Respite When you are an Autism Mum
Respite is a word that, as a mum to a child with Special Needs, you hear such a lot. But, what is the reality of it?
My amazing son suffers from separation anxiety to a very severe degree, as well as general anxiety. This is all part and parcel of having autism with demand avoidance traits. Trying to get out by myself, or just time to myself is very difficult, if not virtually impossible sometimes. To him, the thought of me being by myself is completely out of the question. He does not understand that, at times, his mum likes to be by herself and just quiet.
Reducing Stress and Recharging Your Batteries
Sleep deprivation was used as a form of torture for very good reason! Like most autism mums, I spend most of my life in a haze of exhaustion. My husband is amazing and does what he can but, at the end of the day, it’s only me that will do when there is a crisis or, to be honest, anything at all! This makes it so difficult to function as a normal adult – I use normal here in the loosest sense as I don’t actually believe that anyone is normal, that would make life very boring!
Planners & Planning
So, what has kept me going? I’ve discovered the planning community! Actually it’s become a bit of an obsession but, to be honest, there are way worse things to be obsessed with!
I have a beautiful Filofax Malden, A5, in fushia, which is my main planner. In here you will find monthly, weekly and daily sheets. This is how I attempt to stay organised and sane. This is “me” time. Each month, I will fill in the monthly sheet with all the activities that are booked and have specific times. Each week, usually Sunday, I fill out the weekly sheet, including items from the monthly sheet and I will put in a little more detail. This then has the added bonus of reminding me as to what is happening that week. (I have previous for forgetting important appointments!) Then, each evening, I will fill in the daily sheet for the following day. On the daily sheet is also my “To Do” list. This is something that I just can’t live without.
If you would like to take a peak at the inside of my planner, you can see pictures on my instagram account, details of which, and a brief glimpse, can be seen to the right of this post.
This is my main form of respite. I decorate my planner with washi tape and stickers! I know that a lot of people will not understand but, this fulfils two important criteria:
- Its so pretty and creative
- It keeps me organised
Respite when you are an autism mum can take many forms. It’s about finding what works for you. For me it must have a practical purpose otherwise I find myself unable to justify it – rightly or wrongly that’s just the way it is.
What does respite when you are an autism mum look like in your life?
Until next time, stay strong and keep planning.