• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

Wintering: Doing what you need to do

Wintering: Doing what you need to do

I have read (seen on TikTok) a few times in the last week the idea of not feeling like we need to ‘behave like summer’ when it’s winter. It’s the idea that it is ok to listen to how a season, or a situation makes us feel and respond to that with what feels right. So in winter, not feeling like we have to find more energy to go on a hikes, to keep pushing ourselves and challenging ourselves (unless we really feel like it), but to give ourselves permission to do what feels good.

For me that looks more like blankets, loose fitting trousers, fairy lights, a buffet of sweet and savoury snacks, and a book (ok, it’s often my phone, but I am trying to get better at putting it down). I am still finding time to do some exercise and getting out for sun on my face whenever I can, but I am not pushing it.

I have been thinking about this idea of how ‘doing what we need to do’ relates to being a parent carer of a disabled child. For many parent carers (I will guess most) life is frequently up and down, often lurching sideways.

I’d love to hear a shipping-forecast style report of how a parent carer’s week looks.

We all know that storms feature heavily. What I am learning is that my response to these weather-events, or darker seasons, is very important. This isn’t so much about the feeling bit. I of course can’t control my initial reactions when our little girl has a seizure, or the anxiety I feel when we are out in public and her determination eclipses everything. And it is important I allow myself to feel the deep sadness when it arrives. But the doing bit; what I do and how I look after myself during these times, is something worth focussing on.

I have had to accept that I can’t push through it all by living life as normal during these difficult times. I have to dial it down, say no to things (sometimes things that I had already said yes to), surround myself with my inner circle of family and friends (only those I am comfortable to cry snot into the shoulders of) and hunker down while the storm, or the cold, dark season, does its thing.

Once things start to calm and lighten I can emerge a little more.

My tendency in the early days of this storm-weathering was to throw myself back into life and try to catch up. To try to prove that having a disabled child hasn’t changed what I can do, that I’m still the same person. Except I am not. So I don’t do that anymore. It is too tiring and it serves no one. Instead I try to follow my instincts, which more often than not tell me to get some snacks, find a blanket, switch on some fairy lights, and rest. 

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Sharon F

Meet Our Blogger

I'm Sharon, I have a daughter with epilepsy and a severe learning disability. I blog about our livewire life.

View Sharon’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...