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How 10 Parents Prevent Burn Out While Advocating for Their Kids

Is your kid an ultra picky eater? Are they sensitive to bright lights or loud noises? Do they have a hard time expressing when they need something, wander into the street unaware of the danger or go from peaceful to full meltdown if they suddenly find themselves in a crowd or surrounded by unfamiliar faces? If your child experiences these or has other sensitivities, illnesses or difficulties regulating their emotions, their comfort, safety and emotional well-being depend on you telling anyone who could even potentially have direct contact with them what works for your child and what doesn’t.

Even so, advocating for our kids is not always easy to do. As a mom to a little boy with autism, I find myself giving out plenty of reminders to the adults in my son’s life. Some welcome the input while others, often doctors or therapists, feel they know best, triggering a tug-of-war with each of us struggling for our point of view to gain more traction. In those instances, I walk a fine line between being cordial and demanding, and frankly, it can be exhausting. Two things that help me remain stress-free are thinking about the sweet little boy I’m advocating for and setting aside time to do some major self-care.

Need help finding ways to make standing up for your child a little less stressful? Here 10 things members of The Mighty community do to avoid burnout while advocating for their children:

1. “Really relishing and resting in the wins! They are there. Sometimes we just need to really bloom for them.”
— Karen Adams

2. “Having a support team of family, friends that you can trust.” — Liz Stroebele

3. “My one hour of gym a day. It’s solid me time. I put on my headphones, disappear and do something that’s just for me.” — Ashlea Myson

4. “Prayer. God refreshes me and gives me new strength. I find so much more joy and peace after praying.”
— Jennifer Lenderman Alvarado

5. “My baking helps me…[I] was a pastry cook.” —  Joan Elisabeth Piller

6. “I always plan some fun activity to balance the stressful. Everyone needs to have fun.” — Elisabeth Watter

7. “Studying at home for a degree. I’m unable to work currently due to my son’s needs but studying gives my brain an outlet and makes me feel like I’m achieving something for myself as well as being a mum and a carer.”
— Katie Murchison

8. “Getting enough sleep. It’s hard to fight effectively when you’re tired and cranky on top of already being stressed out over whatever issue it is that you are advocating for.” — Jennifer O’Neil Arnold

9. “Working out. Gives me some energy and confidence. Making other mom friends who get it. Having people to help and to talk to.” — Marisa Purtill

10. “Swimming. Because I get recharged after I’m immersed in water. My son with autism also gets more ‘centered’ after being in water. Works for both of us.” — Rowena Mariñas

What would you add?

Getty image via fizkes