As a parent we tend to put ourselves on the backburner when it comes to our wants and/or needs. As a parent to a child with a brain injury, we often don’t even make it on the stove never mind the back burner. Each New Year, I make goals for our family and last year I decided that one of my goals would be to lose weight. I decided that I was worth the $20/month to get healthy. I had gained weight over the prior year and I had no idea how seeing as nothing had changed. I joined a popular weight loss program. I soon found out that if you eat really healthy (like we do) and you don’t eat enough it will cause you to gain weight. What started out as a plan to lose weight, quickly became a life style change.
My challenge to you, the caregiver, in this New Year is to set a goal for you. In our lives there are so many things in life that we are not able to change such as our loved one’s brain injury but there are just as many things that we can change if we try. The point of the goal is to have it be attainable and something to better your life. You are worth it. Whatever “it” is. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can in turn best take care of our child.
When determining the goal, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be this big lofty goal. Some ideas:
- Take 5 minutes to yourself. Whether it is drinking coffee before everyone is awake or simply just enjoying the moment of quiet.
- Improve your health. Whether it is losing/gaining weight, exercising or treating the health issue that you keep putting off. Your health matters just as much as your loved ones does.
- Do what you love. That hobby that you enjoyed before your child’s brain injury, it may be the perfect outlet for times of stress. Consider adding it back into your life in small spurts.
- Get out of the house for something other than doctor’s appointments, therapy, treatments etc.
Caregiving is a very selfless act that we do. We are overworked, overtired, emotionally drained and yet we continue to take each day as it comes often with a smile. Truth is none of us chose this life. In an instant it all changed and life as we knew it would never be the same. Yet we do this job because we have to and personally, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Along this journey it is very easy to lose sight of ourselves. My hope for you is that this is the year that you start to put yourself back on the stove.
Happy New Year!
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
Legal Statement: The information contained in this blog does not reflect the specific views of BIA-MA. This blog is published for informational purposes only. BIA-MA is not providing medical, legal or other professional advice with its publication.