Being a parent is tiring and difficult, being a parent to a child with special needs is physically and mentally exhausting and at times we feel like giving up.

Becoming a doctor, physiotherapist and carer was not what we had planned for our future.

We often read about how we can help our children lead happy lives, but what about our own lives? 

It’s so hard when we feel like someone is so dependent on us to feel like we are allowed to have our own time and if we do then we often feel guilty about it.

It’s not easy to fit in time for ourselves, especially if you have a younger child who doesn’t attend school or if your child needs round the clock care.

The chances are however that you have a small amount of time during the day in which you can push that ironing pile to one side and do something for yourself.

I would never allow myself anytime doing what I wanted; I always had something to do between caring for Bella, work, housework and college.

I ended up feeling stressed and then resentful, and then guilty.

It was a vicious circle that seriously affected my moods.

I decided that I needed to ensure I got time to do what I wanted to do. 

I decided to join the gym when Bella started pre –school.

I thought this would count as self-care.

What I quickly learnt however, was that the self care really needs to be something you actually enjoy.

If you really enjoy yoga or running then that’s fine but if you are going because you feel you ought to then you won’t feel the benefit.

It doesn’t have to even involve leaving the house – it might be reading a book for 5 minutes, watching the TV, or having a bath.

Admitting that you need some time to yourself can be really hard.

Sometimes when we struggle it can make us feel like we are not coping or losing control but self-care is essential for us to maintain better stress levels and to feel a sense of freedom.

I personally love the evenings when the children have gone to bed, I don’t do any house work and I spend a few hours doing what I want.

 Look after yourself and don’t feel guilty.

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