The Importance of Self-Care
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
This is not an easy one, folks. But it is necessary. Many parents carry their weariness as a badge of honor. Ask any parent of a newborn, and you can see that principle in play. But when you are a special needs parent, the need for self care is almost exponential, and that’s okay. In order to parent well, you have to have a fully fueled emotional tank. That’s true for every parent. But as extra encouragement for those of us with a child or two with some extra needs, it is simply crucial.
It is not selfish. Even Jesus would step back from the throngs of people who needed Him desperately to pray, refresh, and regroup. As you go through your daily routine, try to find margin for prayer time, quiet time, and reflecting on the Father who knows more about parenting special kids, because He parents each of us daily. Schedule in moments of peace, such as napping when the littles nap, connecting with a trusted prayer partner for coffee, or scheduling a family dinner with family members who support you well.
Community is key when you are in the trenches. Connecting with your Father in heaven is of the utmost importance for giving you the ability to see from a heavenly perspective. As you walk out your days, speak kindly to yourself, and note your “wins.” Be intentional in these practices because the joy and the little victories can easily be swallowed up by the day's needs. And most importantly, at the end of the day, reflect on the goodness of God in gifting you with the specific child or children you are parenting. Thank Him for the measures of grace and mercy He gave you to give to them. Thank Him for these precious souls who look to you to see their first glimpse of the heavenly Daddy who loves them. And then just breathe. You have done well, good and faithful servant. You have done very well.