I recently read an article online stating that a recent study has shown that mother's of children with special needs have stress-hormone levels similar to that of soldiers in combat. The study has also shown that on average, raising a child with special needs can shorten the life of a mother by 9-12 years. That's astonishing!
It seems obvious that parents need a break from being parents every now and then. I believe this is even more important when your parenting worries and duties are perhaps more strenuous than that of the general population. Personally, I make sure that I get out of the house without the kids (usually to run errands) at least once per week.
A single hour of not having to answer endless questions or keep up an unending stream of chatter (to foster speech development) can be pure bliss. Sometimes I daydream about driving somewhere sunny with my Kindle and reading for an hour and then taking a nap in the van! I love my kids; I love being their mom and I love being there for them. But, even my super-mom brain needs a break once in a while.
Sooo... in steps my fabulous husband. When my daughter inquired what I want for Christmas, I told her that I'd like a day off. Super-hubby overhears this and for our 7th wedding anniversary, tells me to book myself a spa day of pampering and he'll take off work to stay with the kids. Woo-hoo!! I got on that straight away and today was that fabulous day-of-days! I got all pampered and even almost fell asleep somewhere between the facial and the massage.
For me, a day like this one recharges those super-mom batteries and gets me set up to handle another few months of daily challenges and the like. It helps me to be a better mom and hopefully a better wife too.
So to all you moms out there (and dads too - dads often overlook themselves, but moms are notorious for putting themselves last) ~ take a break and take some time for yourself. It's one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. This is true whether your children have special needs or just regular plain-jane needs!