5 Self-Care Habits: For Mothers of a Child with Down Syndrome
I took a turn into the Down Syndrome world a year ago. Our child was diagnosed with DS and we had to make changes to our lives. Change does not always come easy or when we want it; But these 5 self-care habits changed my life for the better.
No I am not saying go to church. Going to church may work for some but it does not work for all. Just pray. Prayer has changed my life completely. I don’t go to church at the moment, but I have in the past and I plan to in the future.
My method of prayer is journaling. Once I started writing I could not stop. I pray daily. I write all my prayers down and it has changed my life. Whatever works for you as long as you pray.
Letting go of a lot of things and putting them in Gods control has alleviated a lot of stress.”God let it be your will.” I continue to pray for my son and ask God for strength to help keep my family sane. Down Syndrome is tough and unexpected, but with God on our side we are invinsible.
I mean this! I suffered post-partum depression because I kept everything to myself. I was fighting my own demons, trying to get away from my sadness and unhappiness. Until one day I said, “Enough!”
Once I started talking to my husband, my family and friends; the support came rushing to my door. Blogging is another means of communicating to the outside world, the unknown. Prayer as well. I considered starting a podcast and recorded a few session, which felt great.
Just listening to myself talk about the many things my family had gone through made me realize how strong we are. That podcast never made it to the public but it helped me a lot.
Communicating with other families that have Down Syndrome children, was another helpful component to my self-care. Realizing there are other people going through what I am living, help me overcome a lot of doubt.
3. Date Night
This is huge! Whether or not Down Syndrome affects your life, as parents you have to remember to have a date night. I cannot tell you how much this has saved my marriage and family. Taking time to devote to your partner in the midst of chaos helps build a strong bond.
After we had our second child, we implemented date night once a month. Let me tell you, this is life changing. Right when we start feeling overwhelmed with parental duties, date night comes to the rescue. Remember it is not always about the children. Who came first? Your partner did. They deserve as much attention as your children do.
4. Asking For Help
As you know, from my previous posts, my son has different abilities than other children do. He has many appointments, many therapies and just needs more attention. I never thought I needed help until he came to our lives. Now, dad and I share responsibilities evenly.
The same goes for my girls. With their brother taking a lot of our time they often take a toll. My oldest daughter is more independent. Whenever it is possible I take her to grandma’s or to aunties house. But seriously, if you’ve had a day like mine, you will want to send your kids off to grandma’s too.
It works in their favor. My daughter gets to play with her cousins instead of playing by herself. Dad gets to be involved in therapies that I would hog all the time. I get to enjoy time away from home because my kids are in good hands. Asking for help has never felt better and honestly it keeps me sane.
5. Taking Time-Off
I will never feel guilty for taking time off. Althoug, time off does not mean time away from your family. Taking a shower for example, a bubble bath. Going out to the store just to window shop, or just to walk around while listening to a podcast. Another way to take time off is by setting up a play section for your kids that can distract them for a good hour.
I usually cook while I watch YouTube videos and have my husband take the kids for an hour. I am most productive, when it comes to dinner, while I am alone. And at the same time I am watching videos on How To Cook, or Blog. A win-win situation.
Self-care is an important aspect of life. Mothers with children that are diagnosed with Down Syndrome do not always have time for self-care. The key here is putting yourself first. A happy mother equals a lifetime of happiness for your husband and children.
What habits of self-care are you practicing??