Respite, Rainbow, Recharge

On the theme of R words, this week was about R&R.

Rest and recuperation are especially important when raising kids with additional needs and endless energy like T.

Our family has been going full speed for the last three months, with unexpected health issues and a return to virtual schooling on top of the regular responsibilities of daily life.

It’s amazing how your body and mind allow you to keep going but come crashing down when you have a moment to relax.

Respite is defined as a short period of rest or relief from something difficult.

It’s a word I didn’t even know until I became T’s parent and learned more about the world of FASD, of which T has an at risk prognosis.

Respite can be as short as a few hours to either rest, to do an errand or to have time to yourself.

It could be informally provided by a family member or a friend or could be more formal through a respite care provider.

For a while, we received infrequent respite from Ma and the hubby’s parents when they visited.

Our first-ever evening of respite!

I still remember how rejuvenating it felt to get our first night off to watch The Bodyguard musical four years ago, a year after starting the parenting journey.

The last time Ma watched T two years ago, he snuck out of the house while Ma went to the bathroom and it caused a panic.

Given Ma’s health these days, respite support from her is no longer an option.

The hubby and I are thankful we have each other.

We value the time the three of us spend together but we also value our divide and conquer approach to give each other alone time to rest.

I consider myself a high energy person, but raising children like T is so incredibly exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally.

I can’t emphasize enough how hard it is – at the risk of sounding like I’m whining. It is so hard!

So I am a huge advocate for self care and respite – because they allow you to be a better parent.

Taking regular time off is my number one respite strategy.

I’m very fortunate that my employer values work life balance and I schedule a week off per quarter to recharge, often time by myself.

This past week, I’ve spent most of it lying down, like a vegetable. I spent most of Tuesday in bed.

You know you’re exhausted when you’re looking at popcorn on your carpet the entire week and trying to will yourself to pick it up but it’s almost the weekend and the popcorn is still there.

But I was also productive in a self care way!

I went for walks to enjoy the sun and almost Spring weather, exploring nearby trails I’ve never explored before, like the Electric Corridor.

An empty field of electrical towers is certainly one way to… wait for it… recharge!

Walking by water, even a small pond, always cheers me up.

I surprised the hubby with a mid-week sushi lunch. We’ve rarely had sushi during the pandemic and it was such a treat!

I also made updates to my blog. I’ve been wanting to redesign the home page and to add a navigation menu and Resources page for a while and finally found time this week!

I listened to a lot of cheerful music, revisiting the boundary-pushing pop of UK band, Girls Aloud. How I wish they’d get back together. The world of pop misses them!

On this beautiful Friday, I went for a late morning walk to explore the Moccasin Park Trail after I Googled hiking trails near me.

What drew me to the trail was this Rainbow-painted tunnel.

I’ve driven by it for nearly 30 years, always wondering about it, and today, I finally got to see it in person and walked underneath it.

I love that our City encourages and promotes public community art.

It was a rejuvenating walk.

It’s surreal to think this is steps away from our City’s busiest highway.

It almost felt like a rural oasis and I love and appreciate our City’s intricate ravine system.

I could only imagine how beautiful this trail is during the fall and I pledged to bring the hubby and T next time to enjoy the fall colours.

The most responsible thing I did all week, other than make sure T was fed, was to take Ma to a rehab appointment and to register her for a COVID vaccine (hooray!).

It felt good to be almost responsibility-free and I’m sad my week off is coming to an end – but ever so thankful for the recharge.

Oh, I still haven’t picked up that popcorn off the carpet. I’m feeling hopeful that it will get done sometime over the next two days!

12 thoughts on “Respite, Rainbow, Recharge

  1. Inspiring post. Taking time for self care and rest has never been more important. It’s part of surviving & just being able to look forward to a more positive future ahead. I do the same here, I take a few days off just get away from the craziness of work because at the end of the day, we need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. Stay safe and awesome always.


  2. Oh, him sneaking out definitely sounds panic-worthy! Wow, that must have been difficult. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s health issues, and I’m also glad that you and your husband have each other 🙂 I don’t think you sound like you’re whining at all. Raising children is always difficult, and raising a child with special needs must be even more so. I admire you and your husband for taking on such an important and difficult path!

    The photos are wonderful 🙂 I’m happy for your refreshing walk and hope you have an awesome week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Yari! It was certainly panic inducing for my mom. 🤣 But thankfully it all worked out.

      It was really nice to get to recharge. It’s already been a busy re-entry into the work week but thankful for every moment of rest that comes before and after it.

      Have a great week ahead too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rest, relaxation and recuperation are always important, especially these days when work life and personal life have blended together at home. It’s always good to take some time for yourself. I love the Rainbow-painted tunnel. Rainbow she better do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you L!

      If you and K are looking for a wonderful hike in the City, I can’t rave enough about the Moccasin Trail. Right by the DVP and near Lawrence/Don Mills entrance.

      I went back today with T and the hubby and explored more the trail. Even took us underneath an iron bridge where the Go Train travels between up and down town.

      If you go, do bring a mask. People are respectful about distancing but it’s not as empty as the provincial parks. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Despite living in Toronto for so many years I have yet to check out the Moccasin Trail. I’ll have to add this to my list of places to visit when we don’t feel like driving far to go for a hike. Good call on bringing a mask, seems like everyone has been taking advantage of the nice weather over the last few days!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad you have found these moments of respite. They really are important and needed. The photos of your walk do look peaceful. I am hoping your mom is doing ok, and sending you lots of care and wishes for more moments of respite for you. (I think it is a wise strategy to “divide and conquer, and that popcorn can wait, Parents sometimes forget that they get to matter too. 💗💗💕)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, LaDonna! It was a wonderful week of rest and recovery. 😊 And the walk was very nice indeed. We’re lucky to live in a city that values its green spaces. And thank you for the well wishes for my family. Hope you are taking good care as well!!!

      Liked by 2 people

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