I’m exhausted. I have too much to do. I can’t do everything on my own. I can’t get the help I need. 

No one understands.

What can I do?

How many times have you said any of the above, or maybe all of the above, to yourself? How many times have you, tired mom of a special needs child, felt that you just could not do it?

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to curl up into a ball in the corner of my bedroom and just cry. 

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve crawled under the blankets of my bed and cried.

And I’m not ashamed to say that I did it. 

Because I had to do it. My body was telling me it had to happen.

And that’s okay. Sometimes we do what we need to do do avoid burnout as a mom of a neurodivergent kid.

What does it mean to experience burnout as an autistic mom with neurodiverse children?

With or without neurodivergent kids, parenting burnout happens when:

  • You are exposed to chronic parenting stress 
  • Overwhelming exhaustion related specifically parenting 
  • Emotionally distant from your child
  • Feeling fed up with parenting
  • Loss of sense of accomplishment as a parent

Parenting burnout is more common than you think and happens more often than you realize.

In fact?

With parents of special needs kids, we are more than likely to experience this parenting burnout.

It happens.

And it’s going to happen.

And it’s okay if you feel like crap. It’s okay if you need to cry. 

11 Ways to Avoid Parenting Burnout as a an Autistic Mom

  • Prioritize your self-care. And I can already see you rolling your eyes a little bit here, but stay with me okay? Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is necessary. You need to make time for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. And if you aren’t taking care of yourself? Quite honestly, you can’t take care of your family.
  • Slow down and take a moment to really and truly live. Find the odd-ball holidays and celebrate those. 
  • You know how your kids have a report card? Why not try a report card for you that measures your skills that are important for you. 
  • If you truly feel that your kids are being annoying (And yes that is a normal thought), turn those thoughts around and find the positive. 
  • You are a mom, yes. But you are also more than a mom. Don’t let your life revolve just around your kids. You may even feel guilty for taking a break from your kids. I know how that feels because I’ve felt that way plenty of times.
  • Be proactive with your time and be involved in your child’s life outside of the house. Talk to your child’s teachers about their interest and passions at school. Are they the same at home?
  • Equip your kids with the tools they need to succeed. Start small and do more as you can.
  • Find a mom friend who knows what you’re going through (like me!) .. I get it and the last thing I’m going to do is judge you for feeling burned out.
  • Keep learning and equipping yourself with knowledge. Your child has unique struggles and you need to stay on top of that.
  • Finally, stop trying to make everyone else happy. Focus on making yourself happy. You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness but your own.

From an autistic autism mom to you

The Autism Family Guide is your shortcut to autism parenting.

How do I know?

Because friend, the resources in this guide are lifechanging.

Create routines with ease, calming strategies at your fingertips, and more.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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Full Spectrum Mama
4 years ago

Even acknowledging that we can get burned out is a start!

Thanks for the ideas,
Full Spectrum Mama

6 months ago

[…] Moreover, the emotional toll of caregiving for a child with autism cannot be overstated. The constant need for patience, understanding, and support can lead to increased emotional exhaustion and stress. For instance, managing meltdowns, addressing social challenges, and advocating for the child’s needs in various settings can take a significant toll on maternal well-being. […]