Have you seen any of those super long posts about self care during quarantine yet? Right now the internet is full of articles like, “99 ways to do self care at home,” and according to Google self care is a trending topic right now.
But 99 ways to do self care? What?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!
As a parent of a disabled child, you don’t have time for 99 self care tips and tricks.
Not when you have to entertain, educate, change, feed, monitor, medicate, clean, and manage your child 24/7. Your kid can’t just go play by themselves while you take a leisurely bath or learn how to make bread! (But seriously, don’t try the whole learning how to make bread thing right now because everywhere is sold out of yeast. Trust me, I spent multiple hours last weekend trying to find it.)
But anyways, the point is you simply don’t have time to do a bunch of self care activities right now. Nor have you ever had much time for it.
However, if you never take care of your own needs, you can’t show up for your child in the way you want to.
Do you have a vision of who you want to be as a parent, but sometimes you get impatient, or you get angry? You say things you wouldn’t say in a better mood. Or you don’t handle things in the best way.
While of course it’s totally normal to feel those feelings and act out of character at times (we all do it), these are also signs that your needs are not being met.
So, if you want to show up for your child as the parent you want to be, then you need to take care of yourself. But if you don’t have time to do 99 different self-care activities, then what can you do?
You can do one simple thing to take care of yourself. Pay attention to what you need.
It’s that simple.
Even if you did all those 99 self care tips, they wouldn’t help you be a better parent if they aren’t what YOU need at any moment in time.
When you start to feel cranky or are getting upset, simply sit back and ask yourself “What do I need right now?”
Do you need a laugh from a funny video? Some time outside? To take your supplements? Or to eat some nourishing food? Do you need to workout? Or to go for a walk? Do you need some quiet time? Or a nap?
This is what that list of 99 ideas is trying to get at. All these different ways you can take care of yourself.
But the truth is, you don’t need that list. You have a much better source of ideas and inspiration for self care: your own body. You just have to simply pay attention and hear what it is telling you.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to rush off and leave your child when they need you most. You can simply notice what your body is telling you, and when you do have a few moments later on, you do what you need!
So, check in with yourself throughout the day and take stock of what you need.
You’ll come out the other side of this quarantine better for it. And you’ll simultaneously make yourself happier while also becoming more of the parent you want to be, rather than the reactive parent that you don’t like to be.
You can truly live a great life with your disabled child!
I want to know: How are you handling taking care of your child 24/7 right now? Are you taking care of yourself? Let me know in the comments section.
Also, if you know any parent who needs to hear this message right now, use any of the social buttons below to share it with them!