way we did it was through good old fashioned communication! Yes, we talked about it!
1) My husband acknowledged that in many ways, I DID know my son better. For me, it wasn’t necessarily about being right, but more so him acknowledging me for the countless things I do for my son each day. This made me feel valued and appreciated and soon, my attitude began to change.
2) I had to learn that even though I tended to know my son better, that didn’t mean my husband’s input wasn’t valuable. I needed to remember MY WAY WASN’T THE ONLY WAY. Many times I would find that my husband’s different approach with my son would work just as good, if not better than mine. And he hadn’t read 1 single blog!! I began to give up some control and as a result, my husband began to feel respected again, and therefore, loved. The tension began to release.
3) My husband is a man and my son is a boy. Weird statement? Maybe. But think about it. My husband will understand aspects of my son’s behavior and personality that I will never get simply because I am a woman. Men and women are different and so in this area, sometimes I need to trust my husband’s judgement and instinct and let him run with it. Again, letting go of that control. It’s a bit painful, but the end results are worth it!
4) Finally, WE had to remember that we were in this together...for the long haul. We had forgotten how to work as a team and we needed to remember that we weren’t enemies. It took both of us to make our child, so it would take both of us to raise our child.
Have we mastered this? Definitely not. We have our moments, and I’ll admit that most of the time, an issue arises as a result of my “control freakism” as I like to call it. But things have definitely gotten better and we continue to work on it.
One thing is for certain. Raising a child with special needs takes special parenting from special parents. Many times it feels like we are climbing a giant mountain. We hit many bumps along the way, but I’ve learned that the bumps are what we climb on. Keep climbing!!
I have been thinking and reflecting a great deal about the years of raising my eldest son who has Down syndrome and getting ready to graduate in a few weeks. There has been an increase in the activities and events to celebrate this momentous milestone with Proms, and senior class trips, graduation parties and of course, the graduation ceremony itself.
The closure to this period in his life brings forth a myriad of feelings and emotions and while it’s a happy time, it is also a bit scary and unsettling for me. I am pleased and extremely grateful to all the teachers, therapist, assistant teachers, principals, lunch room aides, bus drivers and aides, and anyone I’ve missed that has supported my son and helped him grow from the little infant he was at 3 months old when he started receiving early intervention services to the 21 year old young man he has become. It has been a lot of work to get him here. He has grown so much! I am forever grateful from the bottom of my heart. It was costly, it was hard work, it was a team effort, but it was worth all of it! I am grateful to live in a country as ours that places value on the lives of persons with disabilities to become all they can become. I look at him now and he is still growing, learning and maturing as a person. Aren’t we all?
While my son is now 21, I still look at him, as I did when he was an infant, and wonder what he will be like in 20 years. This next phase in life for him brings continued learning on our part, as parents. We have to once again learn what services and supports exist for him and how to navigate the adult system of care. Things do not seem to be as clear and mapped out here in our state of NJ. But, I am honestly really tired now. I have spent nearly half of my life advocating for, and seeking and learning about services and supports to help our son and family. I am hopeful, as with so many other parents at this fork in the journey, that as we enter the door to the DDD/DVR systems, they will provide the nurturing care and support of his continued growth as a man.
Today was a little frustrated. Frankly, I am overwhelmed with the number of meetings I have and the coordination of services I have to manage for my son with Down syndrome. All these meetings require taking time off from work, and I don’t want to use up all my time to attend meetings for my sons services.
He is about to graduate from high school and the school district psychologist wanted to have a Performance Summary meeting and provided dates she was available. While one would wonder why I got so aggravated over this email to schedule this meeting, I understood why I felt the way I did and wanted her to know why I felt the way I did.
So, I asked myself: “Self, what is it that you think and feel you need to impart to these folks and why? Myself answered, with a heavy feeling in my heart, “I want them to understand that I am not just being a disinterested mother; but rather bring attention to how they need to look at their practices and their effect on the lives of parents. I know they have a job to do, and so do I. I want them to consider the amount of time they request families to attend meetings and contact us for formalities that require us to use up time that we really need to use for ourselves, frankly. It is 2016, why can’t meetings and business be conducted in ways that are more working family-friendly? I would like for them to consider these options. Additionally, my son with Down Syndrome is only one of 2 other children I have. How about the time I need to take off for them? How about the many demands on the parents, and looking at the special needs child in the context of a whole family, and how that plays out in our lives?”
So, then I decided to respond back to her email stating: “Sorry. I cannot attend another meeting at this time, because we are overwhelmed with meetings for our son at this time; and frankly, I don’t want to take time off from work for a ‘Performance Summary’ meeting. If the meeting could be held via conference call, there was a possibility of scheduling one if it worked with the schedules of others. Otherwise, a report would suffice.”
I felt like I needed to take a stance for myself and my family today.
As I was driving to work this morning, with my medium-sized hazelnut coffee (medium is big for me), I thought to myself that I really need to go to bed earlier. I’m tired and really not getting enough sleep. This has been going on for weeks, and now my coffee size is getting larger because I need more caffeine to get me going in the morning!
So I ask myself, “Self, why can’t you go to bed earlier so that you get the proper rest you need?” Myself answered with her usual truthful, to the point answer, “because you enjoy that time to yourself. It’s your time to read, browse the magazine you bought online at the supermarket about great vegetarian recipes, respond to friends on Facebook, peruse Pinterest for house decorating ideas, play solitaire on your phone, watch Forensic Files on Netflix, text with other friends who are also up too late, or have some time with my husband.” Myself went on to explain that I stay up late doing these things because it’s the time I need to decompress, de-stress, relax, let all of the “heavy” of the day go, be mindless, check out, or just be quiet.
I then realized how important this “Me Time” was for my health… my sanity…my soul. So now, I will go on with my medium –sized coffee in the morning, without guilt, while I figure out where to build in more “Me Time” during other parts of my day and week, so I can actually get some more sleep! I bet you can relate!