It can be frustrating caring for a loved one with special needs. Depending on the severity of the injury the needs can be demanding. In addition to the demanding needs of your loved one you have other responsibilities.
Let’s be honest. Being a caregiver is challenging.
You don’t complain. You don’t want to complain. You love this person and want to take care of them. Not having them in your home to care for is not even an option; although others give you reasons to justify placing them in a group home, where they will thrive, according to those suggesting it.
People mean to be helpful and encouraging; but, in the end they are not in your shoes and cannot make that decision. You and your spouse/partner have to make that decision if you have a child with special needs; which is what we have.
Our family was living a normal life just like everyone else. We had two young sons; one 3 year old and one 15 month old. That all changed on a March day in 1989. Our 15 month old became deathly ill with spinal meningitis. The doctors were not expecting him to live through the night; but our son’s courage and will to live, along with prayers of people around the world, helped him survive.
After six weeks in the hospital I did whatever I could to please the doctors, so we could take him home and get on with our lives
From that point on my life goal was to keep our family as “normal” as possible; having a severely mental and physically handicapped child. That was tough; but, we did it, and I believe our family turned out pretty good and is quite normal.
So, you see, I know what it means to have the responsibility of caregiver for someone unable to care for him or herself. For 18 plus years I was the primary caregiver; but, everyone in our home, including siblings learned to help feed their brother and take care of him. Eventually we did have nursing come in and help: but that has become hit or miss over the years.
I say all that to get to this point. There are times that you will be frustrated. It is sort of like having an infant in the home for the duration of your life. You have other responsibilities: your home, meals, work, etc. in addition to being a caregiver.
How do you go about your day without being overwhelmed?
Very patientlyand realistically.
Sure you will get frustrated. You may even feel as if you are going to “lose it” some of the time. That’s okay, too; as long as you don’t stay there. Let the frustration out and move on.
When the overwhelming happens I find it helps to tell myself to relax and prioritize. Sometimes I say it out loud; other times it’s just in my head. If my son needs more of my attention I just remind myself of the reason I work from home: for the freedom to make my own schedule. Instead of working when I planned, I can do it later when he is not so needy. That was not easy to do. I had to learn to accept it was okay to postpone my work. I was not avoiding my work; I just scheduled it for later in the day.
Now, in all honesty, I don’t do that all the time. When frustration sets in, get over it as soon as possible, and get past it.
Give yourself some grace and move forward.
There are many learning points in our own lives when we are caregivers. Be alert to these times of learning. Allow yourself to develop into a beautiful person that can encourage others in their journey.
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