One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take a little time to get everything in order. Having a child with a disability puts a lot of demands on your time and feelings, and it is easy to get lost in it all.
Thanks to technology, we have apps and calendars to help. Online calendars, like Google or Yahoo, are helpful because they are accessible from any phone, tablet, or desktop computer connected to the Internet. You can also add doctor, pharmacy, and therapists’ phone numbers so you never have to worry about a missing number.
Set a reminder for appointments, medicine, or even to take time for yourself. It's amazing what 2 minutes of meditation or going for a walk around the block can do to clear your mind and give you more energy. Remember to make use of your respite when it's available, and try not to feel guilty for using it. Taking care of yourself lets you take care of your children better.
Whiteboards and sticky notes can help tell everyone what is happening. A care notebook or journal can come in very handy to record doctor visits, questions that occur to you, recommendations, etc. You can also use the ‘Notes’ app on your Smartphone.
Plan your meals ahead. Make a list of the week’s meals and ask your family for ideas. Use one day a week to do your main grocery shopping. You can even set up a day to do all your prep work to make cooking time shorter. Invite your children into the kitchen and make cooking a family activity.
A little planning can go a long way to making our lives easier. Try some of these tips and see if they work for you.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.