Another day, another struggle.

Seems like the story of my life lately. Maybe you’ve felt the same way?

You wake up feeling positive and slightly refreshed. Then a wrench is thrown into your awesome feeling, and the day is ruined. Once that happens, the rest of the day is shot to hell and you’re in a funk that’s hard to climb out of.

Those days are the worst. Then there’s the guilt because now you feel “lazy.” Then there’s that whole spiral you go down and the anxiety and depression kicks in and the day is just…gone.

Thankfully, today isn’t quite that bad. Today I have a little hope. Today I hope I can be productive.

I find the best way to ensure this is to have a plan, to tell myself that I will do X today, even if I have to do Y beforehand to ready myself.

As I write all of this, I’m realizing how much more work, and thought and planning have to go in to just living as a neurodivergent person. I can’t just do something. I need to psych myself up and plan to do it. It’s a process. Just functioning is a process.

And some days I don’t have it in me. I don’t have the mental fortitude to do, or even be.

Those days are the absolute worst.

Some of you may have heard of the term “don’t have the spoons” for something. That’s another way we explain not having it in us to do that something. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed. Things pile on and on and on and then you just implode under the pressure and weight of it all.

In my experience, this can look like depression. It may not be that, though, specifically. Neurotypical people may think that’s what it is and try to help you as though that’s what’s causing your meltdown, and you should let them, while politely informing them of what’s really going on.

Running out of spoons is something we all deal with at one time or another. For myself, I find the best way to try to leave myself extra spoons is to just not do a lot. That’s easier said than done most days (I’m looking at you, huge laundry pile that needs to be put away), but since having my oldest daughter, I’ve really learned my mental health is paramount.

For example, breastfeeding her did not go well. It was stressing me out. Even with help, it just wasn’t happening. I felt like a failure. I so badly wanted to breastfeed her and we were bombarded with messages about “breast is best” so I felt if she was formula-fed, she’d be doomed.

That was obviously not the case.

Letting her use a bottle and formula kept me sane. It kept me from diving deeper into my postpartum anxiety (PPA) that I felt creeping in at the time. My husband could do bedtime with her, so I got a break. I could leave the house without her or nap without her. I could just be alone for a while, which I sorely needed.

So, back to my point. Taking care of me first has gotten me where I am today. It’s hard some days, though, where I feel selfish. Maybe my needs don’t really matter. Maybe I do just need to run myself ragged like other moms seem to.

Maybe I’m a bad mom.

And so on. The negative thoughts wriggle their way in if I let them.

But I know if I’m out of spoons, the kids feel it. They know Mom needs to just get away. So I do. They’re old enough now that I can hide in my room and get myself back to centre, so to speak. They feed off my energy still. With them being neurodivergent, too, they feel so much more deeply than many of their peers. That’s why time away is sometimes so necessary, even for them.

I have to remind people my kids are different. They’re not like other kids, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not a good thing. It just is.

I’ve had to reiterate that time and time again, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

But that’s why I’m here. To help give a glimpse into life as a neurodivergent family. To see we’re just like other families, while also dealing with struggles many others may not see or deal with themselves.

So, if you see someone needing spoons, just lend them one of yours, or give them time and space to get theirs back.


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