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.
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.
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 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!