Mommy guilt is something we all face, but sometimes the mommy guilt for a Mom with a child with special needs can be UNBEARABLE. According to http://www.yourdictionary.com Guilt is a painful feeling of self-reproach resulting from a belief that one has done something wrong or immoral. Or as Connie Hammer founder of The Progressive Parent, LLC, a parent-coaching organization puts it: Guilt is defined as an awareness of having done wrong accompanied by feelings of shame or regret.
Here are some things to consider when you feel your guilt:
- Know you are not alone! Don't judge your guilty feelings. Don't label them wrong or right. Know they will pass. It is ok to feel that way and your feelings can be changed. Try not to entertain the feeling to long. Hear it, feel it and let it pass. According to numbers reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- More than 16 out of every 100,000 children and teens in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancer
- Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida.
- About 35,000 infants (1 out of every 125) are born with heart defects each year in the United States
- 13 percent of American children have a developmental disability ranging from a mild speech or language impairment to a serious developmental or intellectual diagnosis such as cerebral palsy or autism.
- 4.5 million school age children have ADHD
- 1 in 110 children have an autism spectrum disorder
- 10 percent of children have anxiety disorder
- Oh and there is so much more...you are NOT ALONE!
- Surround yourself with strong supporters. Some people can bring up these feelings in you. You might want to stay away from those people at least until you get past this. If a certain relationship is draining you with these guilty feelings there are three things I see you can do. My mom used to always tell me you have an A.C.E. in your pocket for every situation. A.C.E. (accept, change, eliminate). So use your ace in these relationships...accept the person as he or she is and learn to ignore or walk away; OR change the situation by how you respond both inside and out (I statements are good, "I feel sad or hurt when you say_______ to me. I do not like it."); OR eliminate the relationship.
- Have a positive response to your emotions. Berating and blaming yourself is not helpful at all. Think about what you have learned. Think about how you can overcome the guilt the next time and move ahead. Journaling...blogging...is always a good way to look at your self standing from the outside so to speak. You learn.
- Take a time out! Acknowledge that you are not SUPER MOM. You are human. Sometimes we all need a break. Be reasonable and honest with yourself. It is very easy to get wiped out or sick or depressed or have a break down when dealing with operations, doctors appointments, tests, etc.. Don't feel guilty to take a few hours or a day. Find someone you trust to watch your child and GO! GUILT FREE mind you! You will feel much better after and be rejuvenated to be the Mommy your special one needs.
Here are some resources to help you out.
My community of Special Needs Mom Bloggers Community called Hope Floats:
Lots of special needs resources here:
Apps for special needs moms:
A community of special needs moms to chat and share
A retreat for moms like us...and good articles too.