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Self care for special needs parents

Self care for special needs parents

It took me a while to start writing this blog, I had to really stop and think what I do regarding self-care!

When you have a busy life with work, children, studying, there is little time to do something that is fun and just for you.

It doesn’t have to be something big like going to a spa for the day (Oh a whole day in a spa, that sounds amazing), it could be something like reading a book.

Alone. In peace and quiet. For ten minutes.

One of my biggest flaws as an adult is not looking after myself when it comes to self-care. I’m the first one up in the morning, I get the crazy school run sorted for two children and often haven’t even had breakfast or a drink by 10am.

When I do remember to make a coffee, I drink it cold an hour later after getting lost in laundry piles or hoovering. I used to think that when both children were in school, I’d have so much time on my hands.

How naïve I was, I seem to have less time and I have no idea how that works!

As parents, we are so busy doing things for other people that we forget to do anything for ourselves.

And sometimes, by the time we have some free time, we’re exhausted, and we get stuck in the same of cycle of events. It’s important to take time for yourself and you can start off small. I have a 5 year old and a 10 year old.

One of them is autistic and has a very random sleep pattern. Often she is awake till quite late at night meaning I am never really alone at any time.

But as she is 10 and happy to watch a film or play a game, I will go and have a quick bath.

It’s rushed and not overly relaxing but it’s ten minutes where nobody needs me, nobody is talking to and at me and I can just enjoy the silence for the brief time I have.

I try and read in the evenings when I go to bed, if I am not too tired.

It may only be a page a night but it’s my time and my hobby.

When my children are at school I am usually cleaning, shopping or studying but I have recently made myself try new things so that I actually leave the house, see other human beings, have adult conversation and do something fun!

It’s not easy finding things that fit in school hours, as a parent and carer I am often house bound in the evenings, so I feel very lucky with the things I now do.

I start my week with attending a carers music club. We sing, play instruments and have a laugh.

I get to meet other carers and not feel so isolated. And it’s in school hours, bonus.

I end my week doing a local yoga class. It’s helped my anxiety and stress levels so much and I feel so refreshed after each session (and then a little stiff the day after because, well, I’m lacking in fitness and getting older!).

And again it’s in school hours, another bonus.

In between these two events I am so busy with life but having these things to do that are mine, that get me out of the house away from my assignments (mainly away from the ever growing laundry pile) is great.

They help me get through the hectic times and give me things to look forward to as well as pushing my boundaries, giving me confidence and reminding me that I can do self-care and for me, yoga and carers club are the forms my self-care take right now.

Firefly Blog

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

Julie Clarke

Meet Our Blogger

I live in the East Midlands, UK and I'm mum to Eliza, 9 (Autism & Anxiety) and Noah, 4 (NT). Running a blog and Facebook page has helped me create an amazing support network as well as raising autism awareness and acceptance and we've made some great friends too.

View Julie’s Profile

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