You guys, my life is LOUD (and obviously, I watch a lot of Busy Philipps’ instagram stories). Or maybe I should rephrase that, my kids are LOUD. My beautiful, wild boy reacts strongly to every unexpected thing, which means a lot of screaming, shouting, and panicking. My beautiful, wild girl reacts strongly to her brother’s reactions, which means more shouting, some crying, and fights. All that noise in a 2 bedroom apartment. 😲😩 It’s so overwhelming.
As we’ve gone through the assesment process and learned more about E’s sensory needs, I’ve also realized my own. My biggest sensory issue is sound. I am easily startled, upset, and overwhelmed by loud noises. Motorcycles, sports cars, fireworks, shouting, the buzz from fluorescent lights all set my heart rate speeding. At times, E shrieks and I am so startled that I start crying and shaking and quickly put my fingers in my ears in case it happens again. So here I am, the mom, the main caregiver in my sensitive guy’s life where my main job is to remain calm and confident for him and I. CANNOT. DO. IT. I can’t figure out how to mix my auditory needs and my son’s loud, fitful way of processing. So what happens? We give each other anxiety. It’s so intense. We are just apologizing all over the place for stepping on each other’s nerves. And then I’m trying to make sure my little M knows that none of it is her fault and our being upset has nothing to do with her. 🤪🙄 Gosh, our life is a lot.
So how do I cope?
- I sleep a lot, even if that means leaving dishes for days at a time and our place looking a mess. I take every opportunity I can to sleep.
- I go out on my own every chance I get, even if it’s just to do the grocery shopping.
- My husband and I take breaks when we can. We prioritize taking at least 1 weekend away a year for each of us individually and 1 weekend away a year as a couple. This has been really rejuvenating for us.
- I rely on nearby family and friends like the lifeline they are. They take the kids when we need. They come do our dishes when they can. They share meals with us. They pick up our kids from school so we can have a few minutes to ourselves. They tell us we are doing well when we can’t see past our own noses. We need a village and we are extremely blessed to have an amazing one.
- I try to take care of myself. I could do way better at this, but as to my first point, I like to sleep a lot. My body is often sore from a combination of stress and an old back problem so I sit in the hot tub at the community pool when I can and I do yoga poses at home when I’m not exhausted.
- I try to focus on what I’m grateful for. Again, I could be better at this and have a lot of days where I feel sorry for myself, but I try. I know we are well-supported in our situation and overall have it pretty good.
- Our kids watch a lot of Netflix. #sorrynotsorry
Life right now is a lot. A lot of loud. A lot of apologizing. A lot of asking for help. A lot of Netflix.
And that’s ok.