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How to look after yourself as a parent of DC with SN?(14 Posts)
I have DS 5 with ASD, PDA, SPD, and a DD, 2.5 who I anticipate an ASD diagnosis for imminently.
I am struggling to hold it all together sometimes as DDs behaviour worsens as she gets older. I'm dreading my emotional fallout of her ASD assessment next month... She is very very hard work, and I find staying calm and doing the right thing is tiring, and so are dealing with (both of their) meltdowns. I have lots of worries for the future etc...
I'm just so very tired, DH too plus he has a very very stressful job. DD doesn't sleep very well, although probably only wakes up about once a night but as the one that works very part-time, I mostly get up and see to her. It's making me feel a bit loopy though, the lack of sleep at times.
I'm starting to dread waking up in the morning. I am now fairly certain that I'm depressed, but I would feel like I hadn't tried hard enough to get by if I went on ADs..... and I'm scared I wouldn't be able to get off of them.
Apologies if this is a bit of a pity-fest, I'm just not sure what to do next, and I'm struggling to get through the day. Meantime, the chores are piling up and I'm relying on TV and rubbish food to see us through until bedtime... Which is making me feel like a really terrible parent.
How do you keep smiling? (Or keep from crying all of the time?) how do you appreciate what you've got? I keep telling myself it could all be a lot worse but I don't remember this amidst the waves of self-pity.
Can someone give me a kick up the bum?!
sigh - Big hugs.. I can be like that many days.. I have resorted to making lists, delegating, hiring help and celebrating every small achievement
If you feel depressed then you need to have a word with your GP. There are no medals being handed out for soldiering on feeling like this. Medication may help you, if only for a short time and when you do come off them it will be a very gradual process that is supervised by your doctor. I have had them and it helped me cope with a very stressful time in my life.
look after yourself.
Respite and childcare in the end was what actually helped. I needed to be less exhausted to make plans for nicer life. Sorting out sleep also helped - a few nights and I get tearful again not cos it is so bad but because I'm scared of how bad it can get. ADs were helpful. Plus counseling once a month
If you haven't applied for DLA yet then it could be worth applying for that and maybe you could use part of that for a cleaner etc to just help with chores while you need it? I'm tempted to, but a gardener not cleaner.
Or, alternatively to get some child care.
I'm a single mum and find it very difficult at times is in probably not the right person to be giving advice. I'm determined to start making myself go to yoga once a week when my parents can have my boys.
I wish I had gone to counselling when DS1 was diagnosed but having to arrange childcare for it, just felt like it was going to add extra pressure
I posted a similar question on Sn chat and suggestions were mindfullness and counselling.
I find getting a massage helps.
Have got just the one - DS age 5, who doesn't sleep
It's hard work
We did get the sleep sorted for a while which helped
Think people on here have recommended googling children's sleep charity
I think the first step would be to try to strip things back to the very basics in order to try to treat the depression, so do everything you can to:
(a) get 8 hours sleep a night;
(b) eat healthily;
© exercise at least once a week; and
(d) get out of the house away from the children for a few hours at least once a week and see friends and try to have some fun.
Of course, I have no idea how easy that is for you - if you have any help at all from friends or family or how well your children sleep and obviously I second the suggestions above re DLA etc which might help.
If you are still struggling, I would definitely recommend speaking to your GP about anti-depressants. When I found out my DC had ASD I became severely depressed and they were the only thing that kept me going - I was amazed at the difference they made.
So sorry - just re-read your post OP and saw that your daughter doesn't sleep very well and that you are having to get up in the night, so ignore my comment about trying to get 8 hours' sleep, I don't imagine that's possible. Hugs to you.
Two of mine have Tourette's which I struggle with partly because they're pretty severe and partly because very few people understand how complex and awful the illness is.
I cope by living in the moment. I do feel really sad at times, and with a glass of wine I can get pretty maudlin'. But most of the time I try not to think too far ahead and just appreciate any good times.
However, I think you may need more help. I think you should go and speak to your GP, and find out what help might be available to you. I also think having a little bit of space for yourself on a regular basis is important. I have no idea what your budget might be. I go for walks, draw, meet a friend for coffee. Anything that gives me a break.
This life will go on for years and we have to cope for our children's sake - so you have to find what works for you.
For me, DLA was the biggest help- pays for a cleaner & holiday clubs for dc1. Had counselling twice, which was very useful. Dc1 used to be awake till midnight & when we told the paediatrician, they prescribed melatonin which made a big difference.
And, more recently, anti-depressants (for me) have been a big help.
Would recommend ADs and finding some other parents who get it. I only really cope as have friend in similar circumstances and we help each other out and listen to each other moan and rant with a glass of wine. I would also recommend some form of medication for your dd who doesn't sleep. When ds didn't sleep we were close to breaking point. Melatonin and alimemazine helped us get our sanity back.
I have honestly resorted for medication to help me through the day – perhaps not the greatest solution to a long-term problem, but I did not see any other option. Especially because I cannot just take off and ‘unwind’ for several hours at a time, I felt like this was the most realistic option for me.
Thank you for all of your responses. This and the depression thread has been really helpful. I've made a start on doing some of the things suggested. Trying to build in the exercise with my family is next to impossible, but I'm hoping that as they get older and will be more willing to exercise themselves, that this may be easier to slot in.
Firsttimer - I totally get the needing to have some time to make plans to have a nicer life... I also need time to stop wasting time, ifywim...
I'm in two minds about the medication... especially as sometimes when things are ok, I'm completely fine, or even feeling happy. I can't help feeling that antidepressants are a hammer to crack a nut approach... ugh, no easy answers.
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