Have you pushed all of your needs to the side in favor of your neuro family’s needs?
Or maybe your kids are super regulated… But it’s only because you, my friends are super burnt out.
Then when you go and you look for some help with this, people either say:
- You are the adult, so you need to be the one compromising on your needs.
- Or you should just add self-care and put your own oxygen mask on first.
Because let’s be real, it’s not enough for you to have to be responsible for accommodating every single member of your neuro family, you also need to be the one accommodating yourself and your own needs.
Well, if you can relate to this, I’m going to be really frank, I think it’s bullshit.
And I know for a fact that it is time to get your needs met within your neurofamily.
Dear Parent of a Neurofamily: Your Needs Matter Too
So over the next five minutes or so, I’m going to walk you through how you got here in the first place, and the exact steps that you can take to start adding your needs back into the equation.
But specifically, I’m going to show you how to do it without self-care or ignoring your kids needs.
I’m also going to touch on how to deal with that inevitable guilt that we all tend to deal with when we start to recognize that we are human and have needs.
(Prefer video? Watch the video version of this blog post above!)
If you want to really dive in and create a solid strategy for co-accommodation in your neuro family, I’m actually offering free one-to-one strategy sessions with me.
When you get on this session, we’re going to dive into your specific struggles, and come up with strategies that fit your unique neuro family.
If you’re ready to strategize with me, click here to book your free 1:1 session!
But if we haven’t already met, Hey, friends Kaylene here!
I’m an Autistic advocate and parent coach, and I empower parents of neurodivergent kids to develop the unique flavor of parenting strategies that actually work for your neurodivergent child and your entire neurofamily.
Because neuro divergence does not exist in a vacuum.
So let’s go ahead and talk about how to put your needs back on the map without anyone telling you to just do self care, or ignoring what your kids need.
Because let’s be real, you can do that if you want, but it’s just gonna make your life harder, because you are the one that’s going to have to deal with the fallout there.
How You Got Here
So the first thing I want to talk about is, how did we get here?
I asked parents on my Facebook page: what kind of needs have you put aside in order to prioritize your neurofamily.
And there were so many:
- peace and quiet
- my own ability to just eat food
- and so many more.
So how do we get here where so many parents that are raising neurodivergent kids or running a neurofamily have put themselves on the back burner so long that like we’re starting to get all dry and crusty?
Well, the #1 reason we all get here is because we had to accommodate our kids.
Our kids were in such a state of dysregulation, anxiety, and struggle, that in that moment, we needed to drop everything and accommodate them.
The truth is, we did exactly what we were meant to do.
We prioritized the needs of the kids that were really struggling.
And now we’re looking around and going oh, wait. I have not had a quiet day in I don’t even know how long.
The second reason I see parents that get to this stage is because your kids literally needed you to ignore your own needs in order for them to survive.
I say this as someone who has six kids, and for a while there I had a baby every other year.
As much as I may have wanted to prioritize my need for things like sleep, I had a little one who needed me to feed them and change their diapers and hang on their every whim, as parents of babies often do.
You likely found yourself in this place where you dropped everything because your kids needed you to for basic survival, or because they needed you to get them to a regulated state.
But here’s the thing, you don’t have to stay there, and we’re gonna talk about how do we get out of this stage.
So before I dive in with that, I just want to make clear:
You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do this to yourself.
This is, unfortunately, part of the process of parenting a neurofamily.
You’re exactly where you should be friend, and now we’re going to talk about the next steps so you don’t stay stuck here.
How to Add Your Needs Back Into the Equation
But let’s talk now about how to start adding some of our own needs back into the equation back into how we run our neurofamilies.
What I want to make clear is that you can do self-care, but it should not be the end all be all of your needs being met.
You deserve better than that.
So instead of it being how do I manage to meet my needs, all by myself, while also meeting everyone else’s needs…
The goal is co-accommodation.
Every member of the family accommodating the other members of the family so that everyone has what they need, not just the one whose needs shout the loudest.
Pick Your “One Thing”
To start your neurofamily toward co-accommodation, I want you to pick one thing that actually matters to you, and feels doable.
