Saturday, 3 January 2015

Am I crazy to make a New Years Resolution?

It's the time of year when many of us are thinking about New Years Resolutions, part of me is thinking I should make a resolution and the other part of me thinks why would I want to add anymore to my already overflowing plate.  As a parent with children....lots of children....special needs children....lots of special needs children, life can be crazy and adding anything needs careful consideration.

As crazy as life as a special needs parent can be it is extremely important to care for ourselves both mentally and physically since we are particularly vulnerable to burnout and caregiver fatigue.  Keeping myself healthy - mentally and physically - is an important resolution to take on at the start of the year and throughout and I encourage other parents to also consider taking on a similar resolution.

What should my resolution (and yours) look like?

Taking time for myself and my husband - If we don't have ourselves and our relationship one of us is going to be left trying to cope with everything alone.  For the last couple years hubby and I have made a point of hiring our respite worker once a week for a couple hours so we can have a "date night".  I will admit that there have been times when we are both so exhausted that we have thought about crawling into our travel trailer for a nap while she watches the children and other dates have included doing errands however most of the dates have been spending time with one another.  We also make a point of spelling each other off at other times so that we can pursue things important to each of us as individuals.

Recognizing what I have accomplished each day not what I haven't got done.  Life with all these children can be unpredictable so although I may have many things on my never ending to do list, some days just don't go as planned.  This doesn't mean I haven't accomplished anything, it's just different than what was planned.  Things that are really important I try to do first thing in the morning before chaos breaks loose or when I have someone available to help with the unpredictable parts.

Making time to enjoy life.  With so much going on it is easy to get wrapped up in the business and miss the enjoyment.  Life isn't a race to the end we need to take time and enjoy it.  Schedule time and seize even the smallest moments making sure to take time to play, enjoy nature and have fun.

Ask for help.  Recognizing that we don't have to do it all and that we can ask for help is huge.  Many people that are caregivers feel more comfortable helping others and asking for or hiring help is difficult.  For us we started looking at what services different businesses that us use have to offer.  For starters we were able to get our grocery produce delivered, started doing more of our shopping online, our home school education assistants were able to help at the kids lessons, and started making use of respite services in more creative ways.

Help yourself by resolving to care for yourself and enjoy the moments.


  1. I made a list of several resolutions as well...I will be lucky to keep one of them ; )

  2. These resolutions are great suggestions for special needs families!

  3. Those are such good resolutions. Our son is grown and independent, but my mother is in failing health and I spent December caring for her. I should have had these up on the wall while she was here! Thanks for adding this post to's Tuesday special needs link up.