Reclaiming Your Independence As a Special Parent

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Now back to my earlier question: When was the last time you allowed yourself to be free and independent as a parent? 
From my own personal experience as well as from the many conversations I’ve had with other parents, this question tends to be particularly difficult for parents of preemies, of children who are sick and parents of children who have special needs. This difficulty appears, partly at least, to be due to the sheer number of ‘pseudo-parents’ in their lives. I’ve used this phrase ‘pseudo-parents’ before to describe the many professionals (i.e. doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, teachers, specialists, etc) who constantly tell parents what they need to/should be doing with/for their child.

Sound familiar?
Being inundated with all of this ‘chatter-noise’ can easily cause special parents, like many of you, to lose some of your natural parental instinct & trust in your ability to know what’s best for your child. You can easily lose (or forfeit) your parental independence. I want you to help you reclaim it back – starting TODAY!

 

The caption above is possibly one way in which you can gain some parental independence in an oh-so-modest way!:-). Although I have a hunch that a couple of other ways just may be a tad more successful.

Re-claiming your independence as a special parent involves you doing one (1) or both of the following two (2) things:

1) Listening To (And Trusting) Your Gut

You know those times when something happens or someone says something that makes you think ‘hmmmm’ or ‘ugh’ and/or just makes you feel a bit off? Well, that’s your gut (a.k.a. internal wisdom) talking to you. Listen.

As preemie and special needs parents, oftentimes our instinctive (and almost always accurate) ability to make sense out of our own world/reality becomes lessened because of, as previously-mentioned the ‘pseudo-parents’ as well as other things begin taking over our thoughts and actions.

Tune out this outer ‘noise’ by making a ‘Personal Gut Wisdom Sheet.  I want you to pause….and really listen to yourself. Then jot down on a piece of paper what ‘your gut – that instinctive inner wisdom’  is telling you. Keep your wisdom sheet in a place where you can readily see and access it when needed, as a reminder to trust yourself both as a parent and a person.

2) Recognizing That You Have A Voice (And Using It)

Sometimes our voices as parents are silenced. Not because we don’t speak – we do – but because we tend to speak other people’s words, thoughts and opinions, sometimes unknowingly. We spout off to others what the therapist says about our child, even though we don’t agree. The words of the doctor keep playing in our heads even though in our heart of hearts, we don’t feel like he’s ever really listened to what we’ve said. The social worker’s plan for our child seems at odds with what we feel is best for our family, yet we agree to it anyway. Our voices become theirs and not our own.

I encourage you to – find your own.

This may mean that you have to go against the status-quo and potentially make some waves, but for the sake of your children (and yourself), it’s ok to cause a few ripples. Use your voice, not antagonistically, but with clarity and confidence in stating what you want (and don’t want) for your child.

Someone will hear you….including maybe even yourself- and by hearing your own voice, your confidence and independence as a parent will be nurtured and grow.

I guarantee it!

So, if anything I’ve said has resonated with you, I hope it starts to put you on the path towards reclaiming or at least starting to think about ways in which you can reclaim your parental independence again.

There are a multitude of additional ways in which you can become more independent and I’m sure many of you have a host of other ideas, thoughts, etc. If so, please feel  to share them by dropping me a line at: gigi@familiesblossoming.com or you can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I would love to hear from you regarding your thoughts about this particular newsletter as well as anything else that’s on your mind and heart.

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS:

1) Annual Preemie Parent Summit; Building Relationships, Creating A Strong Community; September 20-21, 2012

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center & Hotel Schaumburg, Illinois

I am pleased to share with you about this event sponsored by Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA):http://preemieparentalliance.wildapricot.org/

This summit aims to bring preemie parent leaders together to support and network with one another and to actively engage in a spirit of openness so that effective joint-partnerships are created.

Plus a special bonus treat?: Yours Truly will be co-facilitating the summit with PPA! I am excited, humbled and honored. It promises to be a great time, so if you or someone you know is part of a preemie parent organization/group (in person or virtual), please join us!

For more information and online registration, click on the following link: Annual Preemie Parent Summit

2) National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI), 2012 Families Connecting wth Families Conference. (July 27-29 in Boston, Massachusetts).

Click on link to find out more: http://www.familyconnect.org/parentsitehome.asp?SectionID=110

 

3) 5th Annual Rainbow of Roses Rememberance  (Georgia)

A special event in recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. To find out more out more, click on the link below:

http://zoerose.givezooks.com/events/5th-annual-rainbow-of-roses-remembrance

 

RESOURCES:

1) Treatment Options for ADHD in Children and Teens – Information for Parents and Caregivers: http://ow.ly/bTNCf

 

2)  Disability.gov – a great resource for parents of preemies throughout the lifespan – http://ow.ly/bEu23

 

Until Next Time, Wishing You Hope and Clarity,

gigi signature

 

One Response

  1. The world is littered with stuipd people. I try to keep calm and tell myself that everyone gets theirs in the end.Our niece was almost 3 months premature, and shortly after being born experienced some heavy bleeding in her brain. She was diagnose with Cerebral Palsy when she was only a couple of months old. It was a long, hard road, and we weren’t sure at first that she would make it, but, by the grace of God, she will turn 4 on Sunday! Still, she is unable to walk, talk, sit up…She has the most amazing smile and is a blessed ray of sunshine to all who know her, but people stare when she is out in her chair. People whisper about why she still wears bibs (she has a problem with muscle control and sometimes her mouth will hang open and she drools). It’s hard. I wish that people would just ASK (politely) instead of whispering and staring. It’s something we plan on practicing with our son as he gets older and wants to know why people are different from him. Sorry for the book. :0) I just wanted to say that you’re right…it’s not you, it’s them. It’s their bad luck that they have never been blessed by a child who has to fight a little harder, but is a better person for it. God bless you, your daughter, and your entire family.

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