Parenting Advisor - Parents of Special Needs Children: It’s Okay to Be Tired — It’s Not Okay to Ignore It

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Parents of Special Needs Children: It’s Okay to Be Tired — It’s Not Okay to Ignore It

As parents of children with special needs, we have a lot on our plates. Our babies are blessings, and it’s often hard for us to admit that we are overwhelmed. However, to maintain our own health and wellness, we have to learn to recognize the signs that we need a break

Signs of Parental Fatigue

According to the Daily Voice blog, parental burnout is typified by physical and mental exhaustion. Additional signs of parental fatigue you may not have considered include:

  • Depression
  • Low parental satisfaction
  • Poor sleep
  • Marital problems

It can be difficult at first to find a balance between caring for yourself and feeling as though you are neglecting your loved one. However, there are things you can do that will make things much easier on you so that you can be a better parent and caregiver without sacrificing yourself in the process.

Remember You Need to Be Yourself

When you become a parent, it’s easy to lose your identity – you might first notice that you no longer listen to music or watch the same movies you once did. When you have a child with special needs, your identity may get so wrapped up in their complex daily needs that you effectively stop doing anything for yourself. This can leave you struggling emotionally. Fortunately, although this is one of the biggest challenges we face, it also has the simplest solution: take some time for yourself.

When you are thinking about doing things for yourself, you might consider anything from going back to school to starting your own business to finding a less stressful job. 

Going back to school gives you something to focus your mind on. Further, earning your bachelor’s degree, which is something you can do online without taking time away from your little one, can help you get ahead in your career. If you do choose this route, look for an accredited college so that your degree will be accepted by future employers. 

If you choose to go the entrepreneurship route, set yourself up for success from the beginning. LiveAbout says to check your area’s rules for starting a business to ensure you’re following all of the local laws. Something to remember here is that it’s okay to outsource a helping hand for your business or for your child while you’re getting your company up and running.

Finding a job that is more fulfilling and suits your lifestyle can seem daunting, but it is an attainable goal by taking the proper steps to prepare. First and foremost, it’s important to brush up on your resume writing skills. Crafting a CV that encompasses your qualifications, experiences and future aspirations should also be a part of any job search. You can use a template for a CV to design a personalized CV that will get the attention of hiring managers. Once you find positions in your field of interest, you can use the concept of transferable skills – honed through past jobs – in order to show how you are a perfect fit for the position. 

Being a parent is never easy. But, of all the trials and tribulations that you’ll face in your life, being the parent of a special needs child is perhaps the most rewarding. This doesn’t mean it’s without its troubles, but you don’t have to let exhaustion get the best of you. Learn the signs of parental fatigue and take steps to address them whether you choose to follow your goals or find a less stressful job.

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