When I saw the title of the article online I immediately told myself, “This is going to be a stupid article.” I mean come on! Every parent of a special needs or medically fragile child knows the importance of self care. Put the oxygen mask on you first before you put it on your child. Simple right? It’s how you survive. It’s how you press on. It’s what breathes life into you so you can start all over again the next day. So why would anyone say, “Stop telling me to take care of myself?”
I then read the article and was humbled and reminded that it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes it seems impossible. Do you go on a date with your husband or sit by your child’s hospital bed as they struggle to stop the seizures? Let’s be honest, there is only one choice! For over six years I have preached the importance of self care. It’s what we built David’s Refuge for. To breath life into parents and encourage them to develop a rhythm of respite into their daily lives.
So I need your help. Would you please read the article Stop Telling Me To Take Care of Myself. It is a short collection of reflections from parents who have felt criticized by their inability to “care for themselves.” Once you read it, would you answer three questions for me?
- Have you ever felt criticized by David’s Refuge as we have boldly proclaimed your need to care for yourself?
- How can we better communicate and support a parent’s need to care for themselves with the numerous challenges already faced in your role as a caregiver?
- How would you respond to a friend who says, “It is simply impossible for me to care for myself in our situation.?”
We are always striving to do what we do better. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. There is no doubt it will help us as we continue to offer respite, resources, and support to moms and dads who desperately need to learn how to care for themselves.