I was at a parent support group meeting Monday night when one of the parents said, “We used to be good parents.” I had to laugh a little, because in context she was trying to tell us that she used to have a set time for her children to go to bed.
As each child grew older with different needs the time for her children to go to bed varied.
So, what she was trying to say was that it was more difficult for her to get her children to go to bed at different hours, so what she had begun to do was let them do their own thing at their own time a little.
This is not unusual. It reminds me of the recent diaper commercials where the parent is very particular with the first child, but all the children afterword she has learned that it is more difficult to do this, or you just give up on trying.
As parents, especially of those with special needs, it is very easy to give up. You are not giving up as parents, but you are giving up control of some things you realize are out of your control.
Keeping the house clean, making sure the beds are made, and doing daily chores can sometimes fall to the wayside when you are busy taking children to therapies, homework, practices, doctor’s appointments, school, work, etc.
If you are like me, when you do finally get home you just want to rest for a minute. That minute turns into hours and before you know it bedtime arrives and you wonder what happened.
I may be in the minority on this one, but I say do what is best for your children, individually and as a whole, and then do what is best for you.
You have to take care of yourself. If when you get home you want to sit down and rest, do it.
Your body and brain is probably telling you something that you haven’t been listening to for a while.
We get so caught up in trying to make sure that our kids are getting everything that they need. We forget to get ourselves what we need...rest.
I always get parents that tell me they are not doing enough for their children. They want more therapies. They are only getting speech therapy twice a week, and they think that it should be every day.
The thought is that if they can get better with two sessions a week, five would be way better.
I had a very good speech therapist explain to me that this is not true.
The therapy session is to instill an idea into the child of what they should be working on, and for the parents to understand that and work with them. Then you must do these things in a practical, everyday setting.
If they are in therapy every day you will not get the opportunity to work with them in the real world, and they will get burned out working with the therapist.
I always tell parents to pick your battles. Yes, it may be important for your child to go to sleep at a certain time, and if so then work with them. If it’s not that important tonight though then move on and work on it another day.
The main thing is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, or you can’t take care of them.
Don’t worry, your children are clothed and fed. You are doing great.