The vast majority of our posts are aimed at exploring ways that the life of a child with Cerebral Palsy can be improved, while enabling them to achieve their fullest potential. The reason for this is that early intervention efforts are extremely impactful in helping those with Cerebral Palsy reach that potential (and then some!). However, we also think it is important that moms and dads also take care of themselves. In short you need to take good care of you, to be certain you’ll be there and always able to provide the best for your child.
Being a parent of a child with special needs carries with it a wide assortment of unique challenges. Besides the obvious emotional and financial circumstances parents of children with special needs routinely face, there are also the additional challenges of life, relationships and more. It is critically important, for both the parent(s) and the child with special needs, that everyone in the family is taking care of themselves and not neglecting their own happiness and care.
So, what’s the solution? The reality is there isn’t one easy answer. Instead, each person must find ways to center themselves to be sure they are able to include themselves as a priority. As such, one immediate recommendation is meditation. Taking a moment to center and simply breathe within a calm setting may transcend other forms of relaxation. Also, being able to process the day and create a mental checklist can be extremely helpful, and perhaps something that should be ‘forced’ by scheduling this time through the help of friends or family.
Nutrition can also be an important cog in the wheel of your family’s success. Time is a precious resource for parents of children with special needs, but it also doesn’t need to lead to fast food at all times. The Internet is an amazing resource for simple, fast recipes to help your family. What’s more, quality nutrition has shown to help children with Cerebral Palsy, making this a helpful part of your wellness and that of your child.
One mental block that parents of children with special needs sometimes struggle with is taking themselves out of the equation. Often the best environment is one where every person is treated equally, even if more work/effort is needed to have everyone on the same page. Don’t limit yourself by removing yourself out of these efforts; each person should have a cookie/slice of cake/treat/day of fun, not just the people you love at the expense of you. Build a world where you are just as much a part of the family – choosing not to can easily lead to a family focus that excludes without realizing it!
Finally, don’t fear asking for help even when ‘No’ seems too common. While the challenges you face are likely unlike those of your friends without children with special needs, that does not mean you should be an island either. There’s an old saying that you don’t know what you don’t know – some people that love you and your family may simply be unaware of how much help they could provide by being present for an hour or two while you tackle other challenges, or get a break. What’s more, there are a variety of programs, charities and organizations focused on providing those moments to parents of children with special needs. You don’t hesitate to provide help to your child each and every day – it’s time you let someone else do the same and care for you. Don’t be afraid to ask!
This last example-being willing to ask for help, is definitely an area we can play a role. Our organization is based upon providing parents of children with special needs variety in the resources available to improve lives and make change. With just your contact information, our team works to call within 1-2 business hours to provide you a wealth of help that can change lives. The fact we do all of this free of charge further emphasizes the value a simple phone call can provide.
Let us help you today. We’ve helped nearly 60,000 families! Though your life may have changed in a moment upon hearing the Cerebral Palsy diagnosis of your child, we have all the time in the world to see how we might be able to help you and your child. Fill out our simple contact form, either on Facebook or our website, or call (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE and we promise to do whatever we can to help your family while you help yourself.