I know it’s not possible for every Autism parent in the world to take a daily nap. If I were in charge, I would make it so that every Autism parent would be able to nap.
I consider myself to be one of the lucky one’s, because naps aren’t always impossible for me to get if needed, at least most of the time.
As Autism parents, we have to parent twenty-five hours a day, eight-days a week, three hundred sixty-six days a year, and oftentimes do so for the rest of our natural lives. There’s few breaks and when we get one, we spend it worrying about our kids.
The level of exhaustion is beyond comprehension, as well as my ability to adequately articulate said exhaustion.
Unfortunately, in many cases, Autism parents don’t get breaks, let alone naps. For that matter, many of us barely get any sleep at night either.
I’m many people’s lives, naps are a luxury they can afford, and more power to them. Unfortunately, for Autism parents, naps are a necessity that not many of us get. I can step back a bit further and say that sleep in general, is something we don’t get enough of.
In my personal experience, when the kids are at school and Gavin’s sleeping off his morning medications, I can sometimes sneak a one or (if I’m really lucky) two hour nap in. It depends on how long Gavin’s asleep.
In many ways, everyday that I wake up and reenter the trenches of Autism Parenting, is the most challenging day of my life. There are some amazing days in between but generally speaking, every day seems more challenging than the previous one.
I can say with the utmost level of certainty, that if I wasn’t able to sneak the occasional nap, I probably wouldn’t survive this journey. Without proper rest, our bodies slowly break down and our health pays a price.
The whole point here is this. If you know someone in your life who’s an Autism parent, one of the kindest, most beneficial things you can do to help them, is give them a nap. How you accomplish that will vary based on the unique circumstance you’re dealing with, but helping them get some sleep can make all the difference in the world, and it costs nothing more than a little bit of your time. ☺