Parenting a child with special needs is drama. Constant, never-ending drama. Occasionally, you’ll get what feels like a break. It’s not the calm after the storm. That indicates that the storm has ended. I guess it’s more like being in the eye of a hurricane, when everything is calm and still, but only briefly, before the storm rages all around you again.
You can look at this lull in the storm two ways. You can be always on guard, waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing it will, and dreading it. Or you can view it as a brief opportunity to relax and recharge before the storm hits full force again.
When I’m struggling, I tend to go with the first view. It is stressful, and it allows me no chance for respite. When I’m thinking clearly, I opt for the second way. I use the lull to rest and get ready for the next battle. If I can allow myself the chance to rest, I will handle whatever happens next much better.
Special needs parents are often expected to be superhuman, which is impossible, especially when we’re supposed to sustain that status over time. We need to extend grace to ourselves and try to rest and relax whenever we get the chance.
How do you recharge? Reading, watching a movie or TV show, knitting, painting, writing, exercise? Whatever your method of refilling your physical, mental, and emotional reserves, try to fit it in whenever and wherever you can. Our moments of quiet are few and far between. We need to be ready to grab them whenever they present themselves. The eye of the storm passes quickly.
What’s your favorite way to recharge when you can squeeze it into your day?