Many parents of disabled children feel under pressure or stressed. Managing stress might help you to feel more in control.

People feel stress in different ways. Here are some examples:

  • "I can’t sleep."
  • "I can’t eat."
  • "I’m eating too much."
  • "I can't focus or remember things."
  • "I can’t talk to my partner."
  • "I’m drinking too much."
  • "I feel like no one understands what I’m going through."
  • "I feel like I can’t cope."

Making things easier at home

Being a parent is hard. Looking after a child with additional needs means that you have even less time and energy at home. This can cause some parents to reach a crisis point.

Accepting that your life has changed will help. Some parents cope with these extra pressures by:
  • talking about how life has changed (not pretending that things are ‘fine’)
  • not cooking or cleaning as often (for example, eating more ready meals or doing less cleaning) 
  • choosing your battles and maybe letting more things go 
  • sleeping whenever you can, even if it’s just 10 minutes 
  • prioritising what’s important to you at the time.

What support do you have?

Has anyone offered to make things easier?  This could be looking after your child while you have a bath or go shopping. Ask for help if you need it.

Support could could be a parents group, nursery, a friend you can talk to or respite care. 

Find other parents with disabled children

Other parents in the same situation may understand and be able to help you.

Talk to parents in our online community

Taking a break

When you cannot find time just for yourself, do something with your child, such as walking in the park, countryside or around your local area. Some parents find walking gives them ‘headspace’ while enjoying time with their child.

If you are able to find time, do something that helps you relax. This could be:
  • watching your favourite show
  • doing your favourite hobby
  • exercising
  • taking a bath
Some parents find having their own morning routine helps them feel better. This could be getting up earlier to have a leisurely shower or bath and get ready for the day.

Mindfulness and meditation

Taking 10 minutes to meditate each day can help you to relax and sleep. You can do this on your own, in a group or you can use an app.
                      
Mindful Monsters – exercises for parents and children.
Apps for well-being and mental health (AbilityNet).

Talk to your GP if you need help

Talk to your GP about getting treatment and support.

Discuss what’s affecting you. Say that if you’re stressed, depressed or if you feel you’re not coping. You could prepare for your appointment by writing down what you want to say. You could talk about:
  • how you’re feeling
  • if you’re not able to eat or sleep normally
What should I say to my GP? (Mind)

Call our free helpline