Parenting / Special Needs Parenting

Running on Empty

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Today I feel empty. I’ve been fasting for 18 hours so my body feels a little slow. But it’s more than that. My mind feels sluggish and my emotions are hollow. Perhaps the word I’m feeling is this: hopeless.

Why do I feel hopeless?

Because I don’t like being around my son. He has severe nonverbal autism. He is very low functioning. Here in Utah, we don’t get any state support or services yet because there is a huge waitlist.

I guess I just feel burnt out. Like there is nothing left to give. Like I’ve been running on empty and there is no gas station in sight.

The only times when I am happy are when he is not around. Like when he is asleep or at school or with his dad.

Well, I guess that is not entirely true. On Monday for Memorial Day, we went on a hike and to a park. It was really fun and we had a great day with the whole family. So sometimes I am happy around my son. But other times I just want to run away and take a break from dealing with his crying and screaming and yelling and overall inability to use words and have conversations.

As I’m writing this, I am sitting here alone in my living room. Everything is quiet. My husband has taken the kids to a park. I wonder to myself: why isn’t my husband as tired as I am? Why does he still have energy to be nice to the kids?

Perhaps it is because he spends less time with them during the week. I am a full-time homemaker. A stay-at-home mom to use more modern vernacular. I get a 6 hour break from my son when he goes to school everyday, but I still have my daughter at home.

And after school, I spend about 2-3 hours with the kids before my husband gets home from work. And 1-2 hours in the morning before my son goes to school. So maybe I’m just burnt out because I’m taking care of kids all day, every day and I don’t get many breaks.

I NEED breaks. I need to remember that I’m not superhuman. I can’t run forever without nourishment. I need rest.

What do you need in your life? What helps you not get burnt out? Please share in the comments below.

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