Parenting a child with special needs or a disability is a truly unique experience; one that very few people, even other parents, can relate to. Depending on the level of care required, parenting in these circumstances can be incredibly strenuous, time-consuming, and stressful. While love, of course, bonds families with disability together regardless of the child’s health circumstances, there are still unique challenges that these parents face. If you’re struggling under the stress of parenting a disabled child, the first thing to realise is that you’re not alone, and there’s nothing wrong or unkind about feeling emotionally drained sometimes in your situation. Coping can be hard, but there are tools you can use to make life easier.
Disorganisation and poor time management can make life feel hectic and stressful when you have a child with a disability. Maintaining order is tough, especially if you have other children and a busy schedule, but staying on top of a clear, set routine will make life feel far more calm. Make sure you have all of your healthcare equipment melbourne ordered and stocked up in advance so you have no last minute panics when it comes to the medical care your child needs at home, and stay on track with your timetable as well as you can to avoid chaos.
Financial stress can be a huge burden on a family that already has a lot to cope with. There are also unique financial struggles that often come with caring for a disabled child. Stay in touch with your local government authority to make sure you’re accessing all of the financial support you’re entitled to, and work with a well-organised budget every month so you don’t have to deal with financial anxiety on top of the everyday stress you already struggle with.
Have a support system.
Everyone needs empathy, love, and support. Make sure you have good friends you can turn to when you feel overwhelmed, and that there are kind people you can speak openly and honestly with about your feelings. If your current support system doesn’t feel like enough, consider reaching out to a counselor with expertise in carer support and disability, or a support group for other parents in similar circumstances.
Fill your own cup.
It’s impossible to be 100% there for someone else and never have any time for yourself. You need to keep your own cup full, as it were, in order to pour out energy to help others, even if they are your own children. Self care activities can be a great way to make sure you’re refilling your cup. This may mean booking regular massages, leaving your child with a trusted babysitter and organising evenings out with your partner, or just simply going out to see a movie with a friend and having a good laugh.
Care for your romantic relationship.
When you have a disabled child, your romantic relationship with your partner can begin to fall by the wayside. Make sure you have time to bond as a couple, even if it’s just a date night once a week or quiet time together in the evening to catch up and be intimate. The strength of your relationship is crucial to the happiness of your family, and it deserves attention, too.