There is a song by Peter Cetera with the words "Everybody needs a little time to get away, just for a day... from each other." This statement can't be truer. Especially for those of us raising a child with a disability.
I used to feel so guilty using respite hours from my son's various programs. I thought I was such a bad mom for having someone come into my home to watch my son for a few hours. Because well, I am his mom. And I should be able to handle everything that this life throws at me.
As my son and I age, I realize that for me to keep my sanity and to keep being his advocate, using some respite hours is okay and healthy. I am very blessed to have a job outside the home that I love. I usually count that as my respite. Because for those hours, when I am away from my son and he's at school, I am concentrating on my patient's care.
Yes, I am always thinking about my son. All day long. I have my cell phone attached to my hip. Always wondering if his school nurse is going to call me because he's had another seizure. But over the years, I have learned that my work is my getaway.
Every parent must find their way to get some relief. Maybe it's an hour here or there when a family member or trusted person watches your kid. Time for you to do things, like grocery shop or do nothing at all. Sometimes, my get-away is going to Sonic. I sit there, listen to music, and drink a cherry limeade while I refresh my patience level.
Those precious hours end up making us all better parents! Make sure you are taking care of yourself.
I was surprised how parenting a kid with intensive needs affected my relationship with my older children and my extended family.
Categories: Family Support