Posts Tagged ‘respite’

One of the biggest weaknesses I have is asking for help.  I have been that way most of my adult life.  Is it because I am a perfectionist?  Haha!  Couldn’t be further from the truth.  I have friends and family members who are perfectionists and it would have done me good to have them rub off on me a little. 

I think a lot of it is pride.  Being forced to admit that raising kids can take so much out of a person,  so that at the end of the day there is nothing left.  It doesn’t matter if you have special needs kids, or typical kids, or 8 kids, or even just one child.  It can be absolutely draining.  Anybody who is a parent can understand that.  So why then is it so difficult for me to seek some respite every now and then?  It’s available to  me. I have so many people in my life who would step up in a heartbeat to give us a break. But I’m stubborn.

Yeah, yeah I know, I know….’taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of your family….blah blah blah.’ 

I practically have to have a staged intervention before I can finally accept the fact that I am not supermom. So that is where we are today.  Matt’s volatile behavior was getting worse.  The only time things were peaceful was when he was asleep.  But he doesn’t sleep long. He wakes up 2 sometimes 3 times in the night and then for good at 4:00am. Sometimes even earlier. So once he is awake, I know he will stay in the living room and play quietly for 10-20  minutes so I don’t have to get up just then, but I can’t sleep. What if he sneaks outside?  What if he’s climbing on the counters?  What if he found the stash of fruit snacks and gold-fish crackers that I hide from him?

So then I’m wide awake.  What happens is after several days of this routine, the lack of sleep catches up and I can’t function. I have no energy.  But no matter how much I am dragging,  Matt doesn’t slow down with me making it even more draining and pretty soon I am running on empty. This is where our “Village” comes in.  

A month ago, John’s parents, step-parents, my parents, my brother, aunt, cousin, and friends….overwhelmingly offered their time and energy to watch and care for the boys so that John and I could enjoy our planned trip to Hawaii.  These are the people we know we can count on whenever we need a break.  We are very fortunate.

But the help didn’t stop after the vacation was over.  John’s mom and step-dad insisted that Matthew spend the afternoon and night with them 2 times a week for now on.  It was difficult for me to accept such an offer for two reasons: 

One reason is I know how much work he is and that his mom would be the one getting the 4:00am wake-up call. 

Second and biggest reason that I had a hard time accepting their offer was pride.  I kept thinking to myself, “Great, I can’t even raise my kid 7 days a week anymore. I have to send him away because I am not strong enough to handle it. What kind of mother am I?” 

With John’s encouragement, I agreed and it has been the best thing.  Being away from Matthew isn’t the best thing but sleeping past 6:30am…..is just blissful!  This morning is one of those mornings I was able to sleep in till 6:45am and I have so much energy today. I get look forward to sleeping in on Wednesday too. 

The other great thing about it is that there is more quality time for just Alec.  We can enjoy playing Wii games and I can help him with his homework without being interrupted by one of Matt’s outbursts. 

So anybody who has a great support group of people, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask.  Take it, because you truly are taking better care of yourself and your family.


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