Day 6: Practicing Self-Care, Overcoming Parental Guilt

Welcome to day 6 of the 31 Days of Restoration: Spiritual and Emotional Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.

Every parent faces exhaustion and the need for self-care on a regular basis. Many parents feel guilty about taking time for themselves.

Parents raising a child with special needs not only face the guilt but the lack of resources to take time away. And, when we get that extra hand, the last thing we do is rest.

With so little time for ourselves, we scramble to finish up chores and run around doing errands and get online to pay bills. There is so little respite time we devote to ourselves. Mostly because we carry so much guilt.

I feel guilty about sitting with a coffee, about reading for pleasure, and about going to bed at a decent hour. I feel guilty for talking on the phone with a friend, for taking a few minutes too long getting my hair done, for attending a meditation class.

I constantly have a divided heart about honoring my personal needs and caring for my child who needs my undivided attention. I try to remember the oxygen mask theory, but most days, the responsibilities are too large, the self-blame too profound.

Affirmations for Practicing Self-Care and Overcoming Parental Guilt

  • Even though I feel guilty for taking care of myself first, I know it is important for my child’s well-being.
  • Self-care is not selfishness, it is a necessity.
  • I honor myself.
  • I honor my needs.
  • I make myself a priority.
  • I do not have to live every minute of my life for my child.
  • I allow myself to enjoy life without my child present.
  • I am worthy of life’s pleasures despite my parenting title.
  • Even if I take time for myself, I know everything else will remain intact.
  • No matter my self-care plan, I know my child will be OK.
  • No matter what, it will all be OK.

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