Navigating life with a teenager….who happens to have bipolar disorder

Mom’s Time-Out

Yesterday was an unusual day for me. I took a time-out for the whole day. I didn’t have to do anything for anybody but myself.  I simply relaxed, all……day…….long.

Most Sundays tend to start out restful for me, as my family lets me sleep in.  My husband will get up and head out to church.  My son and I rarely go to morning services since he has a hard time sitting through them.  We will eat lunch and then maybe watch a movie in the afternoon before we head out to church youth group for the evening.  We will come home and end the weekend watching Once Upon a Time as a family. Usually by the time my son is heading to bed on a Sunday, I am already on edge. Although Sundays start out nice, by the end, I am a ball of nerves just wondering how badly our Monday will begin.

Yesterday was a change of pace.  There was no youth group last night, and since we are now on Spring break, I didn’t have to worry about how hellish our Monday might be. When I woke up, it was grey and gloomy and I decided, it’s going to be a ‘me’ day.

I make a decision like this on a regular basis, but it rarely works out in my favor.  Even if I want to take a day off, things don’t usually go as planned.  My son has a hard time letting me go anywhere and there are times when my going out can cause a complete meltdown.  If I want to relax at home, it is always broken up by my son making sure I am aware that he feels his needs aren’t being met.

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to have an Anne of Green Gables marathon day.  When I changed out of my pajamas, it was simply to put on a clean pair of pajamas.  I snuggled in bed and watched my entire collector’s edition box set from beginning to end.  Anyone that knows the Anne series, knows that this is about 10 hours of movies.  And I watched it all, uninterrupted. My son briefly poked his head in my bedroom door twice, simply to ask how my movie was. He didn’t ask me for anything else.  He didn’t make me feel like I was neglecting him in any way.  I think he knew I needed this day.  I was done with my movies in time to head downstairs and watch our weekly Once Upon a Time and snuggle with my kiddo before going to bed.

It has been an exhausting couple of months in our house, but I woke up today feeling more energized than I have in weeks.  I didn’t need to sleep all day yesterday to achieve that, I just needed to be a little selfish.

I think, as parents with special needs kids, we forget to be a little selfish once in a while.  We feel that by doing something for ourselves, we are being bad or neglectful parents.  If we don’t take a time-out every once in a while, how will we have the energy to be the parents they need?

I would really enjoy a time-out on a beach somewhere…..but will I take an entire day in bed by myself watching movies?…….in a heartbeat.


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