lifting another

Several years ago my son was diagnosed with seizures. After his diagnosis so many things became clear and I realized he had probably been having seizures for quite some time. I suspect since birth. At the time of diagnosis he was around five years old. At the time of diagnosis was also the time that my marriage to his father came to an end.

Those first several months I was afraid to let my son sleep alone. I kept him near me at night and was prepared with the camera to video record it for documentation. I was scared and nervous. Every seizure freaked me out. I was always alone too. There was nobody to help navigate things in the moment. Every decision of what to do was up to me.

After several years I have gotten used to the seizures and my response to them has become more routine than anything else. Always with lots of cuddle time and worry afterward.

This last Sunday my special needs son had a seizure. This was a more severe one for him. This was also the first that anyone in our church congregation had ever witnessed. I was amazed at how quickly so many came to help. After much thought I realized that what had happened was that others were helping to lift me and carry my burden of care for my son. Even if it was for a few minutes, it was enough.

Afterward a few had commented to me how I was so calm and they were feeling really scared for my son. I have learned to  react in a certain way to my son’s seizures, and although I appear calm I am freaking out inside. I never know when it could turn to something worse.

We all experience things that will be hard in life  some things we get used to and we appear calm when we do not really feel calm. Sometimes we see others who appear calm yet they are struggling inside. Do not let the appearance of strength fool you. Everybody needs at least a little bit of lifting. Whether a kind word or act, it can all mean the difference to one who is putting on that brave face.




finding hope

The last few days have been a bit troubling for me. I find myself desiring warmer weather and the ability to move forward with life. I have hit a standstill-or so it seems. At this standstill I find that I am more easily swayed to discouragement. My patience has hit a limit and life just does not seem to get better. So, what is one to do?

I took to writing today. Writing down my disappointments, the things discouraging to me, and the things I felt I could do better. I then wrote down the things I felt I needed to do to improve my outlook. I realized I needed to improve my outlook because I was experience a loss of hope. Hope for my situation in life to improve, to have a any kind of movement forward in life, and so forth. Without movement forward I feel lost. That means it is time for me to do something to change where I am stuck.

As a single parent it is easy to get stuck. For me, I am stuck in a cycle. I clean then my children destroy. I attempt to make things better. My children then destroy. Dishes get dirty then dishes get cleaned. Laundry continues to get dirty after being cleaned, all for it to need cleaning again. It is an endless cycle. Add that to attempts to raise children who will work and listen is daunting. Often they do not seem to ever hear a word said unless it is “dessert,” or “present.” Let’s just add the frequent crying, diaper changes, fighting, etc. It is an endless cycle. After so many days of these tasks and this kind of life it can become depressing, thankless, discouraging, and you get stuck.

Being stuck means I get to try to find a way out of the pit of despair. There is something to look forward to, even if it is looking forward to ten extra minutes of a room being clean over the last time. To look forward to a holiday, sleeping in, having a few minutes to oneself free of responsibility (think soaking in a nice warm bath).

So, whatever may be the difficulty in life as a parent or a person in any circumstance in life there is something to look forward to. There is movement forward even if it is small. There is hope even in the little things.


A few days ago my father visited me. I love my father. He comes often. Mainly to check up on me. Hopefully it is not to check and observe the messes that he may see-it often feels like that. While my children were playing he reached out his hand for mine. I took it. It reminded me of my grandfather doing the same things when I was young. He would just hold my hand across the arms of the chairs. Sometimes my arm would feel heavy, since I kind of hand to reach a bit for his. It is something I will always hold dear to my heart.

While holding my hand he said something. I admit, I don’t remember. The tears were already building up, and I was speechless. I attempted to tell him I loved him too. I looked over at the girls playing in an effort to break up the awkward moment. He kept holding my hand. He mentioned that he knew things were hard, that my job was hard, and that my kids have no clue how good of a mother they have. I did remind him they are good kids. I am grateful to be their mother, even if they are a handful.

I did take a moment to thank my father and apologize for any difficulty I caused him when I was young. I thank him every year on my birthday.

While thinking about the verbal exchange I had with my father while he held my hand, I began to wonder about my own self as a parent. I try so very hard to be tender with my children. To set firm boundaries, but be loving and kind. To not let them walk all over me, and to have them help out around the house. I tell you, it is darn hard to raise little people into decent human beings. I just hope I do not mess up. And then I get to the end of the day. The part of the day where I can decide how much I will beat myself up as a parent: ” Did I do well? I am such a horrible parent? Why did I not do that? Why did I do that? I am screwing my kids up? I need to….” and then, “I can try again tomorrow. I did do this and I did do that. Maybe I am not so bad afterall.”

missing in action

I have been missing so long from this blog that I forgot my password. In fact, I forgot what platform I was using for this blog. I even forgot the name of my blog.  At this rate, I am surprised I can even remember my name. Do not even ask me about my age. This may be the last year I remember that.

