When we were first offered respite care for our son Jack, I remember feeling unsure, as just the thought of it made me feel guilty. To accept it was like admitting I couldn’t cope with two children with very different needs. And to accept it also felt like it was saying I didn’t want to spend time with one of my children, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now that we are a couple of sessions in though, I get it. Jack gets one to one time with a carer who he now completely adores, and who puts together lots of sensory activities for him that I could never have the energy or time to do in our busy week. And I get to focus purely on Seren- something which Is a rarity for her, as her brother takes up most of our time and attention. And it is something she So deserves.
So in those precious few hours, we plan a little adventure together. We choose places and things it would be difficult to do with her brother. Like rambling along cliff paths, exploring deep into the forest and walking pebbly beaches, skipping up places with steps, running down sand dunes and riding her bike- things that other families can access readily, but which we have to think twice about.
Those 2 hours are so freeing for both of us and we come back rejuvenated (and with the dog properly walked!) and looking forward to seeing our little Jack.
How lucky we are to be afforded a little slice of time each week, just to be ‘normal’ and so I can give her my all.