Updated: Oct 8, 2019
I feel so relaxed and rejuvenated after a respite weekend away. Although I still feel guilty at the thought of leaving my kids, I know the enormous benefits it has for me, my family and my relationship.
It’s really hard to keep up with our hectic, emotional schedule and remain calm, patient and focused on our goals. Yes, we are continually making progress but daily life is challenging.
We are so exhausted after work and kids that there is not a lot of quality time together.
Recently, we have made a conscious effort to follow through on regular plans for respite time, especially together. Enjoying sometime to feel human and carefree. To feel like a couple again, instead of just stressed out special needs’ parents.
It’s become especially important to realize when we need a break, before things escalate out of control. Experiencing respite time on a regular basis increases a more permanent relaxed state of mind, reaping the benefits for a longer period of time.
Before our last weekend away I was running on empty. I didn’t have any spare or quality time for myself or with my husband. It really does make a huge difference! I can see and feel the benefits it has on all aspects of our family life.
I am also feeling more comfortable with the decision to enjoy our us time on a more regular basis despite my anxiety and fears. It has taken time to work up to a whole weekend. An hour here or there, dinner, a night out. Building up tolerance to various times and destinations for us and the kids. Either at our house or with one of the grandparents.
In the beginning we would have to sneak out without them seeing us leave. Now we can actually give them a kiss, say goodbye and let them know when we’ll be back! The guilty feeling decreases with more incentive after we re-connect and we feel so excited to see their beautiful faces after that break. My husband and I are both noticeably happier, have more patience and enthusiasm with the kids.
It’s amazing what an hour or two- or a-day or two can do for you and your family.
We are going to attempt to prepare them for a special upcoming trip. We have been working with a calendar, writing on our schedule and crossing out each day with discussion of events. The kids are really starting to relate and are becoming more aware of what is actually happening
We are extremely lucky to be able to call and rely on both sets of our parents for support. Our next goal and challenge will also be to explore other respite options. Other family, friends or professionals to increase further independence for us all in the future.