One look at this blog at it is easy to tell I have not been around in months. Is that okay? I suppose it is. Who is going to fire me? Me? My kids? Heck, they don’t even know I have this. I have missed writing though. I look back at when I stopped writing and that was around the time I got really sick last year. It went through each member of the family. It was the sickest I had been in years. As I reflect back I realize that around that time I sort of gave up on some things. Projects I had in the making stopped seeing movement. This stopped having movement. Recovery from sickness seems more like a year-long recovery with life.

So, Here I am pouring out my thoughts to the world found on the web. That may or may not be better than talking to myself in the mirror.

I have quite a lot of time recently to reflect on life as a parent, as a mother, and as a single parent. I have reflected on who I am and what I want in life. I have discovered a few things about myself. I found that I am not a perfect mother. Not that I thought I was thinking I was a perfect mother before. This year has just tested every part of my sanity and ability to parent. I am still grateful to be a parent.

When I went to get gas yesterday I just sat in the car, unable to move. Life felt like it was really getting me down. After a good night’s rest I woke up today feeling a bit better. Ready to conquer what had beat me the day before. So, here I am renewing my writing. Reflecting and working through what is on my mind. Sharing and hopefully inspiring others along the way. In the meantime I have to remember that life happens. It does not always go as planned and there is always an opportunity to improve in some way. I woke up today. That is an accomplishment. I hugged and kissed my children. I fed them, and clothed them. I tried to do better than before. Will I succeed? I do not know, but I do know that I am succeeding in some way because I am still going. I have not quit.

For many parents it is a  matter of just getting through some days to try again the next. I think the hardest thing of all as a parent is not dealing with children but dealing with our own weaknesses and disappointments. How do you move on after bad relationships, financial upsets, low self-esteem, anger issues, addictions, or whatever else really holds us back? Often it is just taking it one minute at a time. Then one hour, one day, and so forth. Then start over again when needed.

The New Normal

The New Normal

Social media is great for seeing things that can be uplifting, if you are paying attention. Sometimes people share things that just lift you up or you can relate to.  In this case it was a video that someone shared. A video of a mother expressing her thoughts in regards to hopes and dreams that change when you have an autistic child. My child does not have autism. I don’t know what he has. Nobody does, but I could relate to this mother. I knew exactly what she was talking about. I recognized her pain and her struggles that she spoke about.

My son is almost twelve. When he was an infant I remember telling myself that I needed to make sure that I made life as normal as possible and to not give up going places as a family. We haven’t, but it is really hard and I am close to it.    A few years later and I thought about how my purpose in life is to just make sure he is happy.  Through the years there have been efforts to help him and teach him. Those efforts haven’t stopped but there was a moment where the concentration shifted.  Where an understanding of who he was had to take place otherwise I would be wasting energy trying to make him be something he could not be. He was simply happy and I needed to accept that he was extremely happy in his own world, in his own body. Who was I to put pressure on him, that he did not understand, to perform the way society accepts? Would it be easier if he were potty trained? Of course. Wouldn’t I love that?! However, he is not capable of that function.

Accelting my son the way he is and making my goal be to just make sure he is happy and comfortable is often met with a few blank stares. People often wonder if I am giving up instead of trying to make him normal. It is not giving up, it is more of accepting what is and living life with our new normal instead of fighting it and trying to force the a normal that will not be. This is life.

This life with my son is hard. It is also joyful. I see miracles. I see love. I feel love and growth. There are times people compliment me on my strength. I thank them. I do not always see what they see, partly because I know I could still do better.  There are times I remind people that I have two choices: to do or not to do. I chose a long time ago to do what I have to do. I am grateful I chose that route.

Each day requires energy, sacrifice, patience and love. Each day feels monotonous. The same messes to pick up, diapers to change, a life to tend to. I wouldn’t trade it though. I cannot imagine life any differently, because this is my normal.


I often feel like I hav much to learn as a parent. Every day seems to come with failed experiments. Ones in which I thought would work and yet they did not go as planned. Often though, my days still have successes. That is just a part of life. Learning and growing are a part of it.

I have been a little missing in action on this here blog thing of mine. There have been many learning moments in the last several weeks. Some days I feel as though I am succeeding and some days I go to bed wondering how I am going to make it through another day. We are all alive though.

