This is always a tough one...taking time for yourself. Whether you are a parent of healthy children, or a parent of children with special needs or, in my case, a parent of children with mental illness, or an adult who is a caregiver for a parent.
Taking time for yourself is key to staying healthy yourself. Sometimes it can be the most difficult thing if you have no family members or friends who can be your back-up when you want to take some time for yourself. Whether it's an evening out with your significant other, or with friends, a day to spoil yourself at the spa, or even just an hour of "you" time, it can be incredibly difficult to find that time.
Other than finding that time, you may feel guilty for taking that time. Even though it may be difficult to not feel guilty, you have to understand that you need that time to re-energize yourself to be able to be a good parent or caregiver.
It's really sad that in most communities there is no respite care, that is someone who can provide you with a respite from taking care of your family member. There are so many people that are in a position where they are a caregiver for an ill parent, or parent of a special needs child or someone with a family member with a mental illness. One would think there would be, or SHOULD BE a respite care network where people in that position can trade off an evening to give someone else some much needed time for themselves.
I have a bit of a commute each day. About an hour to an hour and a half each way, depending on traffic and weather conditions. I use this time as my time for myself. Sometimes I'm just pre-compressing before I get home. Kind of a de-compressing in advance for what I expect when I get home. Kind of a brain-storming session in my head to figure out how deal with what I am coming home to, depending on how the children are doing with their illness. Other times, I will stick my bluetooth in my ear and phone a friend. Sometimes it's a friendly chat, catching up on things, other times it can be vent session where I'm really hoping my friend can make a suggestion or two, other times, it's their vent session. Lol!
My other time for myself is Sunday mornings, if I can get up early enough, I will watch Sunday Morning on CBS...by...myself and enjoy a cup of coffee before everyone else wakes up. Occasionally one of my kids will walk in on my special Sunday Morning and I will shoo them back to bed, or let them stay if they promise to watch the show and not talk...at all. Lol!
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