I was recently asked by a reader what our son is struggling with. I had avoided discussing it because I didn’t want to burden anyone with the details. I wasn’t sure if the specifics would be unnecessary, and I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I realize now that it would help people understand where I’m coming from if I shared more about his situation.
Cloth diapering is a lot of work sometimes. Every two days you have to do laundry. While this isn’t a difficult prospect for me because I have to do laundry every day, it would be a huge annoyance for many. My son gets sick, a lot. We measure the necessary size of his wardrobe by how many outfits he needs to get through a single day.
Getting settled into a new routine after a emergency or crisis is one of the hardest things I’ve had to handle as a mother of a special needs child. One of the tricky things about not having a diagnosis is that you never know if you’re looking at a new illness (virus, infection, etc.) or a new feature of the undiagnosed syndrome. It’s happened several times that the new problem has turned out to be another clue to the underlying syndrome and we’ve had to adjust what we’re doing to accommodate. So, that’s all well and good, but how do you do that?
This post is part of a three day series about how to handle stress when you’re bouncing back and forth between crisis and calm. I hope you find it helpful. I would love to hear about things YOU are doing to manage your stress.
There are two situations mothers of special needs children find themselves in more often than we would like to admit. The first is crisis situations. Many, although not all, of these land us in the hospital with our already struggling child. Once there, we fight fiercely to protect them from catching something even worse than what brought them in in the first place and engage in a constant power struggle with the hospital staff to let our children sleep. The second is what I call the, “new normal.” This frequently, though not always, comes after a crisis. Something has changed in our child’s condition and it’s changed the way that they and we have to live our lives. Identifying which of these two situations you’re in is key to properly handling your stress level.
I’m not a loner. I like being around other people. I LOVE being around other people that are interested in what I have to say. I’m that person at work that volunteers to present. I enjoy networking and it’s not something I consider a chore. So, when I started home I wanted to go right back to the workplace. God had other things in mind for me, because I couldn’t go back. My son’s medical needs prevented me from leaving him with your run of the mill child care center.
I didn’t plan to stay home with my son. I thought I would give birth, spend a couple weeks snuggling him, and then place him in a daycare close to my work where I could visit him during the day if I chose to do so. My husband and I had always evenly split the chores. With both of us working, we figured we could hire someone to come in and help once a week. It was a great plan for us and we were ready to execute it over a month before our son was even born.