How do you let go of the sadness that your child didn’t have this wonderful childhood experience that you were expecting, and how do you let go of all those feelings around not being the parent that you were dreaming of, the experience that you were expecting?
And that’s what this blog post is all about. I’ll explain how I’ve let that go.
The first thing is understanding negative bias.
That’s when we remember the negative more easily than we remember the positive. I am super guilty of that.
I realized that I was carrying around this sadness. It wasn’t something that was present in my consciousness every day, but there was a sadness there – that this experience wasn’t what I was expecting.
And it’s true. There were really intense moments of sadness, anger, being scared, overwhelmed, just exhaustion, all of that.
But yet there were true moments of happiness and joy and accomplishment and feeling proud.
So the question is, “how did I reframe it?”
I have my daughter’s baby album. And when I look at that album, it’s kind of like the “before”. My life pretty much stopped after two years and I knew I needed to fix that somehow.
How can you remember the good things? Because I know there were.
After autism, I stopped making photo albums. I didn’t have time. I didn’t have the mental capacity to do that.
The photo album, in many ways, felt to me like the “before”. And it’s like, no, I need to show and remember all of this good stuff.
I started making photo books of different years – nice big photo albums. So that when I think of my daughter’s childhood & my parenting experience, I remember the good stuff too.
Yes, there were hard days for sure, without a doubt. But we overcame that. We figured it out and life is different now.
So I need to remember that even during those hard times, we had great experiences, we’ve had great times, just a lot of connections.
I really wanted to make sure that I reframe that. So that when I think of my daughter’s childhood, her baby album comes to mind first, but then it’s like there’s so much more. There is an after.
And the thing is, making these albums, it actually takes a lot of time, at least for me.
And so I was thinking, all right, how can I continue to do these album-makings and remember the good times without having to spend a lot of time doing it?
And I found an app and it’s called “Qeepsake”. It’s an app on your phone. You take pictures and then you send it to them and they just compile a book for you all throughout the year.
So at the end of the year, you just click, print and you get a nice book like this that has all those memories.
And they do send you questions every day. And I really at first didn’t like those questions they were sending me because at first, it was like, “Oh! my daughter’s not up to doing that just yet!” But those questions really made me see all the wonderful things my daughter is doing – for some reason I was still seeing more negative than positive.
And I don’t know if you remember the video that I have that sparkly sequin dress – well when I was putting it away, she wanted to wear it!
So, of course, we played dress up. We had a great time, I was able to take a picture of her with the stairs and the dress. And I could remember that a lot easier because now I have it in a book and I texted it to an app.
And you can record those really precious moments in life. So, when they’re 20, you don’t think “Oh, everything was really tough!”
No, there were great moments.
And that’s what I’m going to reframe a lot of my thoughts about our childhood in the hard times.
To let go of sadness requires seeing the good in the situation.