You’re a real-life superhero. Seriously! It takes unimaginable strength, love, energy and patience to parent a child with special needs. You give everything you have to give to your sweetie, as you should, because Sam is incredible and he deserves simply the best. And so do you! You work around the clock and, in order to keep going full-throttle, you need to recharge. Sounds luxurious and also impossible with your to-do list? Here are a few ways to make time for yourself.
Create a co-op: Team up with other families who have kiddos with special needs. Take turns babysitting, so the grown-ups have an occasional free night to relax and unwind.
Take a day off: To make time for yourself, take a mental health day now and again while Sam’s in school. Forget chores and appointments – use that window of opportunity to sleep, get pampered or connect with loved ones.
Accept help from family and friends: If your sister or bestie offers to babysit, say YES. Sam’s needs may be complex, but trust that your BFF can take care of him. Before leaving Sam in her charge, show her the ropes a few times, so she is comfortable with the routine. Remember that you’re just a phone call away if anything comes up.
Seek out respite care: There are qualified professionals who can tend your kiddo while you make time for yourself. Remember: Self-care is a necessity — so you can continue to be a superhero for Sam — and not an unnecessary indulgence. To find the right respite solution for you and Sam, check out Community Living Toronto, Autism Ontario and respiteservices.com.
Swap time-out with your spouse: If you co-parent at home, make time for yourself by asking your significant other to oversee bedtime rituals once a week while you do yoga or have a massage. Extend the same courtesy to your love, so he can play hockey or go to his book club on Wednesday nights. Then, to nurture your relationship, accept babysitting offers or get respite care so you can have dates.
You are an amazing parent! Hope you get some much-deserved R&R soon!
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