Parents of Special Needs Children

A Guide to Fatigue for Parents of Special Needs Kids

Gwen Payne is a stay-at-home mom with an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years, she has mastered raising her two daughters while side hustling to success through small ventures based on her passions — from dog walking to writing to e-commerce. With she hopes to show other stay-at-home parents how they can achieve their business-owning dreams.

This article by Gwen acts as a guide for assessing your fatigue as a parent and ways to reduce it. 

Whether your child has a physical or mental issue, it can psychologically or physically drain you as the parent. You may not even realize how fatigued you are because you keep pushing through for your special needs child. But with all the responsibilities of taking care of your home and your child, it’s important to take proactive steps to combat fatigue.

How to Assess Your Fatigue Accurately

Take time right now to evaluate your fatigue. This is something to do regularly as well.

When gauging your fatigue, ask yourself:

  • Do you have a fulfilling relationship with your partner, or is parenting interfering with that?
  • Do you feel you’re a good parent, or do you feel like you slack?
  • Do you have any symptoms of depression or anxiety?
  • Do you get enough high-quality sleep regularly?

When you notice signs of fatigue, it’s necessary to take a break and do something for yourself.

Dangers of Parental Fatigue

Based on your self-evaluation, you likely have a general idea of how much fatigue you face. Whether you’re already suffering from parental fatigue or at risk of developing fatigue, it’s essential to take steps now to prevent it from worsening. If not, you may find yourself suffering from a mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression. You may also exhaust your social support or alienate your significant other, and the fatigue may interfere with your ability to parent to the best of your ability.

Begin Pursuing Personal Goals

While your top priority is your special needs child, make sure you never lose sight of your own goals. For instance, if you want to go back to school, make time for it. Consider completing an online program to fit it into your schedule.

Another idea is to start that business you also dreamed of. Being a stay-at-home parent is still possible if you choose a home-based business.

Organize Your Home

A messy environment increases your stress levels and makes it more difficult for you to concentrate. Take time to declutter and reorganize your home to improve your well-being. This promotes a more positive environment.

Start Exercising

Aim to get at least an hour of physical activity each day for optimal health. When you move your body, it triggers a release of endorphins, natural “feel-good chemicals” that ward off anxiety. Even if you can’t squeeze alone time in for physical activity, consider exercising with your child daily.

Eat Healthier

It’s easy to grab processed food to save time. However, when you eat at least three quality meals per day, your body, including your brain, receives the nutrients it needs to function and prevent fatigue.

Take Care of Yourself to Care for Your Child

When you have a special needs child, that child may take up most of your time and make it difficult to focus on you. However, it’s vital to take care of yourself to prevent mental or physical overload and optimize your parenting effectiveness.

For personalized life coaching to help you avoid fatigue and guide you in self-discovery and self-growth, reach out to Gina for a consultation.

​​Fatigue Guide for Parents of Special Needs Children

Image via Pexels