Our calendar is a colourful mix of codes.

PT, physical therapy; OT, occupational therapy; ST, speech therapy; and my favourite: MT, ‘me therapy’.

‘Me therapy’.

Yes, it is as selfish as it sounds.

Time for yourself.

Time to recharge your batteries.

It’s all about you—or in this case, me for that matter.

‘Me therapy’ is very personal, but also very necessary.

Everyone’s personal time is different.

My husband’s ‘me time’ is spent on the tennis court or at the gym.

My ‘me therapy’ ranges from a high intensity aerobics class or a run, to browsing the shops in the city or meeting an old friend to gossip over a nice lunch.

Without taking a little time for yourself, you run the risk of wearing down your reserves.

I know, easier said than done.

The time that you carve out for yourself doesn’t have to be hours.

Sometimes it is not practical to even leave the house.

Sometimes your personal time may be hiding in the guest room with a good book, while the respite carer watches your child.

When balancing a career with the obstacles of raising a special needs child, the definition of ‘me time’ can get a bit blurry.

When I went back to work, I loved being back in my element so much, that my personal time was also my work time.

I had to consciously make time during lunch or during my commute to recharge my batteries.

My ‘me time’ took the form of lunch in the park, or a stroll by the lake over lunch.

Even when Mia is hospitalized, we try to exercise a bit of ‘MT’ to just keep sane with all the stress.

During hospitalizations, my personal recharge time often is taken during the early morning hours, when the medical station is quiet and the nurses are able to keep an extra eye on Mia.

I put on my walking shoes, my legs tired and sore from sleeping on the hospital cot and I walk.

I walk as fast as I can and as hard as I can, until it is time to go back.

It may only be a half hour, but that piece of time is mine.

It is sacred.

It makes me a better mom.

Does this mean that I don’t feel guilty sometimes for the small pleasure of being by myself for that half hour or hour?

No, there is always a bit of mommy guilt.

But that seems to be universal.

All moms have it, special needs child or not.

When I take the time to take care of myself though, I can think clearer.

I can fight harder.

I can be the best mommy that Mia needs me to be. 

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