Give Yourself Props!

Nick and Matt watching the Christmas
boats in Lake Washington.

Christmas was great.  But it is over.

Which always has me recounting the year, and I know that is what New Year's is for, but it is that week between Christmas and New Year's that gets my brain (and mommy guilt) working on overdrive.

It is like Christmas is the party that the year culminates in, and New Year's is the last hoo-rah before it is really over.  By New Year's, I will have had 6 straight days of mentally recapping my year.  This year, I plan to only focus on the positives. 

Usually, I would say, "This year has been OK, but what really matters is that we are moving forward with XYZ therapy, strategy, new medication, and Plan."  This year, I don't want to spend those 6 days focusing on what I haven't finished, didn't do well or could do better. 

That's right.  NO New Year's Resolution for me.  Nope.  Not gonna do it.


Because parenting kids like mine - living the life we are all living - never allows us to step back and say, "You know what?  I did a damn good job in 2010."

Yes, there are new therapies on the horizon for my boys (iLS and CBT) and you all know that I am making plans for just about everything next year - from Kindergarten in the fall for Matt to whether or not Nick will make it into Highly Capable Program (you know that like 33% of gifted kids have sensory issues?) and the constant dance that is managing Gabriel's complicated regimen of meds, which for the third year in a row, I am thinking this will be the year we get it right....  So, yes, I am thinking of all the things I have to do....

Yet, I am forcing myself to do an all positive 6-Day-Mental-Recap this week.  And I am encouraging all of you to do the same.

Give yourself props!  What have you done well?  What did you do for your kids?  For yourself?  Are you managing a new diagnosis?  Dealing with meds and/or therapy?  Did you join a support group?  Or maybe you just SURVIVED?

You have the rest of the year - no less than 359 days - to beat yourself up about what more you could be doing for your kiddo, but not this week.  This week is all about what you did well.

Not sure you can do it?  Let me help...
I'll start

"2010 was a great year!"  My family went on a super-awesome-and-relaxing vacation to Mexico and a hysterical trip to Canada, I had the privilege of launching my book, and adding insanely talented contributors to my blog.  I also changed Gabe's school allowing him to make friends which is a true accomplishment!  I had a ridiculously great time at the SPD Symposium where I spent the first night away from my family in YEARS, hosted a rockin' Parent Dinner (complete with kick-ass giveaways) with Carrie Fannin, and we managed to launch the first ever SPD Awareness Calendar.  I finally got Matt's Asperger's diagnosis and Nick's attended his first NFL football game.  Oh, and I hosted an insanely fun and successful 30 SPD Stories in 30 Days

That my friends is what I call an AWESOME year. 

Now it is your turn:  Leave me a comment and tell me what GREAT thing(s) you did in 2010 - big or small, it doesn't matter - so long as you take this time to give yourself the credit you deserve!


Itsy Bitsy Spider said...

Hello there! I just recently found your blog and just recently learned a lot more than I ever wanted to learn about SPD. We've known from the day she came home to us that our internationally adopted daughter had "sensory issues," but for some reason, none of the therapists, early intervention workers, doctors, and specialists on her "team." ever thought to tell us about SPD.

After coming very nearly to wit's end a few weeks ago, I Googled "bevahioral problems in toddlers" and found SPD. Since then, I have read books, blogs, the SPD foundation web site, and everything I can get my hands on. I have talked with my daughter's team and told them what I learned and I have started to understand my daughter as a different person -- not the irritable little girl who hits friends in play group when they cry, but as a special little girl who feels things differently and does not have the means to communicate the traffic jam that's going on inside her.

So, thanks to you (and others like you), I have MY accomplishment for 2010. I understand more about a very special little girl and am learning more about her every day.

Happy new year to you and yours and all my best!

Roosterruler said...

I love Lake Washington! I live just a 4 or 5 minute bike ride from the every Northern tip of it. Looks like the boys enjoyed the ships (Christmas ships?).

Danette said...

Great idea, Hartley! I got my daughter into a therapeutic day school where she is allowed to attend each and every day whether meds are working or not. Hoorah!!

I could really stop here, but I'll add a few more. I started my own Help! S-O-S for Parents blog and have already met wonderful parents from literally all over the world. I also launched my business to help parents know where to start and what to do with a new diagnosis.

I got my son successfully to the age of 15 where his brain has finally matured enough that he is pulling the grades he should have been pulling for the last 4 years. (Oh adolescence!)

And I'll add one more, I finally got a dog that I have been wanting for 20 years and he is everything I could have asked for! Happy holidays to all!!

Diane said...

I'm not feeling especially accomplished today, but I like this idea of taking some time to look back over what I've done this past year, and I hope it will be therapeutic. I haven't done anything remarkable or dramatic, but I have survived and done my best to keep my son and our family together and moving forward instead of losing ground. I've advocated successfully for my son throughout his adjustment to high school and formed good working relationships with the many professionals in his life. I've helped him through enough difficult moments that now he actually comes to me seeking help and relief. I've answered questions for others who were seeking information relating to children they are concerned for in their own lives, and I've done my best to speak up and educate the people in my life at every opportunity. Mostly, I'm happy with the fact that I now no longer see my son as someone I need to fix. I see him as someone I have the privilege of helping and accompanying through the particular challenges of his life.

