Friday, January 6, 2012

By the Authority Vested In Me...

As parents we spend a large chunk of time giving or denying permission to people: yes, you can sleepover at Sally's Friday; no, you cannot have 12 Oreos at 5:30 while I'm standing here cooking dinner. There are days when I think I've done nothing during my waking hours other than say the words "yes", "no" and "maybe, let me think about it" to little people. 

So tonight I'm giving my support system of Moms and Dads an unqualified YES to a whole slew of things. I know many of you won't ever give yourself permission for these things, so take my yes and run with it while you can 

YES, it is absolutely fine to skip doing breakfast dishes and take a nap after getting everyone off to school. You know what else? There is nothing wrong with turning on Nick Jr., PBS Kids or Disney Junior once the school crew is out the door and enticing your little one(s) to cuddle on the couch for an hour. (Trust me, you can close your eyes while you snuggle under a blanket without fear of falling into a deep sleep.)

YES, you can leave that load of clean laundry in the basket waiting to be folded for another day so you can read something purely for pleasure or watch a "grown up" movie or television show. Those clothes aren't going anywhere, and giving yourself a little rest and relaxation time is far more valuable than a pile of matched socks.

YES, you can spend the ENTIRE day at home in comfy pajamas. If you happen to have a long winter coat you can throw it on, go to the bus stop and nobody will ever know! The world will not stop spinning, you will not immediately become a rank and file member of the Lazy Parent club if you give yourself the gift of cozy comfort for a day. While you're at it, let your kids at home have a pj day, too!

YES, YES, YES! It is okay to break down on a rough day and cry for yourself and your child. It is NORMAL to have times when the demands of raising an extra special child overwhelm you and feelings of sadness, anger, guilt and despair fill your day. You can try the "fake it til you make it" method, but in my experience that leads to ulcers, headaches and exhaustion. It's just so tiring to put up a happy front when what you want to do is scream, yell and cry until you can't anymore. So, YES, for your own health and well being as well as that of your family, it is okay to occasionally lose it for a little while.

If you don't accept any of my above permissions, at least grab hold of this one because it is by far the most important one I'm giving you. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. Unless you have been hiding your tights, cape and clingy body suit from me, I already know that you aren't Super Woman or Superman. (If you indeed are a super hero and haven't told me, I am really mad at you!) If you don't have someone who "gets it" in your circle of friends, then lean on me. I will be honored, I promise 

I can honestly say that the friends I lean on most during the tough times are fantastic people who live inside my computer. My girls on Twitter and a few on Facebook have been life lines, sources of laughter and  understanding, and friendships that don't require close proximity. There aren't many things that bring joy and relief like having people who you know "get it" and are there when you need them. I think the Dave Matthews Band said it best: "I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be okay."