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:
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.
There are some things you expect to deal with when your child has special health care needs, but some things take you by surprise. One thing that took us by surprise was body odor.