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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

*Update* I always feel guilty about doing things for myself :-(

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2012 at 5:43 PM
  • 18 Replies

My DS was diagnosed about a month ago but before his dx I was already stressed and depressed at times thinking about his future and if he will mak progress. Recently I went in for a physical and all this stress has effected my health (weight gain, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, etc.). I really need and want to be healthy again but whenever I think about starting a diet, exercising, or doing anything else to get myself healthy again I feel really guilty. I think to myself " you have a child with ASD, you need to focus on him and not worry about yourself" . I always think this way when it comes to anything for myself such as getting my hair done or going on a date with my SO. I feel so selfish even thinking about these things so I never end up doing anything for myself. I know it sounds crazy but I cannot stop thinking this way. I just feel all my time should be devoted to helping my son get better. Has anyone else felt this way before and if so how did you overcome these feelings?

I FINALLY MADE A HAIR APPOINTMENT AFTER ALMOST AN ENTIRE YEAR!  HOPEFULLY I WILL KEEP THE APPOINTMENT LOL

by on Aug. 19, 2012 at 5:43 PM
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Blue231
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2012 at 6:24 PM
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I really understand how you feel! I was the same way. I would hardly even sleep, because I would be reading books about Autism late into the night. I am still like this at times. It helps me to remember, I need breaks to be fresh enough to help my son. When I don't take breaks from my son and thinking about Autism, I become too distraught to function properly. It is so hard to fit in the time, but now I take time for myself every day. I also try to get away on my own at least one evening a week. My husband gets time with my kids while I go to a movie or sit in a coffee shop reading a book. My husband also puts the kids to bed some nights so I can do something unrelated to Autism for a while. My husband likes to see how I am when I am healthy emotionally. I had to express to him how depressed and anxious I was so he would understand I needed help. I used to feel bad I needed this time, but now I realize it is something that helps me and my child. I can be more patient and more calm with my son if I can get away from it all at times. Loosing some weight and getting exercise helped lower my depression and anxiety. Counseling also helped me to get over my feelings of worry and despair. Taking care of a child with special needs that are severe takes a lot out of a parent, so it's important to find ways to renew yourself. It also helps me to realize my son needs breaks, too, so he can relax and be renewed. When my children see how I take care of myself, it helps them realize how important it is for them to help take care of themselves. It helps them see that I matter, too, just like they do. I also try to remember I have years to help my son. There is time for me to take care of him, other family members, and myself as well. I need to remind myself of this, because it is easy to forget. Your child needs you, but you can't help him if you have no time to keep yourself healthy. His health depends in part on your emotional and physical health. I'm thinking of you. I hope you can realize that you matter and need to help yourself just like you help your child. My heart goes out to you.
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3mx2mom
by on Aug. 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM
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We run autism in our house. Autism does not run us. That's how we do it.

twins0506
by Holly on Aug. 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM
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I JUST started my diet again after them being diagnosed for 2 years so yes I know what you mean. I need my hair cut in the worst way but I haven't brought myself to terms with doing that yet. hang in there it will get better.
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Momof5Boys610
by Ann on Aug. 19, 2012 at 7:35 PM
4 moms liked this
As mothers, I think most of us can relate to feeling guilty when we do things for ourselves rather than doing and giving everything to our kids. It's just who we are as moms. But, that being said, taking care of yourself, especially health wise, IS doing something for your son. You will be no good to him if you have poor health and dont take care of yourself. Dont think of it as doing something for yourself, think of it as doing something GREAT for your son.

Hang in there mama!
skerst83
by on Aug. 19, 2012 at 9:06 PM
1 mom liked this

 That's just what it means to be a mother...they are always more important. But you do have to take time to yourself, or shoul I say "MAKE" time. My world revolves around my son, but I have to remember that I am still a person and not just 'Jacoby's mom.' I take at least a few minutes everyday to relax by myself, think about something other than what I can do to better help him, and be alone. It really does make a world of difference. And the diet thing...try to incorporate him into it. You're not being selfish, you're trying to make sure you stay healthy to enjoy every moment of his life that you can.  =)

RockinMama0608
by on Aug. 19, 2012 at 9:12 PM
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((hugs))  One of the best pieces of advice our developmental pediatrician gave us when our son was first diagnosed was to "remember to take care of ourselves too."  What he explained to us is that we cannot care for our children if we don't take care of our health (both mental and physcial).  DH and I try to have one date night a month, although sometimes it doesn't happen.  You can also cook healthy and diet (I did Weight Watchers and the kids liked the food too). 

I have felt the same way.  You are a good mom for worrying about your son the way that you do.  But, he needs you to be happy and healthy too.  Hang in there mama!

tictacmama
by Arlea on Aug. 19, 2012 at 10:29 PM
1 mom liked this

 I just got my hair cut for the first time in 18 mo. But it comes and goes, I know I shouldn't feel guilty but sometimes I still do.  

Bradysmom83
by Member on Aug. 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I greatly appreciate it. I love the idea about Weight Watchers, I've been wanting to sign up for months!
TristansMom440
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 8:24 AM
2 moms liked this

I feel the same way a lot.  And as I type this I am telling myself to practice what I preach....but you know how when you are on an airplane & they tell you in the event of an emergency to put the mask on yourself before assisting others?  I think it's the same for us...we have to take care of ourselves first if we are going to be of any help to someone else (in this case...our kids).  It is not going to do our ASD kids any good if we have unresolved medical issues of our own.  I JUST finally went to the dr last week after having put it off forever.  I have been feeling so run down which makes it hard to have energy or positive outlook to get through a day w/ my DS. 

So....I say all this to say....take care of yourself!  Don't feel guilty.  If you get your hair done and have a date w/ your SO...you will be refreshed & feel good and be ready to be the best mommy ever!  ((HUGS))  PS:  Since I have told you this....I guess I need to schedule MY hair appt, too! LOL  Hang in there momma!! xoxo

mallowcup17
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM
1 mom liked this

((hugs))

i think we can all relate to this. but remember that taking care of your health is important to everyone. i take time to myself everyday and didnt for a really long time - it made raising kids impossible and i was super depressed - do one small thing a day for yourself and realize that finding that "me time" ultimately benefits everyone in the family. 

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