The Guilt of Respite


For the first time today, I used the 5 hours that GG was in holiday club to go out with my other two children (and not for me to work). We were all excited  – although tried to not show that in front of GG. It was a 5 precious hours that we chose to spend outdoors, exploring the beautiful local countryside and walking the puppies. It was a glorious day and we had a great time.

In all honesty, I did not miss the screeching, the stressing over whether GG will drink and her refusal to use an unfamiliar toilet. Hauling the buggy in and out of the car and not being able to get in and out of the tea shop were welcome upsides.

I absolutely loved being able to dawdle and explore, GG hates being still in her buggy so stopping is never an option. We visited the Birds of Prey Centre where GG would have struggled with the noise. We enjoyed the simple pleasure of being able to run through the woods with the dogs, and for me being able to watch the others on the climbing frame, without having to join in to help GG around.

GG on the other hand had a lovely day out. Along with some of her school friends, she came home full of smiles, an empty lunchbox and keen to go back again tomorrow.

Perfect you would think so why do I feel so guilty. It is because I missed GG’s smile as much as I missed her screeches. I missed her giggles as much as I missed the inevitable tears. I missed the simple pleasure GG takes in a cheese sandwich whilst my others devoured lunch without a thought.

It felt like we were incomplete as much as it felt a relief to have a fun day without the additional challenges. Every photo I took was missing something. Perhaps in time I will come to accept this new phase in our lives. I know how much we all need some time out, GG’s siblings in particular, but I wish with all my heart that it didn’t have to be like this.

10 thoughts on “The Guilt of Respite

  1. Aw I can imagine how hard that must have been but it sounds like everyone had a good time. I think it’s important to have time with all the children in whatever way is suitable for them. If that means using respite time then it’s not a bad thing at all, just a necessity x (hope that makes sense-loooong day)

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  2. Guilt is a funny thing isn’t it… something us Sen mums feel more of… could totally relate to this post as I feel the exact same whenever Roo goes to respite and I am able to do something with my other kids but when I look at the photos of the time we had I always feel something is missing and I think I always will x

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  3. It is hard but you do get use to it eventually and my advise is enjoy it while the others are still young enough to want and need your time , while A is at respite now L doesn’t want my time he is too 8 too busy with friends , it’s gone like a flash . L leaves school in June and hopefully a modern apprenticeship so will be in a world of working and that’s will be it but A will always need me to have fun days with . I feel your pain though as I still get the pang of it shouldn’t be like this xxx much love


  4. I’m glad you had a great day, even if it was tinged with sadness. I guess the sadness will get fainter over time, but I totally understand why it would hurt. But remember you are doing this for the whole family. You need it as much as the children. The other children count just as much and need your attention too. Try not to feel bad! x

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