We all know the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Everyone in the family does what they usually do.
One week follows the next.
Busy with school, work, sports and other leisure activities.
All the practical chores like laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking and homework with the big kids.
A child who demands your full attention 24 hours a day and a child who - no matter how much you love them - puts you in a grueling situation and presents you with practical challenges that may seem unsolvable.
- Should I cut back on my work hours when my free time is suddenly like an extra full-time job?
- Can our finances hold together if I/we work less?
- Will my employer understand that my child is often sick?
- Do my colleagues feel like I'm letting them down when I don't come to work?
- Should I apply for leave?
- What do I do when my special child doesn't thrive in a regular childcare facility?
- I can't take my child shopping with me, so how do I solve this?
- I can no longer take my healthy siblings to sports in the afternoon and it has become difficult to manage homework help. Am I a bad mom because I spend my energy on my child with special needs?
- I don't have time for my friends?
- My spouse misses me, but I can't handle intimacy right now!
It goes without saying that the family idyll crumbles because everyone has limited resources over time.
We can all mobilize extra energy and find unlimited power when we need it.
But only for a period of time - after that, it takes its toll on the body and mind.
If we don't take care of ourselves, if we don't react to the signals our body sends us, we get sick.
In this situation, we cannot always allow ourselves to listen to the body, because there is a family that depends on our daily contribution….on on on on….there is laundry, food packages and everything else before you can sit down on the sofa and go for a walk and that way get some alone time and recharge your batteries.
Some people develop stress, depression, anger and crying spells, which is only natural because you're facing unsolvable challenges while dealing with SO many emotions.
On top of that, you may have had to give up your own interests because there is no time and energy and everyday life is suddenly meaningless beyond your function as a 'practical pig' on the home front.
If you're experiencing this frustration right now, you should be aware that most pediatric wards have a psychologist on staff. This is someone you can talk to for FREE.
They can help you accept the situation and give you practical tools to address some of your issues.
Additionally, talking to someone who isn't emotionally involved is always cathartic because it allows you to be brutally honest.
If you know the situation, help others understand that they are NOT alone. That powerlessness, feeling inadequate and worrying about the future is TOTALLY NATURAL!
Share your advice or story to give us a glimpse into the unpolished reality of having a child with special needs in the family.