Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

The Honest Answer to “How Are You?”

12/14/2016 | Published by: Kelly Mastin

First, know that I love my life and my family. Our lives are full of challenges, but my heart is happy.

You may have noticed that I’m always smiling. You may have gotten used to my usual “Fine, how are you?” response when you greet me. It would be easy to assume that I have it all together, that I don’t need any help.

The truth is, if I told you what was truly in my heart and mind, every conversation would be heavy. They would never be very lighthearted. Never.

You see, the reality is, my life is tough. Each day brings difficult decisions and hard work. Sometimes getting out the door for school includes lots of things you couldn’t begin to imagine. The size of my worries and the weight of my thoughts are probably more than you want to know.

I fear being honest with you. I’m afraid you would stop calling. I worry I’d look like less of a loving mom to you if I let you in on my struggles.

So when you ask me how I’m doing and I respond that I’m doing “fine,” always know that I’m not telling the whole story—I’m tired and worried.  A lot of the everyday things of life and homemaking are going undone while I do the extras of caring for a child with special health care needs.

Anytime I give you a “fine” or a “good,” realize that there are things that I need or that would make life a little easier. Consider doing some of these easy, low-cost things for me or others who live exhausting lives:

  • Invite me for coffee
  • Offer to do my laundry
  • Bring my family dinner
  • Give me gift cards to restaurants
  • Offer to come clean with me (or for me)
  • Bring me some paper plates and napkins and plastic ware, giving me permission not to do dishes for a few days
  • Offer to keep the kids while I nap or go on an outing with my spouse
  • Wash my car or fill it with gas or get it serviced
  • Call to get my grocery list and shop for me
  • Buy me some comfy new pajamas
  • Drop off a drive-thru lunch (call right when you are ordering)

So yes, I’m holding back. Yes, I’m exhausted, and there are things that I need and things that I don’t tell you. I need your friendship and appreciate your support. You tie me to the rest of the world and help make my life doable. But also know that I’m doing well and will continue to hang in there.

You can find additional information on managing daily life on this website.

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