It’s alarming to notice the number of families we work with that are having a tough time with their relationship with their partners. This is distressing, not only because these parents are managing quite a few more stressors in life compared to families with neurotypical kids, but also because the statistics note such a high rate of divorce for our community.
There are a few important tips that I would like to share with other families on this topic. Please allow yourself to feel the emotions you are feeling. There is a usual cycle of feeling lost, sad and hopeless which then turns into feelings of guilt. Although I don’t want to tell you what not to feel as I just stated validate your feelings, I do want to mention that guilt is one you can let go of. There is nothing you are doing that is against protocol – there is no manual for being a parent, and not one for being a parent to a special needs child.
Increase your “me-time” or for most parents – start including a “me-time” activity daily. Take care of yourself and know that you are doing everything you possibly can. That there will always be a professional or another parent that might suggest another form of therapy, another goal to reach, or a concept to try out, BUT there is no rush. Your child will grow, he or she will develop and you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of his or her needs.
And one more thing – schedule, if you can, a weekly date night. Even if this only includes an hour of reading books next to each other or a quiet movie. The idea is not to add more expectations and demands on either of you but to schedule time “off” from speaking about diagnoses and progress and targets and therapists and meetings and IEP’s and and and.
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