This week for Special Saturday the theme is - Me Time.
Such an interesting topic because different people interpret Me Time differently. Some people think they don't need it, others will move mountains to get it and others just can't get any.
Some people think Me Time is respite - when their child with additional needs is cared for by a third party and is usually paid to do so. This can range from a couple of hours to a week. Have we ever had respite - No. But you wouldn't believe the number of people who have had a go at me and set a personal mission to convince me that I am wrong and must organize respite time for Cameron - immediately.
I've been told I must get into the system or Cameron will never get respite. I've been told respite is for Cameron's own good. I've been made to feel like I am the worst mother in the world because I haven't sent my child to stay with strangers for a weekend.
Personally I think respite is essential and wonderful - if you need it. I think respite saves some families from imploding and gives some siblings the break they deserve. Respite is important and there is definitely not enough government attention placed on this very essential service. We just don't want to use it at the moment.
I think every families situation is different and because of the path you have walked you feel differently about things. We are a very tight family unit and love to spend time together, yes there are days when my patience is stretched to snapping but My Little Angel does that to me too. All children do.
So how do I get a break - well Cameron is at school six hours, five days a week and I see that as a huge break. We are lucky to have family support so my children will have days out with their grandparents and the occasional sleepover. My parents pick Cameron up twice a week from school and one takes him for a swim while on the other day the other one takes him to his musical theatre group. That gives Me time to spend with My Little Angel which is very important.
From there my Me Time is catch it when I can. Once a year I go away for a weekend with a group of old friends. We've known each other since our uni days and I look forward to that weekend with a passion. I'm not Cameron's Mum that weekend - I am Jane. And once a month I have dinner out with a group of Mum's from My Little Angel's school - we count the days down to our next dinner.
I've always worked hard to spend time with my friends and family, timetabling in coffee catch ups where I can. It gets harder as every one's children grow, our lives change and a lot of Mum's return to the workforce but even an email is a connection and I will see my friends whenever I can. I see these times as Me Time, even if we have children with us.
I think I look at Me Time as a time that I do what I would like to do and it can include my children. It's time that I spend feeding my soul. Because our lives have been so constrained and controlled by the medical, therapy and education world I feel freedom when we can do whatever we want. I think having the time to sit and cuddle my child as Me Time just as it is to have a precious night out with My Marvellous Man. But to be honest I don't have to leave the house - I'm very happy staying at home.
If I want to completely switch off and let my brain stop I will switch on the TV and make a cuppa. This seems to be a great way for my brain to stop thinking and I can get lost in the world of the program. I spend so much time out and about that I love being home. I love it when the house is still and quiet and it is only me at home. Even if I am doing the washing, the space is mine and feels so precious. To me that is truly Me Time and I groan when the phone rings and shatters that peace.
Right now writing this is Me Time and as I prepare to press Publish Post reality is knocking once again.
This blog post is part of the awareness raising campaign - Special Saturday - raising awareness of people living with special needs around the world.
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