Taking care of a special needs child is challenging, but you’ll feel immensely fulfilled and relaxed every time you see your child happy, comfortable, and content. Naturally, you’ll find yourself constantly thinking about your child more than anyone or anything else in life and going out of your way to make sure they are comfortable and healthy.
Taking Care of Yourself When You Have a Special Needs Child
Most mothers with special needs children have to work extra hard to make their homes comfortable and their child’s life manageable. As they juggle the different challenges they face, most forget to take care of themselves, leading to depression or a total breakdown.
Understand that as much as you need to take care of your child, finding time for yourself, taking care of your needs, and keeping yourself healthy is the best gift you can give your child. When you are strong, happy, and energetic, you will give your child better care.
When you feel overwhelmed, take a rest, shut everything and everyone out and concentrate on yourself. If you’re a coffee-lover, sit down with your cup of the best light roast coffee you can find or any other coffee you like.
Because mothers with special needs children are usually the first ones to wake up and the last to go to bed, the hectic schedule can lead to burnout. To avoid this, check these tips.
Sleep and Rest Well
You will hardly be able to accomplish much when you’re feeling tired, stressed out, and sleepy. Even when it feels like you have 1001 things to accomplish, make sure you sleep well every night. Get at least 7 hours of sleep, and when you can’t, have a nap during the day.
When you are energetic, you’ll be able to handle much and make everyone, including your special needs child, happier and comfortable.
Don’t Neglect Your Needs
Sometimes, you’ll feel guilty when taking care of yourself. It will feel like you’re taking something away from your child but do it anyway as long as the child is comfortable.
If it means going out of the house and spending time alone or with friends, going for a walk, or having coffee at your favorite café, do it and make yourself happy.
You’ve been working hard to take care of everyone else, and you, too, deserve special attention and care. Even when you feel like money is not enough, keep some aside to attend to your needs. Get a new outfit, call your friends and have lunch together or take a few days off.
It also helps to have someone help with the chores. Because your child needs around-the-clock care, it’s not every day you’ll be able to meet his needs and yours as well. Having an assistant or family member help take care of the child or attend to house chores frees up your time.
As you learn to accept and accommodate your new life, you’ll find more fulfillment. Your child too will be at their best when mum is happy and energetic. Also, get someone to talk to when facing challenges.
Jessi is a working mom to two living in Central Florida. She has a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies but decided to make her career in social media marketing and content writing. When she isn’t cooking up something new in the kitchen, she is traveling with her family and looking for new adventures!