1. Self-Care. You, as primary caregiver, are going to need a minimum of 5 hours for self-care. That’s things like putting gas in the car, buying groceries, catching up on sleep, and at least one hour to do something just for yourself, without any kids in tow. For me, that’s therapy. But it could be walking, crotchet, reading a book, soaking in a tub. Just something that has to do with self-care. Cause when momma/poppa ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
2. Caregivers versus programs. Who cares for the kids in those 5 hours a week? Maybe you’ve got a willing family member, or maybe not. If not, you’re going to have to either develop some caring friends really quick, or perhaps start budgeting for a regular caregiver. Another option is to utilize summer programs (camps, VBS, etc.) for your needs. For more about summer programs, check out the next blog.
3. One Page. A friend of ours turned us onto the “One Page” – a description of our child that we can give to caregivers, camp and VBS directors, and school system personnel in the fall. It’s been extremely helpful to be able to differentiate how my children’s diagnosis affects how they succeed in new situations. This is one of the best essentials we use during the summertime.
4. Go Bag. This is the bag that’s filled with the stuff you and your family can’t live without. Bug spray, sunblock, wet wipes, Band-Aids, a shelf stable snack, a couple bottles of water, a change of clothes, an extra Visa gift card for when you’ve forgotten your purse, a list of important (caregiver and friend) numbers if you find yourself in a pickle.
What are your summertime essentials?
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