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"Nurturing My Soul: The Unspoken Journey of Self-Care as a Mom of Children with Autism."

Motherhood, they say, is the most rewarding journey one can embark upon. Yet, for moms like me, whose hearts are intertwined with the beautiful souls of children with autism, this path is also strewn with unique challenges and triumphs. Today, I want to share my deeply personal journey of self-care as a mom of children on the autism spectrum – a journey marked by unconditional love, unspoken sacrifices, and a profound need to nurture my own soul amid the whirlwind of care and advocacy.

Navigating the Emotional Landscape:

As a mom, my journey began with the overwhelming rush of unconditional love the moment I held my child with autism in my arms. It's a love that transcends words and knows no bounds. But it's also a journey filled with emotional complexity.

From the day of diagnosis, my emotions have resembled a turbulent sea. Grief for the dreams I once had, frustration at the challenges faced, and yet, an overwhelming pride and love for my child's unique qualities. Navigating this emotional landscape can be a daily struggle, one that requires constant self-compassion.

The Role of Advocate and Caregiver:

My role, like that of many moms of children with autism, extends beyond that of a parent. I am an advocate, tirelessly working to ensure my child receives the support, resources, and understanding they deserve. It's a role that demands a significant amount of emotional energy and often leaves me feeling both empowered and drained.

The day-to-day responsibilities of caregiving can be physically and mentally exhausting. It's a full-time job that never truly takes a break, and one that often leaves me feeling like there's no time for myself.

The Unspoken Need for Self-Care:

Through this journey, I've come to understand the unspoken need for self-care. It's not selfish; it's self-preservation. It's about nurturing my own soul so that I can continue to be the best mom I can be for my children. Here's why self-care has become an essential part of my life:

Emotional Resilience: Self-care helps me manage the emotional rollercoaster that comes with raising children with autism. Through therapy and mindfulness practices, I've found ways to navigate the turbulent seas of my emotions with grace and resilience.

Physical Well-being: A healthy body is crucial for providing the care my children need. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep keep me physically fit and emotionally stable.

Modeling Behavior: By prioritizing self-care, I'm not only taking care of myself but also setting an example for my children. I'm teaching them about self-compassion, coping strategies, and managing stress in a healthy way.

Practical Self-Care in My Life:

Here are some practical self-care practices that have become lifelines in my journey:

Support Network: I've reached out to support groups, therapists, and friends who understand my unique challenges. Sharing my experiences and feelings with others who empathize has been incredibly healing.

Scheduled 'Me Time': I've learned to dedicate regular blocks of time solely for myself. Whether it's reading a book, taking a bath, or pursuing a hobby, these moments are essential for recharging.

Delegation: I've embraced the importance of asking for help from family members or professional caregivers when needed. Respite care has provided me with much-needed relief.

Mindfulness Practices: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, have helped me manage stress and stay present in the moment.

Setting Realistic Expectations: I've come to understand that I can't do it all. Setting realistic goals and prioritizing tasks helps me avoid burnout.

Celebrating Small Victories: Recognizing and celebrating the small achievements and milestones in my children's development has been a source of immense joy and motivation.

My journey as a mom of children with autism is a testament to the power of love, resilience, and the importance of self-care. In nurturing my own soul, I've discovered that I can provide a loving and supportive environment for my children as they navigate their unique paths. My journey is a reminder that self-care is not selfish; it's a lifeline that keeps me strong and enables me to shine as the mom my children need and deserve.


Kendra-Autism Mom Xtraordinaire

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