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Vitalxchange’s Message to our Caregivers

Struggling to take time for yourself as a caregiver of a child with an intellectual or developmental disability? We recently talked to one of our members on how she copes and takes care of herself.

“We (caregivers) will be the last people to ask for help,” she pauses, “For ourselves. For our kids, it’s a different story.” When talking about the struggle to find time for herself and ask for help, Jane was very clear in the struggle for most moms like her. “They say, ‘if you don’t care of yourself, you can’t take care of your kid.’ But, when it comes down to brass tacks, it’s time and its money. And all your time and your money go to your kids. By the time you get to yourself, there’s nothing left.”  

Jane is a mom of three, with her oldest and youngest on the spectrum with other issues. When she does have time, she enjoys art therapy. But that is not enough. We understand that this problem is prevalent across all conditions and is a major issue for all caregivers and parents. At vitalxchange, our goal is to create community and to empower ourselves to take care of our family’s health and our own. 

The most important step is to accept yourself, your feelings, and the current situation for what it is. You are your child’s best parent in the world and that’s enough. Always allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling in the moment. Those feelings do not mean that you are failing, they are simply effects of being in a stressful situation. Accepting yourself is a continuous process and seeking support from others will help you. Admitting to needing help is not a sign of weakness or an admission of poor caring, it is rather an admission of the difficulty of the situation and your inner strength.  

Keep in mind that even though you feel like you are the only person in the world who is struggling, there are many people out there just like you and together we can thrive on this journey. Know that your vitalxchange community is here for you to help you care for your loved ones as well as yourself. Your involvement is what makes our community thrive. So seek, share, and support someone in need, even if that person is yourself. 
As always, we are eager to hear from you on how we can serve you better.   

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