Special Needs Parenting Advice: Take the Pancakes

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Even when you’re trying to relax, life can be pretty busy.

Some people have accused me of being overly independent and goal focused.  I like to say I get stuff done.  And honestly, sometimes it’s easier to do it yourself.  Hubby says I have the ‘Angela-gene.’

In my time I’ve laid down a laminate floor and painted a basement, all while six weeks pregnant.  I take on challenges and solve them quickly.  Done.  On to the next one.

I used to think a good vacation is a canoe trip with short portages.  In short, I do stuff.

Now, three kids later, I’ve relaxed a little.  My idea of a good vacation is anywhere I can sleep while someone else watches the kids.  Bonus points if I do not have to cook.

I’m learning to delegate.  Hubby does his share of housework, and I’m learning to live with dust bunnies.

This year at work I’ve learned to deal with support staff, specifically people who are employed to support me and my program.  I’ve learned to say, “Why don’t you look into it?” when someone approaches me with an idea.  They are happy and we as a team act on their well-researched idea.

At home, I dream of support staff.  Hubby and I are it, total caregivers for three children ages 5 and under.  To say life is busy is an understatement.  Laundry, grocery shopping, housekeeping, we do it all.  And somehow keep three kids (mostly) clothed and (mostly) fed.  Hubby and I are masters of ‘divide and conquer’ and are niche specialists. He does all the heavy lifting.  I do all the organising and planning.  He can manage two kids in a grocery store line up and only comes home with a few impulse purchases (as well as the kids and most of the stuff on his list).

Adding special needs to the mix creates a whole new level of busy.  Specialist appointments, therapist appointments, the ongoing grind of dealing with school – it’s a feat of scheduling only feasible by the latest technology (I synch the appointment schedule between our phones so we have an idea of where we’re going and when we’re supposed to be there.  Usually it works.  Alarms and flashing lights help.)

Some days our lives are impossibly busy.  We deal with life through shift work – I deal with the 4 am risers while Hubby deals with the late night partiers.

Because we have no support other than each other, I’ve learned that less is truly more.  Doing less, buying less, dealing with less all help reduce the load we carry.

I’ve also learned to delegate.  I’ve developed a deep appreciation for people who do stuff for us, especially if it involves something that requires more than two seconds of my attention.  Social Workers and therapists who complete forms and all kinds of paperwork for us star big here.  Honestly, it’s easier for them to fill out a form while I juggle a grumpy toddler than for me to take the form home and forget about it under the seat of my car.  Oops.

We also accept any help given.  Recently one of my co-workers made a huge batch of pancakes and baked goods.  She pressed ziplocked offerings upon me, saying take it home, put it in the freezer and just warm them up for the kids.

The old me would have raised an eyebrow at the questionable nutritional value of such food items, and perhaps hid them in the back of my freezer.

Instead thanked her, and brought the pancakes home.  I barely made it in the door when Baby Dunk tackled me, crying “Mommy up!”  I gave him a pancake.  His eyes lit up and he crammed it into his mouth, dropping crumbs everywhere.

He was thrilled.  So was I.

Thank you again to everyone who helps us along the way.

How does your family deal with getting the help you need?

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About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
This entry was posted in disABILTY, Halfpastnormal is who we are, Parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Special Needs Parenting Advice: Take the Pancakes

  1. I can’t imagine everything that you must have to contend with on a normal day, let alone one that goes haywire or crazy. Kudos to you. Sometimes, learning to accept or ask for help is a big deal. Sounds like you keep everything pretty much under control, but good for you for just taking something simple and enjoying it. You deserve that too. 🙂

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