Why respite care is so important for parents with children with ADHD and more
We often try to be a super parent and do it all. We do most of the household duties like doing the dishes, preparing meals and dealing with that never-ending mountain of laundry (that’s a topic for another article on trying to get your family on board for helping more). Not to mention, that most of us have jobs outside our home as well. Also, we often are dealing with our child’s school and behavior issues, trying to limit technology for our child and then that endless list of doctor and therapist appointments. We really do have more time, energy and financial demands on us. World, can’t you see why we are tired, lack energy and are not always in a great mood!
Most parents want respite care, they crave it! Just imagine a day to do whatever you want? See what I mean. We would love a day of rest, but life and responsibilities often get in the way.
So here are a few tips I have learned along the way about respite care. I know, personally, it helped me tremendously with my important relationships, energy level and
view on life.
1. Start mentioning to others that you need some help right now
This is called planting some seeds and bringing awareness to others. Parents of typical children often don’t realize the additional demands required of parents with children with challenges as ADHD and more. Bring awareness to others that you are overwhelmed and need some help right now. I remember telling my friend that the school had contacted me seven times in one week and she was shocked. She indicated she was only called once a few years ago. Reach out to friends, family, community resources or your place of worship. You never know who will be willing to help you. Sometimes a widow from church or a friend who is lonely wants to support you. That support may be in watching your child, making some meals or picking up the kids for you. Be specific and let them know what they can do to help you. Don’t keep it inside your head, let people know that you need help and you need help now.
2. Plan for your respite care
Parents, I don’t want to hear woulda, coulda, shoulda. Get your respite care on your calendar. You schedule doctor’s and school appointments; you can schedule respite care too. Yes, it does require planning, but you really need it and it is very important.
Put it on the calendar on your phone, weekly planner or paper calendar and schedule it. One thing that has really helped me is having a calendar app on my phone that I share with my family. My family gets to see my obligations and I see theirs. I plan my respite care on the calendar and the family gets more of a picture of what I do with my time (and why I’m so darn tired some of the time).
3. Do something you love
Do you ever get a minute and think “I would love to do that?” Perhaps you would love to spend time in your garden, read a good book uninterrupted, go out with friends or get a massage. Whatever is the thing that recharges your soul is what you need right now. Make a list on your phone and pick one of those things to do each week or more often.
4. Avoid whining while you are relaxing
Sorry for being so blunt but this is important. I know this is tough to do because we all need to talk about our problems but when you finally get this golden time to yourself, spend it doing something you love that replenishes your energy and makes you feel good about yourself. Do not spend your whole respite time complaining about your problems.
5. Lastly, make respite care a priority
It is kind of like a New Year’s Resolution. Many people start out with good intentions but don’t follow through. You are under constant stress and you need respite care weekly if not more often. Parents often cover for other people in the family on their obligations. Are you taking your child to a sport event that your significant other was supposed to cover? Or did your child agree to clean up their dishes and you ended up doing it for them? Or did you help another parent even though they don’t help you? Whatever the reason, you need respite care often. You and your family will be thankful that you did it. You body, mind and spirit will thank you too!