One of the wonderful parents I follow on Twitter started a movement called Special Saturday. Every Saturday there is a new topic of discussion close to the heart of parents of children with special needs. This Saturday’s topic hit very close to home for me, so I thought it would be a good thing to blog about.
Caring for the Carer. How do we, as parents, deal with the stress that comes with raising our kids? Most of you know of my diagnosis (See “It can be so hard” and “Let’s talk”.) K is a huge trigger for me. I am off work a few weeks every year for stress leave, as he will cause me to go into a depression. This time it was dealing with the fact that he might be going blind. But the surgeries took care of that, he is on the right path to permanent care, and my mood is improving. I have had to learn how to recognize my triggers to avoid another depression, but that is very difficult in my case.
There are so many things that parents like us have to deal with that parents of “normal” kids don’t. Babysitting or daycare for example. So many families have to have one parent stay home to care for the child. Hubby and I worked opposite shifts for years so one of us would always be here. We can’t afford having one of us stay home. But most families don’t have that choice. They can’t find appropriate care for their child so they have to become the main carer. Many parents I speak to home school their children, so they don’t even get a break during the day.
K is in school full-time so that makes a big difference. We also get respite care (see “K’s new respite”) for one week every month. I am lucky in that way. I don’t know how some of the other parents I talk to do it, with no breaks at all. Everyone needs a break sometimes. So I have been reading the Special Saturday tweets, seeing how other parents deal with stress, admiring them for their strength and patience. It always puts things in perspective for me. What about you?