chris, colleen, life, organizing, Ryan

Graciously accepting help

I was just thinking this morning that this is one of the lessons I’ve had to learn. I’ve been thinking about, what are the things I’ve had to learn in this walk we’ve been on in life? Graciously accepting help, though I’ve not yet gotten very good as ASKING for help; accepting my limitations; and not being a perfectionist. There’s probably more, but that’s a start.

Years ago I made this web site: . Beth D. if you’re reading, I’m sure you remember helping me with this way back on Geocities in ’97!!! All the tables and everything for HTML coding. But I felt so guilty that I could not follow it. And I did not want to ask for help.

I simply thought I wasn’t organized enough, good enough, to get all this done along with working outside the home or at home, whichever I was doing at the time. I did stay home for 2 years – 2004-2006, but during that time Chris was hospitalized about 4 times, Ryan was just over being a toddler and still very hyperactive (he was not on meds yet most of that time) and then we also moved. So my plans for Better Homes and Gardens were not fulfilled then, either.

It has taken me a while, but I’ve learned that I do need some help. My day pretty much now consists of, organizing some laundry and washing some in the morning about 4:30 a.m., then getting the two kids still home off to school, and then trying to get a plan for the day. I’m either working or running errands/doing family paperwork. With three children with special needs there’s a lot. I’ll try and have some plan for dinner.

About 3:15 I either stop working or get home from errands or whatever, and stack dishes for washing. We do a lot of cooking at home from scratch so have TONS of dishes and don’t have a dishwasher. I used to feel guilty that I didn’t have them done – now I stack them neatly and rinse them. Wipe off the table (usually!) and make sure the stove’s clean. Then Ryan comes home and his aide Paula comes. She works 20 hours a week and is provided through his Medicaid. What a blessing she is!

She works with Ryan then and usually I start working again or completing whatever project I’ve been working on (I’ve had tons of paperwork projects lately for Chris/family/taxes, etc. that are necessary). I’ll do a few sinkfuls of dishes as well but Paula always goes and finishes them. I have learned to not feel guilty about that. Her help enables me to get my projects done faster. I also make dinner and we take time to eat at the TABLE! (Something we also weren’t so good at doing!)

Often Rog helps me with some dishes as well or helps get laundry together in bins to take downstairs. He also helps take the garbage out and mops floors. We work as a team. He also works like 24 hours a day – ha ha, not really kidding! No, probably 12 hours a day.

We’re just getting Colleen on a schedule – she has to take all dishes left out of the kitchen into the kitchen, wipe surfaces, clean her room, and make her bed. Ryan is next.

So we’re working on all this. I had to realize I couldn’t do everything myself, and give up that control.

I also needed to realize I needed help with Chris. I felt bad I couldn’t continue to handle all three kids and the job and the housework. He was becoming trapped in the house with us not having the manpower/wisdom/strength to provide him the structure/instruction he needed to go about things safely. He ended up in the creek across the street several times last summer and then was just pretty much locked in the house except when he went to school or grocery store. Now he has supervised outings to dances, basketball playing, swimming, and has 5-6 people sometimes to interact with!!! I miss him very much but know he’s living an active fulfilled life now!!


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