Successful days for me include being able to keep on top of my son. Last week I was able to finally pack away all of the winter coats, gloves and boots. It felt so good. In its place were two containers that held shoes. I knew I was in trouble when my son almost immediately dumped them out so he could place the containers on the table. Really?! How could I have possibly expected my son, who likes to dump, not to dump out the shoes? Was I really expected order? I gave up! Okay, not really. I resolved to find a solution.

Several stores later I ended up at Shopko looking at their furniture. I  stopped at my favorite piece that was on sale. It looked so nice, but I was too poor.  I could not justify the expense when I could purchase another item slightly cheaper, although not as easy on the eyes.

Several minutes later I was home going through a box of furniture pieces. My kids were on top of it, and me, the whole time. They were excited thinking there was a new play toy for them. I was excited to have found a solution to my problem.

Everything went well until the second to last step. Normally I pay close attention to the directions and what side I am using but in the process of beginning the step and getting the kids out of my way I didn’t realize my mistake. Forty tiny little annoying nails later and I realized I had nailed the back onto the front. As gracefully as I could I removed those nails, and the back remained in one piece, albeit a little mangled. Eventually it was done. The doors covered up my the holes left over from my mistake. I felt accomplished. One more problem solved, and many more will come as the days go on.

Every day will bring challenges to each parent. There will be times we succeed and times we fail, and each day we hopefully get another chance to try again.

I’ve got this/I don’t got this

I’ve got this/I don’t got this

Last week I managed to come down with a nasty bug. I am not sure what it was. It was nasty. After a few miserable days I was beginning to feel only slightly better-just enough that if any of my kids got sick I would be well enough to take care of them.

It was good timing. Early Saturday morning my four year old became very ill, several times over. After I realized this was not a one time deal I set up a soft bed for her outside the bathroom and cuddled with her a bit before heading back to bed. That morning she lay on my lap along side her sister.  I thought to myself, “I’ve got this.” My confidence was high. I knew I could do that day, even though I didn’t turn out to have as much energy as I had hoped.

To get through the day I went to the store in my miserable state and purchased medicine, popsicles, ice, a little thing of soda, a Pedialite alternative and anything else I could think of that would help upset stomachs and fevers. Afterward I picked up three movies from Redbox and I was set. Set for a day on the couch with sick kids.

By the end of the day I was exhausted. I had already had several days without sleep and my sickness was seeming to get the better of me. But I had two kids well, one better and one on the mend. That night, however….

Let me tell you, if you ever tell yourself that you have got it just take a step back and remember that you may not always have it. That night my special needs son got a fever.  Great! But before I knew how bad I had to first change his diaper because he had leaked. That meant another sheet and two blankets to wash on top of the blankets from the night before. I figured at that rate I will never have an end to laundry. Oh wait, it never needs already.

Before I changed him though I had to get some bedding from the back laundry room. I did not want to wake anyone so I put the light on my phone and managed my way through the dark. Before I made it back my glasses fell off. No biggie, they had been doing that for weeks because they were broken and I was waiting for my new pair to come in. Two days prior a second screw had come out. When I picked these up off the floor the lens was out and another screw missing. Great!

It wasn’t that the screw meant much to me but that screw falling out was the end. I burst into tears. Literally. And really?! No shame though. I was sick, tired and worried about my kids. And I could not see very well.

In my blinded state, and still in the dark, I located the fever reducing medicine, the syringe to administer it, the diaper and wipes along with the thermometer. Oh yeah, I had my son’s dry clothes too.  So, I managed to make the bed and change my son’s diaper. But I couldn’t find his clothes. I knew I had just had them. Whatever! I went to grab new ones, when I returned I promptly found the other clothes. Of course! So I grabbed those, the medicine and the thermometer. I wanted to have them nearby. I got him dressed. I gave him the medicine. But where was he thermometer? Really?! Really?! By that point I was feeling quite incompetent. I figured if there was an audience they would probably be laughing because I couldn’t keep track of anything. After a quick search I found it and took his temperature. Way too high for comfort. So, I sat with my phone questioning if I should call the doctor and doing research online to see if I was crazy or not.

It turns out I am not crazy. My son’s fever was down by morning and he is fine. My new glasses came in a day later and my children are all on the mend if not well.

But I think about that night, not so long ago. I didn’t feel like I had it. I did. Somehow that one little screw was the last little thing to make the big things seem like too much. We all get those. We all have those little things that seem to break us and bring us to tears or to our knees. We survive though, even if we think we will not. We hang in there and keep going even when we do not see an end. I keep going. I do not give myself another option. Anyone can do the same. Is it hard? Sure. Will you cry? Probably and possibly-that is okay. You’ve got this.  I’ve got this. We’ve got this.