Time out is good..... right?

As the parent of a child with special needs, I am very aware that caring for my child is extremely time consuming. It can be stressful, monotonous, emotionally taxing and down right exhausting. The journey that I travel with my child affects my family life, my relationship with each member of my family and the way in which we manage our days, weeks and years.

In order for me to maintain a balance in my life, I need to have some time out! Not just for me but also for my husband and teenager. We miss out on a lot due to our situation. Our life revolves around our boy with special needs and we are limited in what we can do with him. Although my typically developing teenager is pretty well adjusted, he also misses out on having a regular family life! It is extremely important to me to be able to spend some time with my teenager. We really need to have time to be a regular family doing regular things!! By regular I mean....... having the freedom to do as we please, go where we want and be as we wish!

This past weekend has been spent away from my boy. It has been about *time out*. We have spent time doing all the things that are not generally possible and it has been wonderful. Last night we went *out*..... eight adults and seven kids! The restaurant was crowded, noisy and a sensory overload. We ate, drank, sang loudly and had a bit of a dance! OK, I had a bit of a dance and the teenagers raised their eyebrows and sniggered behind their cell phones! We left just before midnight amidst lots of laughter and plans for the next day. 

I thought of my boy during the evening. I observed everyone around me, the chatting, laughing and the general too and fro of people having a great time. I thought of my boy and I found myself feeling incredibly sad that he wasn't there; and that he will never be able to cope in such a situation. Because of his disability, my son will never get to experience the magic of life. He won't get to talk and laugh and flirt with girls. He won't feel the sudden spontaneous urge to stand up to sing and dance to the music. He won't get to look to the person next to him, behind him, in front of him. He won't catch the eye of his brother across the table and shake his head at his silly mother.... that happy go lucky mother singing loudly and dancing in her old fashioned way!

Oh the joy of being able to be a regular family BUT oh the sadness that a member of our family was missing.....


  1. Beautiful post and I think so appropriately nails the dilemma of parents who have a child on the spectrum and a typical child. It's great that you get an occasional time out but I can imagine it is always bittersweet. I worry about these things too with my daughter, will she ever be able just to enjoy her life without so much of it being a struggle? We just don't know the answer to that, but we also have to keep moving forward and hoping. Never giving up hope is so important.

    Thank you for sharing this post.

  2. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time, and I know exactly what you mean about the sadness that goes with it, when you'd really like to have your whole family together doing regular things xx

  3. love stretches us and twangs us to and fro like a taut elastic band.

  4. I know this feeling well too Di. Guess we can't have a good time without thinking about 'the one left behind'. Glad you had some fun tho. M xx

  5. Timeout is sooo important. Things are so much easier for us now because Pamela is self-sufficient in many ways. She depends on us for the big things, but she takes care of herself in her daily life. I don't need time away like I used to when the kids were young, Steve traveled, I was home teaching them 24/7. Just a few hours away on a weekend, drinking coffee at a bookstore was enough to help me recharge.

  6. @Dana ~ Thank you for your comment. You are so right, it is important to take time out but it is also bittersweet. I think it also hard for Nick to be without us... he stopped eating everything except cereal whilst we were away. Tomorrow I get to see if he starts eating again!

    @Blue Sky ~ we had such a lovely time and I don't regret going away, although I have decided to be brave and make a plan to take Nick with us next time!!!!!! x

    @Mischal ~ what a wonderful description! :)

    @Marcelle ~ yes, you are in the same situation as me! You are just a lot braver then me by taking your boy away with you! xx

    @bookworm ~ I am glad that life is easier for you. I am hoping that one day Nick will be just like Pamela.

  7. poignantly beautiful - I'm glad you had some nice time out! It *is* so important! :)

  8. I am so glad that you got some precious quality time out with your boy and totally understand how much you missed Nick and the sadness that you felt. I must say though, you are a girl after my own heart....so glad you had a good ole bop!!

    xx Jazzy

    1. Thanks, Jazzy. I am planning a #wildnightout with Blue Sky when I eventually visit Ireland... you want to come to? :-)

  9. Your post really had me welling up. My son doesn't have autism but his epilepsy is such that often we split the family, one staying at home with H and the other taking our eldest Cheeky to wherever it is we need to be; parties, christenings even friends houses. The sadness you describe, I felt last year at mycouins wedding, it should have been a family occasion but half my family were missing. It broke my heart. You described that feeling perfectly. X x

  10. Hi LittleMamma, thank you for stopping by. I am so sorry that you had to experience the same sadness. Life can be so unfair at times. xx

  11. I am sending you many hugs
    Its a heartbreaking feeling
    oh and u are just gorgeous !
    I love your pose - so often you are like the angel on his shoulder


Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. x