Lately, I’ve been struggling under the weight of my youngest son’s health issues. I spend all day playing nurse, therapist and advocate that sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and see myself as just mom.
I recently had a conversation with someone who was finally honest with me and it was eye opening and refreshing.
She pointed out that when I talked about him I put a lot of focus on what he can’t do. I was immediately ashamed. As his protector, I’ve made it a point to ask family members to refrain from discussing his diagnosis’s in front of him instead of just playing with him. I wanted to make sure he would never feel less than perfect but, I wasn’t following my own instruction.
I’m not saying I’m constantly telling him what’s wrong with him but it’s the reel that plays in my head all day while I’m caring for him.
My inner voice could easily be setting him back from future accomplishments!
She was right, if I didn’t fix my negative energy he would grow up seeing himself as all of the things he can’t do instead of feeling like he can do anything.
She suggested I change the way I speak to him.
It’s such a simple thing to do but can make such a huge difference. Both for him but internally for me.
To be honest I’m awful at talking to him when we play. I’ll also admit I’m a baby talker.
It’s been a hard habit to start but now when we do therapy exercises I say things like this in a sing-songy voice, “We’re doing these so you get big and strong so you’ll be able to run fast and jump high!”
Breathing treatments we talk about how the treatments will make his lungs super strong so he won’t always need them. And lastly, tube feedings are done talking about how the milk is helping him grow big and strong so he will be able to learn to safely eat all sorts of yummy foods.
At some point on this journey, I let myself get bogged down in the day to day. I started to feel sorry for myself and him that things weren’t the way they were supposed to be. The way I imagined they’d be. Although I give my son nothing but love and nurturing, I wonder if he can sense the negative energy hidden underneath.
Saying these mantras to him have helped me to get back to a place where I believe these things are possible. They’ve helped me come back to the positive place I was in when this all started. With no doubts that although my son may be off to a slower start, I believe one day he’ll do amazing things.
*This is still a very new experience to me. I’d love to hear how you encourage your little ones with special needs and keep a positive attitude!