January 31, 2015

Therapy for Mom...Getting Away from 'Hello, My Name is Brandon's Mom'

I've had therapist after therapist in my home.  I drive Brandon to therapy, and drive him to preschool. Many of my conversations include the words IEP, IDEA, OT, ST, LRE, presumptive placement, supplemental aids and services, ABA, and meltdown.  This is life as an autism mom.  When people ask me how I am doing, I would say that 80% of the time I jump right into how Brandon is doing.  After all, how Brandon's week is going directly affects how mine is going.

"How are you, Rachael?"

"I am great.  Brandon has had really good week.  No major meltdowns!"

or sometimes...

"Um...not so great.  Brandon's had a hard week."

Side note:  Do not say, "Well, that's okay."  *cringe*  No.  It is not okay when he's had a bad week.  Yes, all kids have their moments, but that does not mean it's okay for any of them.  All I can think when people say that is, "It's okay to you because you don't live it."  It's just not helpful.

Anyway, I think this child-centered focus happens to all moms to a certain extent.  Especially when our kids are babies, all we can seem to talk about is what are kids are doing...what they're eating, how they're sleeping, if they're rolling over, crawling, walking, grabbing for things, or making silly sounds.  I realize this is annoying for people who don't have kids, or have kids who are long past these stages.  Yet, almost all moms do it.  We're excited, and we love our kids!

It took me some time, but I have come to realize that I need to do something just for ME. And it has to be something I do regularly to help me keep my identity.  I need my own kind of therapy...one that I am not allowed to miss.  Brandon doesn't miss his therapy, and I'm not going to miss mine.  I need to keep my sanity, and add some peace to my life.  

I need some time to be Rachael, not just Brandon's Mom.

My own kind of therapy is Hot Yoga.  Seeing my progression is a powerful thing.  The feeling of accomplishment I get in class is something that is invaluable to my self-worth.  It allows me to stretch, detoxify, relieve stress, and tone my body.  It's the the only workout I've ever done that works every single muscle, organ, and gland in my body.  Most importantly, it's the only workout that I actually enjoy doing. When I miss yoga because life gets to busy, I can feel it in my mind, body and soul.

This is for all moms, not just the special needs moms.  What is your own kind of therapy?  Don't have one?  Get one!  If you feel guilty for leaving your kid for one hour a week to do something for yourself, stop.  You will be a better mom for it.


  1. In some ways, blogging is my therapy. It helps me put things related to my son in perspective and it gives me an opportunity to help others (whether I actually am or not I don't know, lol!).

    I love that you're doing hot yoga - sounds amazing!

    1. Blogging is absolutely therapeutic for me, too!


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