Finding ways to refill your cup as a special needs parent

If you are a special needs parent, I am sure you have heard the following statement: “I don’t know how you do it”. While most of the time I just smile and say something quick to change the subject, there are also times I want to respond saying “I do it because I have no choice” “I do it because there is no one else to do it for me”!!

There are appointments. LOTS of appointments; speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, follow up visits with pediatricians and care managers, evaluations, IEP meetings, sleepless nights spent worrying and researching, advocating, and doing the very best to support your child with special circumstances.

It is EXHAUSTING to say the least. There is usually very little help and a huge lack of a support system. Therapeutic services are usually not covered by insurance resulting in families having to spend a small fortune for their child to get the help they need, and paying for a babysitter is typically not an option.

Earlier this week, while having a conversation with my son Talan’s Occupational Therapist about all of his appointments and our homeschool schedule, she asked me a very important question: “what are you doing to refill YOUR cup each day”.

I kind of laughed and just shrugged it off, but driving home I started to think about her question more and more, and how important her question was.

Are we, as parents (special needs or not) taking enough time each day to refill our cups? I mean, if we are talking coffee, then YES my cup is refilled often throughout the day. LOL. But all joking aside, I wanted to take a minute to write down some of the things I have done myself, or have read somewhere on the interweb (probably at 3:00 in the morning) to help recharge our batteries.


  1. take a walk
  2. meditate
  3. pray
  4. read a book
  5. take a 5 min mental break even if that means hiding in your closet for 5 minutes
  6. take a nap if possible
  7. call a friend
  8. drink a hot cup of tea
  9. bake
  10. practice yoga
  11. go to the beach
  12. get outside!
  13. give someone a hug
  14. watch the sunrise or sunset
  15. play music and dance
  16. take a bubble bath
  17. go out with friends if you can get out
  18. go on a date with your spouse or significant other if you can line up a sitter
  19. volunteer
  20. do something that feeds whatever you are passionate about
  21. go to a concert
  22. go for a hike
  23. sit in the sun for a few minutes and feel the warmth on your skin
  24. sign up for a class you have been wanting to take
  25. go see a movie
  26. eat ice cream
  27. have a glass of wine
  28. rent a kayak or a paddle board for an hour
  29. go shopping
  30. put yourself in time out


I know it is much easier said than done, but let’s all try to refill our cups. I hope in some way, this blog will help refill yours!

~Kendra ❤








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