I’m just sitting here waiting for the boys to get out of school. I really appreciate this time to myself because it gives me time to think and sorta collect myself.
As a parent to three with Autism, getting time to myself is a rarity.
By now we should all be able to agree that Autism parenting can take a great deal out of a person and that can have an impact on one’s physical/mental health.
By taking time to myself, even it’s just while I’m waiting for the boys at the end of the school day, it’s a chance to focus on my own personal needs.
If we don’t make sure that we care for ourselves, Autism parenting is something that will become unsustainable at some point. That’s a problem for obvious reasons but also because unlike our typical parenting peers, we may have to care for our child/children with Autism for the rest of our natural lives.
Every single human being ever born, has limits to what they are capable of doing or coping with.
Over time, the constant onslaught of stress and anxiety that’s present in the daily lives of Autism parents, can absolutely take a heavy toll. Taking care of ourselves will help to reduce that impact by ensuring that our needs are met, at least to some degree.
Having even a few minutes of quiet can help one center themselves and reduce their stressload, even if it’s just for a short while.
In the 15 years that my wife and I have been Autism parents, we have never been on a vacation or even took a night to ourselves at a hotel or something like that.
That being said, we do our very best to ensure that we not only get time to ourselves but also time alone together.
I know first hand how difficult that is. I was a full time single parent for almost two years. It was hard to find time to myself and even harder to take advantage of any time I did find, without feeling guilty or feeling like I was putting myself before my kids.
It’s not always easy or even possible for that matter but I implore you to try and remove yourself from the equation for a few minutes each day. Even a couple days a week is better than nothing. Please do your best to care for yourself because if you don’t and you end up burning out, who’s going to be their for your child?