All parents need some downtime to look after their physical, emotional, and mental health. This can become more challenging and complex when you are the parent of a child with some form of disability. I know all too well the emotional weight of looking after your child can take its toll. This is especially true when you have no time to recuperate. So with that in mind, today I’m discussing self-care when your child is disabled. Read on for some ways I relax.
Self-Care When Your Child is Disabled
I can imagine that finding time for self care is more difficult if you are dealing with a lot of resentment regarding your child’s condition. Particularly if it was caused by a form of medical negligence. Gaining information from a medical negligence claim guide and figuring out the next steps can help you find some form of closure. However, you still need to be able to look after yourself in the present. For me, the best way to look after myself has always been getting enough sleep. Sometimes, that isn’t enough though.
While there is a lot of information out there regarding generalised self-care, some of it may not be relevant to you. Particularly if your child’s needs mean that you cannot simply get someone to watch them while you go out. Due to this, it is important that you find methods of self-care that work for you.
Have a Soak
Relaxing in the bath is always a good way to unwind after a hard day. There is no reason why you too cannot indulge a little. I love to unwind with some relaxing bath smellies. You can always add candles too if you are that way inclined. Most importantly, allow yourself some time to lay among the suds and just be.
Due to your responsibilities, it may be necessary to do this when your partner is present, your child is in bed or at school, or there is a carer within the home, just to ensure it is safe to do so. While your opportunities may be more limited than other parents, that does not mean they do not exist. I usually wait until after 11pm for my bath, once Sam’s asleep.
All parents need some level of support and companionship. This can be especially true for those who are dealing with severe issues with their children. Finding others to talk to, whether by using online forums, messaging groups, or in-person events that parents, and potentially their children, can attend and engage in, can help you feel less alone.
Being able to help each other with problems, as well as offload to someone who can appreciate and understand your struggles may also be quite cathartic. I found a local special needs Facebook group was a great place to start.
Find a Feasible Hobby
Some hobbies that involve a lot of time or money may not be feasible for you. So adapting your search criteria can help. Hobbies such as reading or playing video games may be more feasible in your situation. Finding something that can be done at home, and quickly put down or picked up, may make it more likely for you to find some enjoyment outside of being a parent. Personally, I find blogging is a great outlet.
While being a parent is both tough and rewarding, you also need to find time to retain some of your own identity. Doing little bits of self-care each day can go a long way to maintaining and improving your mental health. Finally, if this self-care when your child is disabled post has been helpful, check out this one on ways to make more time for yourself.