• Jennifer Thayer

7 Bad Habits of Highly-Stressed Special Needs Moms

Bear with me as I write this one tongue in cheek. I am Queen-of-All-Things-Bad-Habit. I’ve been known to stay up until 2am after 3 cocktails watching old movies while inhaling leftover pizza. I’m a work in progress, people! Just like you, I have goals to break the bad and replace with healthy options. Yet as life is panning out here is Special Needs World, little time is actually my own. It is all about balance and learning how to stop the poor choices while embracing the good! Here are the top ridiculous things stressed-out moms do when under pressure:

  1. Maintaining a Meme mindset. Heed my warning. Laugh at the meme then do the EXACT opposite. We are a fast-paced, visual, fiction-fed society who grab a meme about “Netflix and Chill” and use it as advice. Step away from your phone, Facebook, and friends that enable poor behavior.

  2. Clueless Calendar keeping. Sometimes when the anxiety is high, we avoid even laying out the plan. Don’t avoid that planner. It’s there to help ease the pressures, not harm your peace. Embrace the schedule. Use it and pencil in time that is all about you! If is on the schedule, do it!

3. Jumping into the pool of life’s demands without dipping a toe in first. Sure, I’ll volunteer every week at church. Today, I will clean each closet in the house. Quit biting off more than you can chew. We don’t have to take an all-or-nothing stance at life. Slow and easy can win the race without all the guilt of not doing it all. And don’t forget to celebrate each step you take to better your family’s life! You earned that pat on the back!

4. Winging it. Just don’t do it. Winging the day- no schedule, no routine, pjs, chilling without addressing your family’s needs doesn’t help anyone. You know it’s true. Don’t wing it. Ever. Maybe put the hubs, babysitter, or a PCA in charge of some parts of the day but have a plan! It just helps everyone in the long run. And let’s face it. This is the LONG run.

5. Leaning into the lethargy. You is tired. You is drained. You is sore. You is a mother. Just own it. You know how they say you need to exercise through the pain of yesterday’s workout? We have to live our lives this way. Get up and stretch, take a shower or quick bath to relax those sore muscles and ease the worries of the day. Get out of bed on routine. Do that instead of choosing to lay around. Your body will thank you for it.

6. Thinking you are Wonder Woman. You are absolutely amazing but you can’t do it all alone. Accept and ask for help. Use your support system, no matter how small. Hire a caregiver to take the strain off your family. People are helpers if you just ask for a hand.

7. Not hugging the pillow more. Get to bed at a reasonable hour. And not with your phone in hand. I get it! It is your only alone time in the quiet. Embrace it for a bit, 30 minutes, maybe an hour. Read a book, pray, listen to music. Then lights out, Linda. Allow that busy brain to rest. Tomorrow is a another day and you are in charge of conquering it, whether you want to or not!

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