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"The Oxygen Mask Project"

Parents consider the needs of their children first. That's what we do. We only consider our needs once theirs have been taken care of. What if we tried, just once, to put our needs first?

Parents think of their children first. But when you get on an airplane, one of the instructions you are given is to secure your own oxygen mask first, then help those around you. What if we applied that to other aspects of our lives?

That's what a group of people are trying to organize this year. I speak of "The Oxygen Mask Project."  Their mantra is "Let's take the first deep breath together."  They want parents to see themselves as individuals as well as parents.  They want to see us take a moment for ourselves which will allow us to be more refreshed so that we, in turn, can be better parents.

This sounds like it's easy to do, right? I wish. Earlier this morning I went for a drive, specifically with this goal in mind (that has always been something I've done to clear my head). And what did I think about that whole drive? 

Autism. I can't escape it.

But it's time I started trying. And I need to keep trying. I am joining the Oxygen Mask Project this year. I am going to learn to find time for myself among everything else that I do. And this time will have nothing to do with Autism. It will be selfish moments. And it doesn't have to be much. Taking a walk, going to the doctor to make sure I am healthy, just those normal things.

But I am resolving for 30 minutes every day, I am Ilene.  Not "Mom." And DEFINITELY not an "Autism Mom."  Just "Ilene."

For all you Moms and Dads out there, I encourage you to join me.  Go to The Oxygen Mask Project's web page or join their Facebook Page.  What will YOU choose to do?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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