For the past 3 years we have been running from appointment to appointment without much of a break. We were muddling through the days as a family but really wanted more time for spur of the moment activities. Our schedule took a turn for the better when we made a family decision to slow down over the holidays and carried that decision into this year. Recently, though, I've just sort of lost my knack for remembering things.
Oh, it's not that I don't remember that we have appointments - they are clearly marked on the kitchen calendar. It's more that I don't remember the day of the week or the date of the month each morning when I wake up. Lately I have been relying on and am extremely thankful for my support group of family and friends that remind me of upcoming events because without those reminders I sometimes wind up missing them despite my best of intentions. (A special thank you to Heather for reminding me that today is in fact the 12th of the month and not the 10th like I thought!)
I've been thinking back to the initial appointments to get Emma's medical diagnosis and that the one thing we heard over and over again is do you have a strong support system in place. Are family and friends near by to help you out? I now know why that question was brought up so frequently.
Raising children requires a lot of love, hard work and dedication. Raising a child with special needs requires all of this plus an extra-large dose of stamina. I didn't fully realize how much we would need our support system until rather recently and it has me thinking that perhaps I need to do some work building up our supports. I think I need to reach out more and ask for help. Just this week a mother pushing a stroller asked me to go a tad bit out of my way and open a door and of course I willingly obliged. It occured to that her request was so simple and, yet, I have very infrequently asked something this simple of others - even when I am pushing a wheelchair, rolling a gait trainer behind me and managing the two girls it doesn't usually occur to me to ask others for a bit of help. And now I'm thinking it's very silly of me, indeed, not to ask for a bit of help when I need it!
My fiercely independent streak does not always work in my favor. We, as humans, are interdependent on each other and I am going to make it my goal to begin to ask for help when I clearly need it. I believe taking this first step will not only solidify my existing support network but also broaden it.
While I'm working on asking for more help, I'd love to hear tidbits of wisdom from those of you who have mastered the fine art of calling in the troops for support. Feel free to share them in the comments section. Thanks!