Sometimes I am asked how do I do what I do without losing it. Here's my response to that: Overall I'm doing pretty good. Last week was extra stressful because of Princess' IEP on Monday, Halloween stuff the transportation issue with Princess' school that was finally resolved as of Monday and an important planning meeting that was held in LA. The thing that has really helped me is to make sure I take time for myself so that my tank is not empty. If I give and give, then eventually I have nothing left to give to my daughter. I also pray a lot (somedays the whole day has to be bathed in prayer.) Another thing I do just for me is to order myself an Oprah Chai Tea Latté about once a week. However, the biggest gift that I gave myself was the gift of counseling. When Princess was unstable, I was dealing with PTSD (due to work problems) and my husband was trying to figure out his next career move; I saw our family therapist once a week. Eventually I started seeing her every other week. CurrentIy I only go every other week with my husband. Our family therapist really helped me put things in perspective. Here's an example of how I put into practice what she taught me: The other day was super crazy. When I found out that Princess' seat mate unbuckled her seat belt and his own while the van was in motion, I dropped everything. I called and emailed the school right away. Then my husband just happened to come home from work early. I gave him two tasks to help me out while I took Princess to get her nails done at her request. She wanted her nails to match her Elsa dress. Just as Princess and I were finishing up my cell phone rang. It was her school case manager telling me that Princess was not going to be riding on that van route any more. Then a few minutes later the director of our church's disabilities ministry called to tell me that they'd resolved a sticky situation that Princess gotten herself into. When I finished both calls, I paid our bill at the nail salon and left. Thankfully (or was it strategically on my part?) there was a drive thru Starbucks in the parking lot. I utilized their services before driving home. I had an important meeting to go to in LA which was over an hour away. After making sure my husband and Princess had everything figured out for pumpkin carving, I left. I played positive music the whole 75 minute car ride to a place I had never been to before. When I arrived at my destination, there was literally no parking. I would have had to park a couple of blocks away in an unfamiliar and sketchy neighborhood. I circled around the street and came back around. This time the facilitator was standing outside the building where the meeting was to be held. She asked me if I was there for this particular meeting and showed me where to park. It was in a dinky parking lot. I have a van so I had to park it crooked. I worried how the heck I'd get it out after the meeting. Then I realized I didn't need to worry about that until after the meeting. Once inside the building I held my head high and walked in to a roomful of strangers but I determined that these could be new friends and acted as such. At the end of the meeting I asked around until I found someone who could move my car. Guess what? I found a bus driver! Once my car was moved, I went on my merry way playing positive music the whole way home.
Before counseling any one of those things could have caused me to have a panic attack. We are in the battle zone with and for our kids. We get battle weary. Sometimes dealing with normal life becomes overwhelming. I have found that finding a really good counselor to talk to on a regular basis helps me think through things better.
And Oprah Chai... Always OCL.