When we focus so much of our time and energy on our "Extra" children what's left for us? Our relationships?
Special Needs children are complex, wonderful, frustrating, overwhelming, funny and challenging. I often found myself so exhausted at the end of the day that I didn't have much to pour into my relationship with my husband.
Is it fair? Nope. Is it a real struggle? Yep.
In my personal experience the professional field wants to know,
"How is your child doing in school?"
"How is therapy going?"
"What are the most recent challenges"
And that is great and all, but couldn't help but to think, "Wait! What about what is happening to my relationship!?"
"What about our struggles to understand each other, that we are always in conflict about discipline and how to even do that with an "extra" child.."
It made me feel selfish, like I wasn't concentrating on who was really important, my child..
But who takes care of my child? We do.
Who has to work hard to pay for all of the medical needs, appointments and expenses? We do.
So isn't in the best interest of everyone to build a strong foundation in our relationship to get through the immense struggles, the stress of parenting an extra challenging child and the draining tantrums? You bet it is!
If I was to give advice to you today it would be this...
Don't forget about yourselves, if you are a single parent, it's especially important to take time for yourself! I know we hear it all of the time, but there is a reason for it!
Ever since I truly started taking the time to be intentional with my husband I have noticed a major shift in our relationship.
Ask your family for a couple of hours alone with your spouse.
Don't have family close? Hire a sitter for a couple of hours.
Don't have the funds to hire a sitter? Reach out to your community of other fellow parents with Special Needs children to swap nights...more on this to come later!
Even if you have to put the kid(s) to bed early and put it in your calendar, do it. And do it regularly. Put it in your calendar like an appointment that is to be taken as such, no cancelling!
You're worth it! Let me repeat, YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Take care of yourself, your child(ren) will thank you for it!