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Yes. My Life is Hard- And Yours is Too.

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You know the saying, If I had a quarter for every time....?

Well if I had a quarter for every time someone diminished their own challenging circumstances because they "aren't what you deal with".

I mean, seriously, give me a quarter because I could pay some bills with that!

My life as a medical special needs mom is hard.  Most of the time I am too busy to really think about that truth, but lately I've been realizing that I need to be a little more honest about it both for my readers (friends, family, etc) and for myself.

First off, I want to apologize to anyone that has the impression that we have it all together.  We don't. My kids are piano lesson drop outs, not because they don't like playing or because I don't think music is important, but I flat out don't have time to drive to lessons.  That's the only reason.  We eat really great, except when we eat pizza...and some weeks that's like a 50/50 situation.  I have totally flaked on the parent volunteer requirements for the last three dance shows I've had kids in.

The gracious staff at our dance studio have quietly looked the other way.  

Speaking of volunteering, I don't volunteer for much of anything anymore- despite the fact I have a book coming out that's all about serving others.  Do as I say, not as I currently do.  

I have no idea what is going on in a large number of people's lives-  people I care very much about.  When I do know what's going on, its rare that I'm able to find time to actually support them in any way other than add them to my prayers.  Bad stuff happens and while I am often the recipient of people willing to share my burdens, I am not often able to return the favor.

And that's just non-medical stuff- there's also keeping up with appointments, medications, seizures, safety, home therapy programs, supervision, facing your child's mortality, and more.  People also prefer clean clothes and need to eat more than a couple times each day, bills need to be paid (which takes money and time!) ... I think you probably get the picture.

If my life is so hard, how and why do I keep doing so much stuff?  Why not send the kids to school? Why not stop writing and developing new products?  Why move to the country, taking on animals and gardens and creating more responsibility for ourselves?

For my kids, of course!

Very likely the same reason you choose to keep doing hard things.

I keep homeschooling because I believe in a certain style of education.  I know the schools aren't fit to provide that approach and I believe my most vulnerable kiddos need that education more than ever to overcome some of the challenges they have.

We moved to the country for largely the same reason.  The more I read, the more I learn, the more I experience, the more I KNOW that food is super important to helping my kids be their best.  So (when we aren't eating pizza) - we eat food that we can trust.  Healthy fats and proteins with lots of micronutrients.  I've seen our food choices vastly improve quality of life for two of my kids in the last three years.   The extra work is far and away worth it.  

As for my work in this space.  I need it.  I need the connections with people.  Teaching is one of my charisms and when I don't put it to use, I have an unsettled feeling in my core that trickles down into negatively affecting lots of aspects of my life.  If you have a strong charism you are aware of but can't always employ- you may know what I'm talking about.  Writing has become a way to teach through my words in a different way than organizing classrooms.  

Now lets talk about how I do it, keeping in mind that I do it very badly at times!

I have a lot of super prayer warrior friends who aren't afraid to let me know they are praying for us.  A week doesn't go by where I don't hear this on Sunday morning from one friend or another.  Even when we are not in crisis mode, skipping loads of activities, or I'm not sending frequent updates my friends keep praying.  I get random texts and notes all the time to that effect.  That brings a lot of grace into my life.   

I also have a close friend who consistently steps up even when its inconvenient and who lets me fall apart if needed.  Sometimes she even tells me that its time to fall apart for a day or two and comes clean my kitchen!  Most of the time more help would be nice, who couldn't say that, but a little bit of practical help goes a long way.

More than practical help, I wish most that I could tell my friends every day how much I love and miss them.  I wish that they could understand our reality, but hope they never have to!

I trust that God has a plan for all of this even if I don't understand it and I believe that the small sacrifices that you and I make every day to keep things moving matter.  I believe they matter when we succeed and when we don't.  I believe it doesn't much matter that my life is "harder" than yours, I'm not getting bonus points and you aren't being penalized if you are struggling with something "less" hard.

Frankly I don't believe there is such a thing as harder or less hard.

Hard is just hard.

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(And Lucie is super cute and totally worth all the days riding a rollercoaster, while juggling eggs, and riding a unicycle- Thanks M for such a vidid description of my life that still makes me smile when I think of it!)

Comments

Angie said…
We are so blessed to have you teaching in this space! And we are still talking about all you shared with us about suffering and the Sacred Heart. ❤ Hard is hard. Know of my continued prayers and gratitude.