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Thread: The Labor Day Mama Care Corner

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
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    Default The Labor Day Mama Care Corner

    https://www.romper.com/p/i-adopted-a...-imagined-7498
    This article resonated with me in so many ways. Even though it is specifically about adopting a child with special needs, it certainly appeals to birth moms as well. The shared experience is validating. I thought it worthwhile to pass along.

    The biggest epiphany in this article, though, was a link to information of which I was never before aware. http://www.nctsn.org/resources/topic...aumatic-stress
    This type of stress goes by other names; the most common one I've heard (and read the most about) is Caregiver Fatigue. That term may sound familiar to some of you, and its associated experiences likely do as well. Again, this is incredibly validating -- not just for myself, but I suspect for many of you. It highlights the normality of our reaction to the challenging work of caring for a child or children with special needs (and, for that matter, a chronically ill child or parent). I do not share this information to discourage you, but to assure you.

    You are working hard.
    You are doing your best.
    You are accomplishing something beautiful.
    You are leaving an incredible legacy.
    You are changing lives.
    You are enough.
    God sees it all and is pleased and praised.
    Your children will stand and call you blessed.

    Take care of yourselves, Mamas. You're the only you they've got.
    Last edited by Anita; 09-04-2017 at 07:11 AM.
    "Do not let the past disturb you; leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Silly Cowboy: 5, breathing down the neck of MPK
    Pink Baby Bunting: 18 months, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: The Labor Day Mama Care Corner

    Thank you for this, Anita. This "caregiver fatigue" is just not something anyone will be able to relate to unless they've walked it themselves. So, for example, my mother-in-law and I can relate with one another on this level because she cared for my FIL with dementia/Alzheimer's.... and I've been "caring" for medically fragile/special needs kiddos. Yet, we haven't really "connected" as we live 3,000 miles apart and aren't really that close, sadly. But most everyone else in my life cannot relate to my life. How does one make others aware of this without appearing to be complaining or seeking attention/sympathy?

    We just came out of one of the roughest patches we've ever had as a family. Although, I can't really say we've come out of it. But we worked hard on academics all summer and went through quite a bit of stress for a variety of reasons I won't go into here. Our summer began last week and somewhat extends into this week before it all begins again next week! (Older son has 5 MPOA classes starting up!)

    So we decided to escape and go on a road trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway for a few days. (Sadly, most of our days down in NC were full of rain and fog along the Parkway. Still beautiful, though!) And for much of our trip we just sat and enjoyed the drive, the sights, hiked in the rain to some waterfalls, etc. We barely touched anything we brought along for our car ride! Turns out we were all so "burned out" (that fatigue you referenced) we couldn't wrap our minds around doing much else. My husband and I decided it was the perfect time to expose the boys to all this wonderful music he and I had grown up listening to, and some of our favorites of the 80s and 90s. And we cultivated our already-growing appreciation for Blue Grass. And, Anita, I know you will be proud of me when I share that I didn't feel one ounce of guilt over choosing to let a week go by where I wasn't trying to fill time with read aloud, therapy, cognitive skills training, etc. I just "existed" on this family get-away. And that was all. I probably needed a full month of a getaway to really restore me for the coming year! But I'm thankful for what I had.

    Blessings to you,
    Susan P in VA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: The Labor Day Mama Care Corner

    Great article Anita!

    I also judged parents with poorly behaved children when I was younger. Now I know. It certainly changes when it is always your kid who melts down in public. I really like how she talked about that and how there are many different ways to approach parenting that can result in nurtured and secure children.

    This year I'm coming to terms (trying to) with my limitations. I can't do it all. I need rest -- real rest, not mindless internet browsing. I need to focus on parts of myself that don't involve homeschooling or special needs parenting. So I take an hour most afternoons to either read real books or just rest, I'm going to bed early with no apologies, and I'm getting up at 6:00 am for the first time in over 10 years.

    I hope you enjoyed your vacation Susan P!
    Susan

    2017-2018
    A (9) - mix of SC 2 and MP 1, R&S math 3
    C (8) - mix of SC 2 and MP 1, R&S math 2
    G (4) - Simply Classical A, hoping to start SC B in the spring

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: The Labor Day Mama Care Corner

    Susan! Hey, I just posted a new thread about "sleep" and I failed to talk about our mommy sleep! But I meant to.

    Anyway, this early to bed, early to rise thing you are doing.....that's where I'm at. Cheryl has inspired me with this and now YOU, too! So this has been the "topic" in my home a LOT lately. Hubby and I are still tackling the practicalities of what we typically get done late at night that will have to "go" if I'm going to get to bed as early as 10:30 or 11. LOL! Yes, that will be a miracle for me. That would be so very early. I need to shift things from midnight to 11 or 10:30. Then I can shift it earlier if I have success. I can't, at this point, wrap my mind around earlier than 10:30. I can't wait to experience all the health benefits and to watch my skin begin to look young again! Ha Ha

    Hugs,
    Susan P

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
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    Default Re: The Labor Day Mama Care Corner

    I love hearing this, Susan(s)! We took most of the Summer off. Yesterday was our first day back (and it coincided with the local schools' first day, so the kids all felt that shared experience). Taking an actual Summer was not only a wonderful break for the children, but also for me. We got extended rest (which I, of course, filled with house projects I've been meaning to get to). It gave me distance, perspective, time to breathe and reassess.

    As I've mentioned in another thread, getting back in to school has been a little anxiety-inducing. But we are taking it slowly. I decided to give each of the children their own colored storage crate with all their materials in it. We carry them in and out -- and store them up out of the baby's reach! I am paring things down to one "shared enrichment experience" for all three children to save time. And little prizes like stickers are earned for spelling games, math contests and who can answer recitation questions first. I've injected some "fun" into the "delight" of Classical Education. That might not be standard, but it works for us. My oldest is chronologically nine years old, but emotionally and socially he is about five. So I'm giving him nine-year-old work in a five-year-old format. He responded much better to it than if I'd just started the material as-is. I still got a few I hate school's, but the format and the time limit eased the work for all of us. Now we just have to settle in for the long haul!

    Mama sleep -- I am definitely an early riser! It's the only time of day I have to myself. (And even then, I expect unexpected interruptions!) But it is the most coveted and closely guarded time of my day. I am always up before the sun. It's so quiet. I love, love, love it. Bedtime is aimed at 9:30, but usually ends up around 10:15 +/-

    Praying it all goes well for you two/too ❤️ And yes -- very proud of you both for taking your time.
    "Do not let the past disturb you; leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Silly Cowboy: 5, breathing down the neck of MPK
    Pink Baby Bunting: 18 months, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

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