A New Year. A perfect time to set goals and plan for a year of what is important to us. This year, my suggestions are to keep it simple, keep it real and keep yourself a priority. If we are not taking care of ourselves, we will have nothing to give to our kids and then our kids will suffer. It’s so common to put their needs first that we often neglect our own.
I am giving you a challenge to try to get through this list and make it work for you. I hope you try. I am going to as well.
1.Do Something You Think Is Selfish. Make “Me” Time. If you’ve wanted to try something new, maybe a new fitness or cooking class, try it now. Taking the time for you, even if it is just 20 minutes a day. it will help you be a better parent.
2.Forgive Yourself & Forgive Others. We tell our kids and our loved ones that we are not perfect all the time, yet we expect that from ourselves. We make mistakes and that is ok. Practice forgiveness, to yourself and others.
3. Make A Monthly Family Date & A Monthly Date With No Kids. I so often stay home because it is easier but I am missing out on making memories. It can be a challenge to find things to do or to make the time to get out with a child that has special needs. Plan a day once a month with the entire family. Maybe a movie, or a local museum. More places are making a day for special needs families to attend. Make another date to go out with your spouse or best friend. If you don’t want to go out, make a date to get together in pajamas on your couch or theirs. Arrange for a sitter to take care of your kids.
4. Self Care. You’ve made the appointments for your kids, you’ve scheduled the things needed for your home, now take time for things you need. Sleep, even if you get to bed 15 minutes earlier, it will allow your body to adjust and rest. Your doctor appointments and how about your . hair- set all of these for yourself. Exercise ( see number 1)
5. See and Focus on the Good. It s easy to fall into a rut and see the things in our lives that can be overwhelming. We face a lot of challenges on a daily basis, stay positive. It will turn your inner frown into a smile and rub off on those around you.
6. Take A Break From Devices. Plus, if nothing else, being online can be a tremendously huge time sucker. Hours can go by, leaving you questioning where the evening went. Just put the device down (after you finish reading this, of course). Turn off the television, shut down the computer, forget the dishes and go to sleep.
7. Find a support group. Having a group of other parents who “get it” is a gift. We are never alone and when we can share our successes and failures with those that live similar lives, it is so comforting. I am a part of a few Facebook groups that offer information, advice and comfort. We can laugh an cry together and we know we share so many similar issues. It is a no judgement zone.
My goal is to remember I am not wonder woman, it is ok to ask for help, I will fall short and I deserve to have some time for me. Together, let’s try to keep the focus on what is right in our lives, the gifts we have and our ability to be such a strong voice for our babies.
Happy New Year to all of you, may this year bring us all positive growth, happiness and peace.
I saw this on Instagram last week and loved it, “Do not let life define you. Make sure that you define your life.”
KnowDifferent.net is a site for all special need families that have to do anything “KNOWdifferently”. No matter what the diagnosis, our site will offer you a place to learn, a place to share and a place to feel KnowDifferent.
With Gratitude and Commitment,