Fighting Fatigue: Finding Time for Self-Care While Raising a Child with Disabilities

As a parent of a child with disabilities, your “normal” isn't like everyone else's. You may be constantly on the go, juggling doctors’ appointments, therapies, school meetings, and everything in between. In the mix of it all, it's easy to compromise your own well-being and put your family's needs first. However, it's vital to periodically assess your level of fatigue and create a self-care treatment plan in order to avoid burnout.

Today, my guest post writer, Alyssa Strickland of, offers some tips and resources to help you assess your levels of fatigue and respond accordingly.

Assessing Your Fatigue Levels

It’s important to start with a personal assessment to see how fatigued you are. Be sure to consider the following areas:

Sleep Quality

Are you waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated, or are you struggling to fall or stay asleep? A lack of quality sleep can exacerbate fatigue. Fortunately, Good Housekeeping notes that there are a number of apps and tools available to help you track and improve your sleep quality, so it may be worthwhile to download one that will give you a clearer picture of your sleep patterns.

And don’t downplay the importance of having a quality mattress. For couples, a king-size mattress is ideal, as it can give each sleeper approximately 38 inches of personal space on either side of the bed. As you’re finding king mattresses, it’s best to not skimp on options like cooling technology and breathable, soft materials, and are designed to provide the best support for your posture.

Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Do you find yourself feeling down, agitated, or irritable more often than usual? Do you have trouble concentrating or enjoying activities that you used to love? Healthline points out that these can all be signs of depression and anxiety, which can contribute to fatigue. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to reach out to your doctor or mental health professional.

Satisfaction with Your Parenting

It's normal to feel like you're not doing enough as a parent, but if you're constantly second-guessing your decisions or you're feeling overwhelmed and alone, it's important to seek help. Consider seeking counseling to work through your feelings and difficult parenting decisions, and look for organizations that support people with disabilities in your community.

Implementing Self-Care

Self-care requires a healthy balance, as it's vital to ensure that you don’t begin neglecting your responsibilities or burdening your support network in the pursuit of respite. There are a number of ways you can begin your treatment plan, so it’s best to evaluate which best fits your personal circumstances. Consider the following:

Make Time for Yourself

Set aside time each week to do something that you enjoy without stress or obligations. This can be something as simple as reading a book, taking a walk, or getting a manicure. You can also use this time to focus on your mental and emotional well-being by journaling, meditating, or practicing yoga.

Seek Professional Help

If you're struggling to cope with the demands of parenting a child with disabilities, don't be afraid to seek professional help. There are a number of therapists and counselors who specialize in working with families of children with disabilities. Support groups are also a great resource for parents with similar challenges.

Stay Organized

Clutter can be incredibly stressful, especially when you’re trying to find something important, like important medical documents or receipts. Be proactive about reducing this particular stress by digitizing your files. Consider this option that won’t take up any valuable space in your home. Use a file scanning app! Simply open the app and take pictures of the files you want to scan. The app does the rest. Then, if you store the files in the cloud, you can find and access them from anywhere.


Before you start organizing, also keep in mind that reducing stress begins by keeping a clean and healthy home. When it comes to organizing your kids' playroom, invest in storage containers and shelving. You can get the job done quicker by involving your kids and turning your decluttering efforts into a game by guessing how quickly you can get it done.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

It's important to take care of your physical health, as this can have a direct impact on your energy levels and overall well-being. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. If you're struggling to make time for healthy habits, consider hiring a babysitter or asking a family member for help.

Pursue Your Personal Goals

It's easy to lose sight of your personal goals when you're focused on meeting the needs of your family but sometimes, it’s possible to align both personal ambitions and family needs. For instance, if you’re always wanted to go back to school, maybe now is the time! Teachers are in especially high demand. And if you’re open to online programs, such an option allows you to learn at your own pace without having to take too much time away from your family.

Next, if you want to start a business of your own, there are plenty of opportunities out there. You might want to consider learning how to form an LLC, as this business structure offers great flexibility and a lot less paperwork. Be sure to check your state’s regulations for LLCs before going ahead.

Last but not least, it may also be worthwhile to consider a change of career so that your professional life is less demanding. If you're re-entering the job market, you can stand out from the crowd by creating a professional and distinctive resume using one of the best resume editors with a host of copy and imagery options.

Prioritize Your Needs to Stay Strong

As a parent of a child with disabilities, you can’t afford to become burned out, so self-care needs to be a priority. By taking the time to assess your fatigue levels and implement the treatment plan, including pursuing your career dreams like starting your own business, you can ensure that you're able to effectively meet the needs of your family as well as your own.

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Alyssa Strickland created for all the new parents on the block. Alyssa believes the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but she also thinks it takes a village to raise a parent! Millennial-Parents is that village. Today’s parents can be more connected than ever, and she hopes her site will enrich those connections. On Millennial-Parents, she shares tips and advice she learns through experience and from other young parents in three key areas — Education, Relationships, and Community.

Homeschooling Dietitian Mom helps you teach your kids how to make better health choices, no matter what their age or unique needs. Contact us today to learn more!


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