Parental Fatigue Is Common But It’s Not Inevitable


Support Is Number One

One of the most important parts of raising a child with autism or any special needs is finding the right support. You can get support from communities, clubs, or other families who have been through it, too. You may also be able to find online communities that offer in-person or online events for parents who have kids with similar challenges as your own.

Sufficient Sleep Is Absolutely Critical

If you’re not sleeping at least 7–8 hours every night, it’s likely you’re sleep-deprived. If you notice any of the signs that come with being sleep-deprived like difficulty concentrating, irritability, feeling exhausted, muscle tension, and mood swings, then it’s time to take steps to fix that.

Keep your room dark and cool. Install blackout curtains. Don't watch TV before bedtime. Avoid looking at screens before going to bed. Set a regular sleep schedule. Look for sleep gadgets that might help. Stop consuming caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. If you need a new mattress, it can be one of the best investments in your physical and mental health.

Remind Yourself to Take Time Off

Try something simple to start. Use a timer and set it in the background while you wash dishes or do some housework. When the timer goes off, take a break for five minutes. Make sure that you don't check your phone or social media during this time, just stop, put your feet up, and relax for five minutes. Or use a phone app that reminds you to stop and meditate.

If you can ask a friend or family member to take over some of your parenting duties for an hour a day, use that time to do things that have nothing to do with parenting. Go to a yoga or pilates class, take a long walk in the park, find a shady spot outside and read a book. As long as you’re out of the house and doing something for yourself, you’ll return home refreshed and ready to face whatever challenges await.

Pursue Your Personal Goals

Parenting can become your life. And while there’s nothing wrong with being devoted to your child, you need to have the freedom to follow your own dreams, too. If you’ve wanted to go back to school or pursue a hobby, give yourself permission to take time for these activities during the day. Or perhaps you’ve wanted to switch gears and start your own business. Take the steps to do it!

It’s not that difficult to form your own LLC. Just look for a formation service that can handle the details, but know that you’ll need to have a registered agent in mind before you start. Not sure about the requirements? Look online for what it takes to be the mediary between the government and your business so you can make an informed decision.

Even if you’re not ready to start a business, you may benefit from getting a part time job that gets you out of the house on a regular basis. It can be intimidating to reenter the work world if you’ve been out for a while, but there are plenty of opportunities out there you can pursue. Take a look at open positions and find a few that interest you. When creating your own free resume you can enter your experience without having to worry about the formatting because it’s all done for you. Just input your text, rearrange content, and you’ll have a great looking resume to send out.

Increase Your Physical Activity

This might sound ludicrous to a parent with a child with special needs, you probably already feel as though you never stop. But there’s a big difference between chasing after a toddler and getting the type of physical exercise you need to feel energized and stay healthy. If you spend time in an office, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to a local market to pick up a piece of fresh fruit to eat along the way. Even if you don’t have time to visit a gym regularly, you do have time to make these small, beneficial changes in your activity.

What You Eat Matters A diet that is low in iron or protein can make you tired. You may also feel tired if you are eating too much heavily processed food or sugary treats. Verve Times reports that processed foods have been linked to higher levels of blood sugar and insulin, which in turn cause your body to release more cortisol. Eating too many carbs can also make it hard for your body to produce energy. This can cause sleep problems like insomnia and make you constantly hungry. The best energy-boosting foods are nuts and seeds, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Find Your Balance

Parenting is always going to be exhausting, but that is especially true if your child’s needs are extra demanding of your time. But, if you can remember to care for yourself as diligently as you care for your child, your days can be filled with more hours of joy and fewer hours of fatigue. Take the time to do things you enjoy and that make your body and mind feel better. And if you’ve wanted to go back to school or work, pursue it! You can even start your own business to work from home or get out of the house. Find your balance so you can enjoy your child and feel fulfilled.

Looking for a way to entertain the kids? Consider a membership to The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire. Come as a family or let Grandma or Grandpa step in for some quality time with the kids.

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