Are you an empathic mom parenting a high needs/sensitive child?
Is there a special dance going on between you and your child?
Are you hyper-aware of your child's mental and emotional states? Does it feel as though their experience is YOUR experience because the boundaries of where your child leaves off and you begin seems blurred?
Are you both soaking up each other's energy and allowing it to flow back and forth in a continuous loop?
Does your child seem to know and even act out your emotional undercurrents long before you are even aware of your own level of discomfort?
Do you sometimes feel as though the only way you can alleviate your child's suffering is by taking on some of their pain as your own?
If you voted YES to any of the above, you are not alone in your struggle.
There are two ways to parent your children. You can set an intention to connect with the wisdom of your heart or you can get lost in the fear-based storylines of your mind.
For most of my son’s childhood, my energy came from the swirling vortex in my mind. I now realize that this vortex of desperation and yearning deprived me of showing up as my best Self.
You’ve likely been conditioned to believe that your heart responds to messages sent from your brain in the form of neural signals. But are you aware that your heart is initiating continuous communication with your brain? According to the HeartMath Institute, the heart’s messages impact your emotional processing and your higher cognitive functions, including perception, memory and problem solving.
When parenting special needs children, there are five primary ways that your ego can leave you sidelined in struggle.
1. You find yourself continually yearning for some other reality to be present in your life. Your mind is perpetually preoccupied with various missing elements of life and those missing elements leave you feeling chronically dissatisfied and deprived.
2. Your ego has you enmeshed in blurred boundaries with your child’s energy system, as it pushes you to take ownership for your child’s path. You find yourself either scrambling to micromanage the outcomes or you swoop in to rescue your child from a circumstance that he or she has created.
3. Your ego has you suppress your pain by denying it, masking it and avoiding it. Your ego has you intellectualize your pain; anything but actually taking the time to feel your uncomfortable feelings.
4. Your ego pushes you to “feed the energy of the extremes.” Your ego has you lost in addictive patterns, such as overworking, overachieving and overcommitting. Your fear-based ego does not support you in recognizing when enough is enough. When you are unceasingly racing ahead trying to secure the next objective, you aren’t truly present for the magical moments that are potentially right in front of you.
5. Your ego has you ignore and discount your own multifaceted needs that impact you on an intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and physical level.
So let’s flesh these points out a bit more.
Caregiver guilt is an invisible weight that drains away your life force energy; attaches shame to your actions; interferes with you putting your own needs front and center; and denies you the path of holistically balanced motherhood. As a mother to your beautiful light bringer, you may have discovered that your Ego-mind looks back at certain parenting choices and hammers you with harsh judgments and criticisms.
Do you find yourself ruminating about choices you avoided making on behalf of your child or is your mind second-guessing certain choices you actually made, with all kinds of commentary about how you could have done it differently? And if that weren’t enough, is your mind berating you about all the ways that you are letting down your neuro-typical children or even your significant other, because you are so devoted to your special needs child? When the mind is talking, no one is allowed to win.
I don’t know if the perfectionism Mom trap applies to you, but after my son Mark was diagnosed with autism, I fell headfirst into the quicksand of perfectionism. I would likely have lived under the pressure of “perfect” without a special needs diagnosis, but once life thrust me onto the autism detour, the long-term consequences of “chasing after perfect” certainly took their toll.
Are you aware that perfectionism is a form of self-abuse because it means that you are setting unattainable self-standards? The very definition of unattainable standards implies that you are driving yourself to achieve something that is forever out of reach! Perfectionism also means that you are measuring your self-worth based upon your behavioral performance. Perfectionism comes into play when your ego has you lost in compulsively seeking outside approval and validation from other people. Chasing that outside validation and approval is a way to prop up your sagging self-esteem. Yes, I said it… perfectionists actually have low self-esteems!
Sacred Soul Contracts And Consciously Awakened Relationships With Special Needs Children By Karen Hasselo
Do you believe that your child's soul chose you to fulfill the impactful and uplifting role as mother in this lifetime? I wholeheartedly believe that a sacred soul contract exists between mothers and their special needs children. You are your child's spiritual companion through life, and as such, you are here to support your child in reaching his or her highest potential in this lifetime. Understanding the sacred nature of your contract underscores the fact that both of your souls have chosen an outline for your spiritual curriculum, your physical suit and your overarching mission for this lifetime. All of these choices have been made via the soul's free will in a loving multiverse. Your children have wisely determined that taking on the challenges associated with their special needs would serve the overall purposes of the Higher Self and the soul's evolutionary progression. Similarly, your soul has also decided that fulfilling the role of mother would enhance your soul's spiritual expansion.
An important element of sustaining resiliency in the face of your children's challenges is learning to understand how to capitalize on your own energy design. Human Design offers you an incredible shortcut to understanding your energy map. It's as though you have been handed the cliff notes for the novel of your life.
Human Design is an uncannily accurate personality assessment tool that offers you a visual representation of your energy system. Based upon your birth details, you receive a visual representation of your energy map, called a Body Graph. This body graph shows you a concrete way to understand your strengths, your potential weaknesses, your gifts and talents and your overarching purpose for incarnating on this planet at this time.
I am not convinced that "simple loss" exists. However, for those of you who are parenting children with autism, your experience of loss can feel like a never-ending bottomless pit of sorrow that is continually reactivated. Expected milestones, holidays, family rituals, and simple everyday activities can trigger your tandem losses and your feelings of isolation. Even a simple outing to the grocery store can evoke feelings of pain around your decimated parenting dreams.
In 2009, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that mothers parenting teens with autism had stress levels that were comparable to combat veterans. While you are in the midst of crisis management, you may find it quite challenging to process and release your feelings of sorrow. I know that I did. You may find yourself living in survival mode and your ego may push you to minimize or discount your own self-care needs. Who has time to practice emotional first-aide when you are required to push a boulder up a mountain every single day?
Are you a special needs Mom who is fulfilling the role of a Human Doing? Do you find yourself...
If you relate to the above Human Doing List, know that it is no longer necessary or advisable for your ego to push you into addictive maneuvers, while exhausting your mind, body and soul in the process.
Beth Berry recently wrote a blog entitled, "Dear Mothers: We Can't Keep Pretending This Is Working For Us." Ms. Berry actually climbs out on a limb and declares that modern day American mothers are oppressed!
She asserts that the expectations for mothers have gone beyond exceedingly high and have crossed over into unreachable and unrealistic. She notes that mothers themselves are complicit in this scheme because we have decided to invest in the noble struggle in order to preserve our identity as "good mothers."
Karen Hasselo is a passionate advocate for empowering individuals on their personal growth journey. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, she shares valuable insights and guidance through her blog, inspiring positive transformation and well-being.