Parenting is difficult enough, and when your child has special needs, including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, you are challenged even further. The struggles seem to double, and if you don’t have support or you don’t practice acts of self-care, you can end up feeling alone, helpless and ultimately, an exhausted mom.
Sleepless nights, endless tantrums, and messy households. These are just a few of the millions of difficult things that you have to deal with on a daily basis with your child who is disabled. And for that — you should be commended. You aren’t alone. And even though some days seem impossible to get through, there are ways that you can maintain a great life for your child and yourself.
If you're an exhausted mom trying to keep up with money, housing, food, healthcare, or childcare, contact your local regional center or social service agency. Sometimes things are tough financially, and you may struggle to meet all of your needs. There are many programs that help parents of children with disabilities supplement their income.
Create a schedule and work on being consistent. A schedule can help reduce many emotions that cause stress when you're an exhausted mom. If your child knows what to expect, she will probably have fewer meltdowns, leaving you more time to handle other things, while keeping the calm.
Network with other parents who have kids with special needs. Talking with other moms and dads who know what you are going through can help you feel more positive about your own situation. To find these groups, you can search within your preferred social media outlet.
Give yourself permission to accept help from family, friends and neighbors. Many parents feel the need to take care of everything by themselves, and that can lead to serious stress, anxiety and fatigue. If you have offers from friends or family to help, let them.
Take some time for yourself. As a parent of a child with special needs, this is the most important thing, but it may also seem like the most impossible. Try to give yourself some time to do something just for you, even if it’s just an hour after you have put your child to bed at night.
Sometimes you just need a minute alone to cry in the bathroom or read a message from a friend to make yourself feel better. It’s completely okay. This is a really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life for you as an exhausted mom, but in the end it will all be worth it.
For now, though, it’s hard. And it’s hard for many different ways. You don’t always want to talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you. You are doing your best, and it is enough.
Discover what works for you and remember to get help when you need it. You are not alone—there are many parents of children with special needs who are dealing with these same issues every day.
If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.
American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.
CONTACT US FOR HELP.
Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].