Raise your hand if life has ever felt overwhelming. Raise your hand if you feel overwhelmed right now! Life is hard. It is busy and full of demands.
As a mom to kids with disabilities, I often feel like I’m drowning in the stresses of life. It is hard to accomplish much when I feel like I’m just fighting to breathe or to drag myself out of the bed in the morning.
But it helps me to step back, take a look at life, and come up with a plan to keep moving forward. While I sometimes struggle with making plans or setting goals that are too lofty, I have learned that setting reasonable goals for myself and my family is a better approach.
Here are some goals for me and my family to accomplish each month. Perhaps my list will encourage you to set some monthly goals for your family, as well.
Friendship and social life are so important to our overall health. Plan something and do it.
This is important for several reasons. It is vital that we all keep the mindset of always learning. As a family living with disabilities, there are always things we need to learn. I attend at least one training a month on disability, advocacy, or special education. It can be in-person or an online webinar.
We are always working towards more independence, and we must be deliberate about it. I might add a small step like helping them push a drawer closed or holding their own cup for a couple of drinks. One month I might add taking their plate to the kitchen; the next month, putting the plate in the sink; then rinsing the plate. I might set a goal to show some effort on their part when I’m pulling a shirt over their head. Keep the goal small and attainable.
Again, this can be something small. Maybe it’s a sock drawer, cookie sheets, or the glove compartment in my car. But do something to help the clutter and chaos.
It is so fulfilling. I like to make a meal for an ill friend or buy a fountain drink for the teacher at school. Volunteering fits into this category, too. When my life is difficult, it helps me to deliberately turn my sights to others each month.
As you see, these goals do not need to be lofty and grandiose. Remember to make a plan that works for you and to set goals that are meaningful to your family – they should be very different than mine. Always be ready to edit the plan when necessary. Be sure to give yourself grace when you miss the target.
After making the difficult decision to medicate your child, with time and on occasions, old symptoms return or new ones appear. Once again, you’re faced with what felt like an already-made decision - to medicate higher or more, or not.