Our kiddos birthday is here today!
It’s been a happy day for all of us and with the lessons we’ve all learnt over the years we’ve found a balance that seemed to work out really well, especially thanks to grandmothers who are so generous with their time to soothe the more difficult spaces between presents and party games etc etc.
Our daughter loves celebrations and birthdays so we are so glad she can get lots of joy from her day.
Some children with PDA really find birthdays overwhelming and would rather skip over the whole thing.
Everyone is different – Hooray!!!
Our children may find birthdays a wonderful and yet equally challenging time.
Many of the amazing parents I connect with find it an overwhelming, exhausting, and emotional time themselves.
Yesterday I was clever
so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise
so I am changing myself.
I’d like to focus today on what your child/rens birthday, and their reaction to it triggers within YOU!
Notice, with great love & compassion for yourself if any of these 10 examples apply to you, and do share what else comes up for you.
- “I can’t afford to give them what they want!”
Our children can have incredible focus on things they want in life.
As parents who are aware of the anxiety & deep need for satisfaction we want to be able to satisfy that need for them so they can have peace.
This can really trigger off any sense of lack we have around money.
For some of us we will beg, borrow, hopefully not steal (but you get me) to get the thing/s they want but then feel under financial stress.
For others of us we find ourselves yet again saying “I can’t afford that” and living with the child’s upset and anxiety and our own guilt and possibly even shame about our financial situation
- “I feel I’m indulging them and they will be spoilt and unrealistic in their future life”
Money can trigger us in all kinds of ways.
For some it’s manageable to give them a lovely celebration and the gifts they’ve requested but they are left with guilt for having what others in our community don’t, or worrying about spoiling their child or them growing up with a sense of entitlement or no work ethic etc etc
- “I’m missing out on the fun or parts of parenting I looked forward too!”
Our children’s anxiety and need to control these events can leave us with a sense of loss.
Maybe you love celebrations and you planned to throw big parties, or maybe you just get so drained and exhausted leading up to the day and managing the comedown after you wish it all away and that makes you feel sad, guilty, even frustrated.
- “We look strange to others!
You may feel you’ve developed a lot of strength not to care or worry think of you living life differently.
However, it can be a vulnerable for a parent when your child doesn’t want a party, or they do but they need to control it so much the other parents look on lost and confused. We have so many expectations at these times, as do others that it can be very confronting.
At this time of heightened anxiety there may be phone calls, post and visits to deal with putting more pressure on you at the hardest time.
- “People are judging me!”
Everytime there is a card or present to open and someone looks on awaiting a smile, an excited response, or a ‘Thankyou’ that is a massive demand for our children.
It’s also a massive demand on us parents.
As we advocate for our child we can feel our parenting is being quietly judged. Sometimes not so quietly too. It can be very triggering to feel judged and not feel able to justify ourselves in that moment as the child is present and we want the to feel OK about themselves
- “I don’t have enough time!”
Any parent knows the challenge of waiting for your overexcited child to settle down for the evening so you can wrap the presents and finally get yourself to bed before the 6am wake up call.
However, throw into the mix a child who can’t sleep, or can’t sleep without you there, or sleep before 3am OR who wakes at 3am
Where’s the time?! It can squeeze the joy out of it all when the stress of ‘How can I do it?!’ creeps in.
- “How will I get the shopping?!”
So you can’t go out alone, you can’t go out with your child OR you maybe you can but can’t buy surprises with them there, plus everytime you take them to a shop they need to buy something or have the item you bought immediately or anxiety takes over every day until their birthday – not fun for anyone!!!
So hooray for online shopping right?!- except they jump to open every parcel or ask over and over what’s in it because they just know!
This year I thought I was clever and ordered things really early before she suspected and then she changed her mind about what she wanted lol
- “What do we do about the party?!”
If you don’t have a party there can be a sense of loss or a questioning of wether your child is missing out.
If you do it can be a stressful thing to organise and can end in many ways – many of which are not the happy ending we dream of.
- “We don’t get many cards and gifts!”
We are very fortunate and lots of people send things for our girl. It’s just logical though that if you have fewer friends in your life and at your party then you’ll likely receive less gifts and cards.
No one is to blame for that, but it comes up and can cause sadness and disappointment for children and their parents alike.
- “How do I manage with siblings?”
We have an only child so I’m not qualified to write about this but wish to acknowledge how challenging birthdays must be both with and for siblings.
As a parent there is a lot to organise to keep the peace and that can add extra expense and bring up feelings around fairness for us in many ways.
These are just 10 of many examples of ways we can be triggered -meaning our sensitivity button is pressed and we have a reaction that we know is not serving us well but we can’t seem to help it.
Each time we experience being triggered we have an invitation to grow ourselves and heal a part of us.
When you notice one of these reactions in you give yourself some quiet time and wonder ‘What is this showing me?’
You can take a pen and paper and jot down thoughts of memories, thoughts, people, feelings in your body etc connected to this feeling or thought and then start to apply EFT to it.
Peace comes from within
Don’t seek it without.
If you don’t know how to use EFT yet it’s very simple and you can watch my video tutorial pinned in our FB group.
Please come over to our closed FB group Peace With PDA for more conversation and support about using EFT to clear these triggers for yourself.