Self Care

Looking after you does make a difference.

Being a parent can be the hardest job you will ever do.   

Being a parent to a child with additional needs means the demands on you are much greater.   

I am sure you have heard it before. You need to look after yourself too but when you need to be focused on your child’s services but that is not so easy. 

We want you to know about groups called MyTime that are for parents and carers but also support your child at the same time. EarlyEd has been running this program for nearly 10 years at Forestville and Kellyville and now at St Ives. If a group is not your thing, then we have some other ideas to follow.

Rebecca – MyTime Coordinator talks about you.

Do people ever say to you “You are so amazing. You must be so strong. I know I could not do what you are doing.” Parents have told me that hearing comments like these makes them really mad (especially on days when you really aren’t feeling on top of the things happening in your life).   

This is not what you were expecting your life with your child would be like, but when your beautiful child shows you they need your help, you will do your best to move mountains to make them happy. You will do anything to make them healthier, walk better, tell you what they need or to teach them how to make friends. It is not easy but somehow you find the extra energy, battle through the sleeplessness, or cope with less money since you can’t go back to work now that your child has so many appointments.   

You are giving your all to support your child. So let’s talk about you.   

Finding time for you is crucial to stop you from wearing yourself out, and making sure you have the energy to be available for your child. It is not selfish to make time for you. The evidence shows it is essential. 

Every day you have so many decisions to make. Clearing your head every now and then may help you find it easier to think about what next.  

Families I have supported over many years have told me what they do to for themselves.

Check this list to see if any of these strategies would help you to find some space for you.   


Set the alarm to wake up 30 minutes earlier so you can go for a walk, or do online yoga if it is raining.  

Meet a friend 

Social connections are so important and even a chat while you shop or walk to preschool is so valuable. Join a playgroup to meet other parents.  

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid of asking for help. People often don’t know how to offer help and don’t want to offend, but would love to be useful.  

Celebrate the gains

Try to not compare your child with anyone but themselves and share your child’s successes. It is powerful for a child to hear their parent being proud of them!   

Take time to pause

It is too easy to use every spare minute to clean, wash or cook. When you do have 5 minutes of clear time prioritise yourself. Sit in the garden with a cup of tea. Breathe. Listen to a song. Reconnect with you.  

Try to make healthy food choices

Avoid the chocolate and chips when you go shopping and fill the cupboard with the food you wish you ate. If there is no junk to reach for, your body will thank you.  


Have a strong evening routine to reduce the drama at the end of the day. End the day with snuggle time and a story as a reward for everyone.  


Listen to your own songs on the earphones in the car if you are sick of “Baby Shark”! Or listen to a meditation app.  

Park and wait

Get to school or daycare 15 mins early. Sitting with your eyes shut in autumn sun can set you up for the evening rush. (That’s of course if there are no other little ones you need to keep your eyes on!) 

Find others that understand you

Sometimes you need someone to talk to who isn’t friend but who knows what life might be like for you.  

Free groups like MyTime can be found in most suburbs. They often offer a playgroup at the same time so you get break while you talk to other parents and carers. A facilitator organises the group and families come from the local area to join in.  

Families say they find MyTime really helpful when they  

– have recently received a diagnosis for your child  

– are waiting to hear from the NDIS or 

– need information about how to help your child or about how to access services or connect with the NDIS 

Sometimes you just need a safe space to talk about your feelings. 

When parents and carers meet, they share insights that their therapists and teachers won’t really know about or understand..  

Caring for yourself means you will have the extra “strength” you need. You are important to everyone. You are often what keeps everything together for your family. So you are doing everyone a favour when you find time for you. 

Written by Rebecca, Educator and MyTime Coordinator at Forestville Wednesday morning. 

MyTime at Forestville on Wednesday mornings is also run by Seta, Playgroup Coordinator. 


Here are some links for websites that provide information about supports for carers and parents.  

Raising Children  Raising Children with Disability | Raising Children Network

Carers Australia 

Carer Gateway  Looking after yourself | Carer Gateway 

Translate »