Last weekend being the long Easter weekend, my sister-in-law had invited me to go shopping in the States. The exchange rate is in our favour right now (I’m in Canada) and the prices at the outlet mall we were planning to hit are always good. My son who turns 9 today started going on a boys’ weekend skiing every winter, and my older daughter, 7, came with us on the weekend. DH was home with Mr. Boy and Precious (who is 5 1/2).

I loved the shopping and being with my mom, sister-in-law and daughter, and realized that despite thinking that I could never need respite from my daughter with special needs, I realized that even an exhausting trip with a long wait to cross the border and 5 hours of walking around an outlet mall, I still felt energized.

After I got home, I asked DH if he thought the idea of respite was ludicrous. After all, our daughter is delayed so she’s like a 3 year-old and what if we actually had a three year old, or more kids than we do? If we had 4 neurotypical kids, surely it would be more tiring than have two neurotypical kids and one that is intellectually disabled?

I don’t know what options are out there for respite and with  my daughter being so young, it seems strange to think of her going for a sleepover other than to my brother and sister-in-law’s place or my mom’s. I guess that doesn’t preclude respite in the daytime. To have one Saturday a month where she was picked up and kept occupied for the day would be nice. We could take advantage of doing something special with the older two kids. Precious already gets lots of one-on-one time since she needs it more and the other kids are often on long bike rides or playdates with their friends and we won’t see them for an hour or two at a time on the weekends.

How do you feel about respite? Are you conflicted like me? Do you use regularly or have you ever used it? How did you find respite?

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