One of the biggest issues we, as parents of special needs children face, is knowing when to pull back and remember to take care of ourselves. I have written about this on many occasions, and on many occasions, I have fallen victim to forget about myself, as well.
There is a fun new blog called The Oxygen Mask Project which tries to remind parents that they need to take care of themselves. This is their mission in their own words:
In the event that the cabin loses pressure, pull oxygen mask toward you to start oxygen flow. Put your oxygen mask on as quickly as possible. Help children and others with their masks only after yours is secure.
It’s a matter of survival when we fly. We need to be able to breathe on our own before we can help our children.
We listen when we’re on a plane.
Why don’t we listen in our daily lives?
It’s time to realize that when parents take care of themselves first, it’s not selfish.
We started this site to help parents remember that they need to breathe and take a moment to do something special for themselves each day.
We’re not talking spa vacation. We’re talking sitting down for a meal. Drinking our coffee when it’s hot.
Going for a walk. Taking a nap. Buying a new outfit.
Join us in making 2012 The Year of the Oxygen Mask. Read how other parents are making a lifestyle change to make their mental health a priority. Share with others what you plan to do to help yourself first.
Let’s all take that first deep breath together.
Meanwhile, they have posted one of my “oldies but goodies” posts called Taking Care of Yourself
One of the most important subjects concerning your child is you. You must take care of yourself. It was the first thing the therapist said to me when my oldest was diagnosed. You will do your child no good if you are unhealthy, stressed and depressed. I guess she had noticed the state I was in. Years had gone by without an understanding of what was wrong. He had had so much trouble in nursery school, the pediatrician had no idea what she was dealing with and the public school system where I was had bullied me into removing him from the kindergarten class. I couldn’t find a private school that would take him.(15 years ago the rights of disabled children weren’t so well known and I had no idea what he was entitled to. Today it is a different story. Not only do I know the law, but there are the websites, chatrooms, and info boards to turn to. Thank God for the internet) I was a wreck. Part of my problem did get solved because we moved to a school system that followed the law without giving the parents a hard time. (Yes, the debt we incurred was enormous. But at times, life is what it is and anyone who tells you to save, save , save never had a special needs child) .
Here is a list of items you should always be aware of for yourself:
Take to heart that list and remember you are important and you should find a way to take time for yourself as well…even if it is a ten minute shower…..Yes, I have had those days, where I didn’t even have a moment for a shower…and I know everyone reading here can identify with that reality.
Until next time,