Yellow Robin said...

Great idea. Off the top of my head, this year I have found a new school for my ASD boy, he has done some transition there, proudly worn his new uniform and is set to start in the new year.

I successfully negotiated with his dad (we aren't together) a deal that otherwise would have seen our boy start at a completely different school in another suburb, without any transition nor understanding of why this would be happening.

I continued to work on my PhD even though I wanted to spend most of my time researching and strategizing ASD techniques.

One last thing, my partner's son came into our care full-time bringing with him many emotional difficulties. Despite how hard it is and has been, we are starting to see improvement in his happiness and general health levels.

Thanks for giving me the space to think about what has been achieved this year. Like you say parent guilt always gets its turn.

Hartley said...

Itsy Bitsy - You have had a great year! Understanding your child's challenges is a HUGE accomplishment. Kuddos! : )

Roosterruler - Lake Washington is gorgeous - and the Christmas Ship parade (through the lake all lit up, carolers, food, Santa, etc) is an awesome traditon!

Danette -- Congrats on the SOS success and reaching out to help others!

Diane - "I no longer see my son as someone to fix" - sounds to me like this is a year for the record books!!

Yellow Robin - I am amazed that you were able to take the time to focus on your own work - that is a huge accomplishment!

Thank you all for sharing your 2010 highlights - I sincerely hope you will continue to focus on the postiives throughout the week!

Happy New Years!

msellie57 said...

It's sometimes hard to see the accomplishments in light of the daily struggles we go through with our kids. I sat down a few weeks ago and made a list of my ASD son's accomplishments since his diagnosis 10 months ago, and it became such an eye-opening, amazing list of what a wonder he is! Little things, many of them, but things he wouldn't (couldn't) do last year! Makes the mommy guilt go away a little when you write it all out that way!

Anonymous said...

I'm really struggling right now with my five year old son's behavior. He has been awful...just awful since coming home from visiting his dad (whom he hadn't seen in a year and half) He has been diagnosed with SPD *when he was two* and ADHD *in the past week*. I see possible signs of Aspergers...but the psychologist said he didn't want to diagnos him so young. Anyhow...want I wanted to say was thank u for focusing on the positive. I have been so caught up in the negative and pulling my single mother hair out...that it was just kind of like a breather for me to read what you had written. Thank u.

Anonymous said...

I'm really struggling right now with my five year old son's behavior. He has been awful...just awful since coming home from visiting his dad (whom he hadn't seen in a year and half) He has been diagnosed with SPD and ADHD. I see possible signs of Aspergers...but the psychologist said he didn't want to diagnos him so young. Anyhow...want I wanted to say was thank u for focusing on the positive. I have been so caught up in the negative and pulling my single mother hair out...that it was just kind of like a breather for me to read what you had written. Thank u.

John and Allie Fields said...

This post just made me cry! I have spent to much of this year fighting for my little guy and feeling so overwhelmed and frustrated that I have not realized, until your post made me think about it, all of the good that we have accomplished. We're getting a better handle on SPD and his speech disorder and wow, what a long way he has come.
Thank you for the reminder. I hope you have a blessed New Year. You deserve the best!

jazzygal said...

Terrific idea..well done! You have so much on your plate you must take time out to appreciate the things you did well. THERE MUST BE TONS OF THEM ;-)

I will leave my analysis for my usual end of year/Happy New Year round-up post. You've given me a lot to think about!

merry Christmas!

xx Jazzy

Patty O. said...

I love this post, because you are right! We don't give ourselves props for what we have accomplished. Here are a few things I have done:

I got Danny an appt with a dev ped who diagnosed him with autism. That was one of the hardest days of my life, but I made it through and didn't just bury my head in the sand. The same can be said for getting Charlotte her SPD diagnosis in Sept. Though I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of another diagnosis, I took her to the therapist anyway.

We started iLs with the kids and have been surprisingly consistent with getting the therapy done. And we have seen results!

I started contributing to your blog and became an editor of OJTA, which was so good for my psyche. It makes me feel much more fulfilled to be writing and helping people with SPD and autism. And I actually contributed an article to SI focus magazine, which scared the crap out of me. We'll see if it is published!

I have started changing my diet and exercising and taking some time for me so that I have more to give my kids....

Erin said...

This year I fought for and got a diagnosis. This year I fought with my in laws about my children...and won. In the last 6 months I have been dealing with a diagnosis, frustration at not getting one, and deciding to make the scary change to new schools for the boys that will hopefully be a better fit. I fought for my marriage, and won. And for me.. I made the Dean's list 2 semesters in a row.