Looking after children with bladder and bowel problems isn't easy. Dr Eve Fleming, retired GP and now helpline advisor has some tips on making sure your needs are met too.

Taking care of yourself doesn't mean 'me first', it means 'me too'. L.R. Knost 

You have needs too, and a right to have your needs met just like everyone else. This is something that many people looking after others often forget!

Dealing with wee and poo is extremely stressful. Caring for yourself

It is something people don’t talk about, so people often feel very isolated dealing with it. Because it often isn’t mentioned, parents don’t realise how common it is and how many others are dealing with similar problems.

So how can you care for yourself?

  • First, you can only recognise your needs by giving yourself some time and space to think about how you are.
  • Take a break when you need to and give yourself treats, however small.
  • Talk to someone about how you feel.
  • Keep a diary and write down your feelings.
  • Eat well and take some exercise.
  • Try to get enough sleep.
  • Look at options for dealing with stress: meditation, singing, massage, manicures, knitting, being creative, walks, baking - whatever works for you.
  • There is some good information on the Mind website about dealing with stress.
  • Think of something you find helpful to get rid of any frustration: kicking a ball, digging the garden, going for a run.

What are the benefits?

You will feel tons better, and more able to deal with the challenges of wee and poo.

You will be more relaxed and objective, and better able to help your child – and this can contribute to success!

Time for you is never wasted time!