For yourself (and your children) the most important thing you can do as a parent of a child with autism, is slow down – self-care is crucial to preventing caregiver burnout.
Slowing down sounds simple enough when you say it, but what does it really mean? For starters, it begins with setting your priorities and establishing a vision for yourself and your family.
Think about the big picture – what is most important thing in the world to you? Many parents would agree it’s their children and their future. Included in that, we also need to think about ourselves as Parents – we are an extremely important part of the equation, as is our partner. In order to thrive in today’s crazy busy world, we need to stay focused on our priorities. I like to think about the “4-P’s”.
- Person (me)
- Partner (my husband)
- Parent (my kids)
- Professional (work)
We have come to believe a myth in today’s society that our world as parents must ALWAYS revolve around our children, but guess what parents? It’s okay to think about yourselves too! Like my Great-Grandmother Mama Mai used to always say “Ain’t nobody happy if momma aint’ happy!”
You have to put on your own oxygen mask first.
You can’t be good to anyone else unless your good to yourself first.
Happy wife, happy life … okay that one is just for my hubby and yes, I love quotes!
The point is that we need to slow down and get really clear about what we want and what we don’t want. By the way, I’m a better professional when I’m looking after the first 3 P’s too.