Finding Alone Time, Tis’ So Sweet

I find so much joy to be able to be my sons caregiver.

Somedays it can be emotionally, physically and mentally draining, especially if I am not intentional about assuring that my needs are met. And one need that I am intensely aware of is the need to be alone sometimes.

Let’s be real for a few minutes, as Jake’s mom, I am eternally exhausted. I’m not gonna lie.

I pour my everything into his well being, day in and day out.

It is the most rewarding and demanding “job”, I have ever had.

Jake is my 19 year old nonverbal grown boy.

Jake is a incredible, joyful, busy, humorous fella. He is full of life.

A day with Jake might look like this…wait for it!

Tap tap…

Wake up: Wait for Mama to bring his breakfast in bed. (don’t judge me, I know he is spoiled)

Shower: He is very independent, but requires my assistance…Tap tap!

Morning chores: Laundry, check, start and move any laundry. Make beds, put away dishes.

Taps galore, he must tap all the things.

Lunch: Prep his meals. I’m very blessed that he likes to eat healthy, so it’s usually a meal of fish sticks, carrots, cucumbers, celery.


Calendar time/school work time: Jake graduated in May, but we still do our daily schooling.

Have you noticed anything yet? It’s lunch time, and I might have managed to get my 5 min shower and throw on some makeup.

Speech therapy/Tennis practice/Afternoon walk/Dinner time: He loves Golden Star Coconut Jasmine rice, with chutney, and bacon bits, meatballs and more veggies. So much focus just on making his day full of quality.

Reading: of course he can’t read one book, we gotta read 10 books.

Still notice anything about his day?

Game time: Our new favorite game, Yeti in our spaghetti.


I’m waiting for my alone time.

Snack time: Life skills, learning to make cookies!


Bedtime routine: Shower, file his nails, lotion on his feet so they don’t crack (he is forever barefooted at home).

10pm: He is in the bed. Now we begin the marathon of how many times he can get up and be tucked back in.

I think I’ll prop my feet up.

What do I hear? Tap tap on the wall.

Somewhere between 10 and 12 PM, Jake will fall fast asleep.

It’s now 12:30 at night, and the world is quiet.

Social media is slow, hubs is at work, my feet are propped up.

I read all the tips about getting enough sleep. I scroll and look for more ways to help Jake flourish.

I cut down the TV, I sit my phone down, and in the still of the night…Ya’ll, I pray.

My alone time consists of myself and God.

He encourages me, he convicts me, he teaches me to be calm and quiet.

Many nights I seriously pray, until I fall asleep.

On those night, I take heart in that God must have known I just needed to get some sleep…it’s only a few more hours until I’m awakened by the sound of a tap.

I think I’ll get a shirt with #Taptap on it, ehhhh, maybe not, it could be taken the wrong way by some mind in the gutter. Ha. Did I go there? It just kinda fit.

Today, I left the house for a few hours to go walk the isles at our local antique mall. It’s one of Jake’s favorite places.

I kinda felt guilty when I first went in.

For a solid hour, I walked slow, I looked at all the things, I loved it. It was my time.

There was no tapping, I wasn’t moving at lightening speed, I saw things!

Ahhh, alone time, tis’ so sweet, I better head on home, the hubs needs to nap before he heads to work.

For me, alone time has become oh so sacred in my life. The minutes are few.

The life of a full time Mama caregiver.

I’m so thankful God trusts me so much he gave me this sweet soul to care for.

Written by, Luanne Helms

Luanne Helms lives in Opelika, Alabama with her husband, Jason Helms and her 19 year old son Jake. Luanne is the Area coordinator for the Autism society of Alabama for East Alabama.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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