- Having one hour where nobody talks to you
- Eating at least 2 meals
- Seeing the sunshine at least once per day
- Accommodations during a migraine or flare up
When you pick your one thing, remember you want it to be super doable for your family, and you want it to matter to you.
So often I see parents pick their one thing, but it doesn’t actually make them feel any better once they have it.
If you don’t really care about your kids putting their electronics away, that’s not going to be your one thing.
But if you really care that they leave you alone after 8pm so that you can get sleep, that could be your one thing.
Create an Accommodation Plan
Now that you have your “one thing”, I want you to think to yourself…
If my kid needed this thing, what could I do?
If it was for that kid in your family that everyone kind of tiptoes around, what could your family do?
What would you make possible for your kid?
Then I want you to create an accommodation plan for yourself that is just as valid as the one you would make for your neurodivergent kid.
Preparing for Possible Results
Now, to make this accommodation plan actually work, we have to be aware of and prepared for possible results of this new plan.
You’re going to want to think through what are the worst possible things and the best possible things that will happen when we, as a family, follow this plan?
- Maybe your kid has a meltdown because they can’t come talk to you right this second.
- Or you finally get a chance to eat, but then your kids won’t leave you alone because they neeeeed your help.
- Or you just started your thing, and then one of your kids get hurt.
We are in a season where my kids get hurt like nobody’s business, and it’s always at the worst times.
So I want you to think through: these are the things that might happen.
And then create a plan for those.
If you just started your hour, and someone gets hurt, obviously, you can’t just be like, “sorry, I’ve got 50 more minutes before I’ll talk to you!”
But how are you going to make up that time?
Maybe you’re going to attend to the kids, and then you’re going to do a movie afterward so that you can have your quiet time with them distracted.
But to make an accommodation plan really work, you need to think through the possible results of implementing this plan, and ask yourself am I prepared for those?
Dealing With the Guilt for Prioritizing Your Needs
Finally, I want to talk about dealing with the guilt that often comes up when we, as parents of a neurofamily, often feel whenever we put our needs into an equation.
Not to mention when we expect our family to in any way help with meeting our needs.
But the truth is, the regulate stage where you’ve been where you are dropping everything and focusing solely on accommodating your kids so that they become regulated, pushes parents to burnout.
And you cannot take care of anyone when you are completely burnt out.
This is where I’m supposed to say you need to put your oxygen mask on before helping others.
Here’s my problem with this, though.
It makes it seem as though you’re supposed to get just enough oxygen to serve the others in your family.
You’re not even getting the oxygen mask for yourself. It is to be of better service to others around you.
And I’m just not about that.
I think that you can get your needs met for the sake of getting your needs met and not for the sake of the others in your family.
Your needs deserve to be met because you are a human.
And all humans deserve to be accommodated.
All humans deserve to have their basic needs met.
So if you’ve ever struggled with feeling like it’s worth it to have your own needs met, hear me on this.
You are a human, friend, and all humans deserve to have their needs met and be accommodated.
And if you believe you’re a human, you can believe that you deserve this purely because you’re a human.
I mean, unless you’re an alien, in which case I guess we’ll need to have a discussion about aliens’ rights.
The Goal is Co-Accommodation
Your goal is to start to create a family of co-accommodation.
And this can’t come from you accommodating everybody around you and then self-caring yourself.
This is about creating a neurofamily where everyone’s needs have solid accommodation plans in place, including your own.
This teaches your kids how to navigate different accommodations.
Because while you might drop everything and accommodate your kids…
One day, they’re going to have a partner or friends or caregivers or teachers who will accommodate them, but will also need accommodations in return.
This is part of helping our kids become good humans.
We want our kids to be able to be a part of an accommodating society, and that starts with us.
If they can accommodate their parent, it’s so much easier for them to then accommodate others in society.
Now don’t forget friend if you want to dive in and create a solid strategy around this in your family…
Or if you’re thinking okay, but wait, what about when my kids needs directly compete with mine?
You can book a FREE 1:1 strategy session with me!
On this call we really dive into your specific struggles and the strategies that will actually work for your unique circumstances in your unique neuro family.
Click here to book your FREE 1:1 strategy session!
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