Thursday, April 11, 2013

Realistic And (Almost) Totally Free Ways To Get Respite

Written by Bec Oakley of Snagglebox

When it comes to talking about respite for special needs parents, the most common piece of advice seems to be 'It's important to take time out for yourself away from the kids’.

But there’s something about this that I really want to know...

Is there a parent out there who isn’t already doing that if they have the option?

This bit of advice is based on the stereotype that special needs parents are stoic martyrs who need to be encouraged to take a break. We don’t need to be reminded that respite is important, every parent knows that it’s the key to preventing burnout.

The truth is that this kind of relief is out of reach for many special needs families, and if they do manage to get some it’s nowhere near enough.
This bit of advice is based on the stereotype that special needs parents are stoic martyrs who need to be encouraged to take a break. We don’t need to be reminded that respite is important, every parent knows that it’s the key to preventing burnout.

The truth is that this kind of relief is out of reach for many special needs families, and if they do manage to get some it’s nowhere near enough.

What do you do when taking time for yourself isn’t an option?
When you don’t have family or friends who can look after your kids?
When you can’t afford a babysitter, even if you could find one to cope with your kids’ needs?
When you’re a single parent who can’t tag team with a partner?
When the waiting list for respite services in your area is months or even years long?

The reality is that the parents who are the most in need of respite are the least likely to get it. This is a dangerous situation which is rarely talked about, most likely because it’s a problem for which there are no easy solutions.

But this is exactly what many special needs parents need to know - how to survive when taking time for yourself is impossible. So let’s look beyond the easy answer and talk about respite options that are available to everybody.


Finding realistic ways to get relief

Knowing that you desperately need a break but are unlikely to get one makes you feel hopeless and powerless, which just sends you hurtling even quicker towards this thing called burnout. So we need to change the way that we think about respite, to talk about more realistic options that help us to stay afloat every day instead of saving our sanity occasionally.

To read more, click here....

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