On Finding Respite

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Respite can be a god-send for families of children with special needs.  It allows a caregiver a moment of rest or to connect with another family member or friend.  Or take a nap.  It can be a game changer for some and a lifeline for others.  Parenting a child with special needs is tough work and Mama's, Daddy's, caregivers....we need to seek out respite when we can.  Not avoid it.

 I know of Moms who use community and various non-profit respite resources in their areas, I never have.  And although I can't say that I ever will, I am thankful those resources are available for the Moms who do use them.  

I get monthly emails from our local resource, but I have never been able to pull the plug.  They are probably qualified people hosting these programs, but I know Alli.  And I have control issues, but most importantly I know my child.  More than anyone else on this planet.  I know her breathing, I know what every sound means and I know how to calm.  I know when her color changes because she's too hot or too cold (she still can't regulate that body temp well) or because something else is going on entirely.  I know.  I'm hyper-vigilant to her needs, but that's because we have seldom been separated since we brought her home from the NICU 5.5 years ago.

I have struggled with anxiety over finding respite, even when I know it has to be found.  When you have a kid who can't tell you anything and couple that with medical needs, it's so very difficult to entrust her with anyone on the outside. 

Mama's, I'm telling you, you.need.respite.  

Run, don't walk today and seek it.  For yourself and for the others around you.  

If you don't feel comfortable using a community resource or non-profit, seek respite from another.  A family member, a friend, a college kid you can train.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  I have lied to myself for many years thinking respite was for others, not me.  And I have been too prideful to say I needed a break.  

I can't say it enough.  Seek.respite.

You have to do this for yourself.

And if you have had a bad respite experience in the past, get back up again and try something new.  

It takes a village to raise a typical child.  It takes several to raise a child with special needs.

I'm curious for those who seek respite....where/who do you get respite from?  A community program, non-profit, waiver program, family, someone you hire?



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