Ahhh… the art and science of balance. I have 4 children older than Little Miss, my child with special needs. I was recently watching home videos and was dismayed! Because we’ve lived under the how-long-will-we-have-her cloud, we have erred on the side of under-filming our other children! Watching those films I also see that we basically tried to keep them out of the way while we filmed her. Pain abounds.
This is not a new revelation. I resisted it for a long time but finally realized this some time ago. I knew changes had to be made. Balance was necessary so Little Miss could be pulled out of her position as “the sun” and join the other family members in orbit. She had to become one of the planets. She cannot be the one thing we constantly revolve around. There are times it cannot be avoided, as when we are going to the hospital. Accepting that and yet looking for balance the other times is key to our family’s well-being, and key to the well-being of each individual within the family.
We consciously made some adjustments in our lives:
- After a few years in the multiple-therapies orbit, we landed our ship and stopped therapies for 3 years. It was a difficult decision and not made lightly.
- We deliberately schedule 1:1 time with our other children. This takes many forms.
- We stopped indulging Little Miss’s whims (well not entirely) and introduced limits.
- I began finding alone time for myself and time with friends.
I am forever charting our planets’ locations and seeing who is in orbit and who is the sun. I want to convert us from a planetary system to something else…. a family with affirming, loving, fun relationships , everyone receiving discipline and opportunity. I fail and try again, reminding myself that I’m a good enough mother. That’s all any of us can be, I think.
Good enough + consistency is what kids need most I’m told. That is my goal.