If you were to look around our home, you would see schedules and step by step instructions on all kinds of things. From how to brush your teeth to how to make your bed. These laminated pieces of paper that fill our walls help keep my son calm and prevent meltdowns.
I know and understand the need for his routines and that they make him feel safe. We get enough disruption when a therapist needs to change the schedule, someone gets sick, or we have new appointments.
I found myself living the same routines even after the bus picked up our son for school in the mornings. The laundry, cleaning, and errands must be done. Life began to get very boring and mundane.
One day in the middle of a huge pile of laundry that needed folding, I thought I had to get out or I was going to lose my mind. I put my shoes on and grabbed my keys and left. As I was backing out of our driveway, I thought to myself, “What am I going to do?”
I went and got a Coke and drove to the park and walked around for a while. It felt good. And when I got home, I didn’t mind folding that pile of laundry that was still waiting for me.
It is easy to let the routines take over and mindlessly go through the days, weeks, and months. I know that the laundry must get done, dishes washed, and meals cooked. But I want to make sure that we are living amid all the routines.
It can be simple things like going for a walk, finding a hobby, volunteering, or going to lunch with a friend. Making time to live life along with the routines is important.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. ~ Mark Twain
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