Day 24: Clarifying Priorities, Overcoming Parental FOMO

Welcome to day 24 of the 31 Days of Restoration: Spiritual and Emotional Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.

I am not sure if it’s only me, but I suspect that Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a real thing among parents raising children with special needs.

FOMO is different from being intentionally left out, or feeling lonely. Being in the state of FOMO is living with the constant anxiety that wherever we are or whatever we are doing isn’t good enough. We are preoccupied with missing out on events other families are doing.

Sometimes, we are truly uninvited. But, sometimes, the events haven’t taken place yet, and we’re feeling anxious about not receiving the invite. Sometimes, we’re engaged in the activity, and we’re worrying about missing out on something else.

With FOMO, we are robbed of the present moment. Everything on social media looks more enticing. Everyone seems to be having more fun. We craft the story in our heads that if our circumstances were different, we’d be able to do what others do. Even though we know this is illogical, the anxiety is stronger than us.

Nothing steals our freedom more than our own mind. Once we clarify the values important to our family, we can let go of what’s going on “out there” and delight in our lives — even if it means sitting at home under blankets. And, yes, even while in hospital.

Affirmations for Clarifying Priorities and Overcoming Parental FOMO

  • Even though I fear missing out on what other families are doing, we participate in our own way.
  • We clarify our family’s priorities.
  • We choose to do what’s important and desirable for our family.
  • I am courageous, and I assert myself.
  • If we are not invited, I create meaningful opportunities for my family.
  • I am in the moment so that my child can also deepen the quality of his experiences in the moment.
  • I stop looking at greener grass and nourish my own instead.
  • No matter what, I know I will be OK.
  • No matter what, my child will be OK.
  • No matter what, it will all be OK.

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