Thank you so much for joining me here! Here is the first post in many more to come. I hope you find this helpful and validating especial is it pertains to your self-care.
How is your self-care? Are you taking any time for yourself?
As an occupational therapist that works with children, one would think that my scope of practice only relies on that child and the needs of that child. However, I feel that including parents and their needs is also a large part of how the therapy for this child will be successful. Many of you reading this have had a child with autism for a while and your journey down the autism road has already been long. Likely, you already have some sort of school placement, doctors or specialists you are working with, and therapies (private and/or school-based) in place. With all of these in place come questions from teachers, emails, extra work sent home, behavior issues, appointments, and the constant need to try to stay on top of it all.
Working with parents directly is important and I want you all to feel supported which is why I ask the questions above. Yes, to quote Whitney Houston “Children are our future”, they are important and need all the interventions they can get as early as possible, but the parent/caregiver that is responsible for that child getting all of these things needs to be cared for as well. Self-care is crucial because you as a parent need to have the energy, patience, and confidence to do ALL the things. That child needs you to be in the right mental state to be able to handle all of the day-to-day tasks.
You are probably thinking, well how do I do that? How is there enough time in the day to take time for myself? I am here to tell you that you CAN do it. Start off small. I remember a time when just a simple drive was enough, so maybe start there. Leave your child with your spouse or partner and just drive for 20 minutes and have absolute peace, or rock out to whatever music you love that you can’t listen to with kids in the car. Go stroll around Target with a pit stop at Starbucks. Give the kids a slightly earlier bedtime and then go binge a series (or 2) on whatever streaming channel you choose. If the kids are in school during the day, take a walk, take a nap, or both in between the items on your “to-do” list. Better yet, add your daily self-care to your “to-do” list. There is always something you can do daily, it does not have to be a big thing or take a lot of time. You have to make time for yourself. There was a YOU before there was a mom or dad of so and so, and that person is just as important as anyone else in your home.
If you have feedback, questions, or thoughts, please reply back to this post below or contact me. I’d love to hear from you!
We’re in this together!