Feeling like you can take over the world when it comes to protecting and advocating for your child is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. In the process of advocating you have to remember yourself. I know this analogy I’m about to mention, some would say that its overly used but it’s the most profound analogy I can think of for “Be Empowered”.
In order to be to really help your child you have to be up for the task. As I sit here on a plane, the flight attendant came to my seat where my son sits beside me. The flight attendant explained to me before I can help son in the event of an emergency it is in his best interest for me place the mask over my face first then to assist him with his mask. This very important task is almost a matter of life and death to make sure I can breathe and that I’m stable enough to assist him. This analogy is exactly the same when it comes to advocating for your child.
I remember when I first started this process of advocating for my son, I spent all day and night researching and preparing for meetings so much so that I started to have chest pains, really bad. I went to the emergency room one day and explained how my chest felt. The doctor in the ER ordered all these lab test to check and make sure my heart was not the cause. After all the test came back clear the doctor came into the room and said he wanted to keep me for about 8 hours but didn’t want to officially have me admitted. The doctor had me transported over to an area called the “observation area”. The great thing about the observation area is that you get your own small room. I slept, watched movies, ordered breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I had my phone turned off and laid in the dark. After that 8 hours the doctor came back and repeated one of the test, smiled and said “Ma’am it seems that maybe you were just burnt out and exhausted.” This 8 hour break has done wonders on your heart rate and your blood pressure.” I walked out of that ER and thought to myself “if I don’t intentionally take care of myself and practice self-care I will not be available to advocate for him.
Getting to a point of being and feeling empowered is simple but easier said than done. You have to practice self-talk, self-affirmations, pampering yourself, hanging with friends, sleeping, making sure you feed yourself, self-love and journaling. The way I stay empowered is praying, practicing gratitude and journaling. Some days I take a half a day off of work and treat myself to lunch and a good funny “chick flick” movie. You must find space and time in your life for yourself.