Friday, May 17, 2013

Big Changes

There have been a few times in the past that my life has changed dramatically.  I remember when Kim broke her leg and I had to stay with the mean neighbors.  My world was shattered and I don't think I have ever completely recovered.  Then when Kim got hit by the truck, I blamed myself for the longest time (probably still do) and I also started to be afraid of things that hadn't previously scared me.  I've always taken on the role of caretaker.  When Kim was in college, it was I who make sure her phone was plugged in to charge every single night, and it was I who asked her every morning, "Do you have your phone?" when I probably wasn't even awake yet.  Each night after I did my solitary 400 jumping jacks in the living room, I'd walk through the house and make sure the floors in front of each door were cleared so that if we all had to escape the house in the night, we'd be able to get out quickly. 

Even now I feel like so much rests on me.  So much responsibility is my responsibility.  I have three children each with needs that are out of the ordinary.  Not a single one of them is an easy child.  Sure, there are parts of each of them that are easy, but other parts are hard.  I have the responsibility of driving my husband everywhere he needs to go, and even though I love it, it's a time commitment and a responsibility that I am not willing to delegate to anyone else, mostly because I am afraid someone else will involve him in a wreck and he won't ever come home again.

The medical care of each child in this home rests on me, and they each have their challenges.  Ilse, obviously, has the most, but Joey has some health issues too.  And Chris has ear issues and emotional issues (Joey does, too).  We also watch Chris' blood pressure, although that seems to be resolving itself. 

Tim needs surgery and I am simultaneously looking forward to it (because the goal is less pain for him) and dreading it (because there will be rehab, hospitals, waiting rooms, babysitters, etc..  I'm a pro at hospitals (or so I tell myself) but I despise waiting rooms, and rehab means more driving.

So, I've been looking for ways to simplify our lives so that my stress level and responsibility level comes down to more what a cardiovascular surgeon might experience instead of what a Navy Seal in a war zone would experience. 

I've found lots of ways.  I'm looking for a nurse who will truly make me feel relaxed the few hours a week she comes to take care of Ilse and give me respite.  I think we might have found one!  We started eating low carb and so I have more energy.  I've started sleeping much better, longer, and deeper.  I've been more connected with new friends who understand my lifestyle and emotional needs.  Hope's Seed has been a tremendous blessing to me and others.

And now, my life is going to change in even a more dramatic way.  We've decided to send the boys to school.  I guess that seems horrible to some, but we know it is the right choice, at least for now.  It might be temporary or it might be permanent.  We don't know and we are going to take it as it comes.  This is the right choice for their education and for their future.  It will be a huge adjustment for them, though, and it will be hard for all of us.  Ilse will miss her brothers, I'll miss them, (and their help!) and even the boys will probably feel insecure and their behavior will probably regress.  We're going to work through it, though, because we believe this will be for the best.

I've never been a mom to a baby only before.  My days will seem strange!  I went from just being alone all the time during the day, to being a mom to two wild boys, to being a pregnant mom to two less wild boys, and then to being a mom with a medically fragile child and two unbelievably wonderful boys.  I told Tim that I'm not sure how to be a public school mom.  I'm not sure how to be a mom to one child during the day.  How do you even go shopping with one child?  She's not really sitting up, so I guess I will be pushing a stroller and pulling a basket, which was dramatic the few times I've done it.  I think I'll feel like I'm forgetting something/someone for a long time.  But, this is one area I need to let go of being the caretaker of, and let someone else bear the daily responsibility for carrying out their education.

I hope we'll all adjust with a minimum of difficulty and pain.

We know the Lord is with us, guiding our decisions.

And we're thankful for the insight and peace He gave us as we made this decision.


  1. I think God is guiding your footsteps !!! I know it might seem hard but I am praying that all works out for your family.

    Signed amazingly talented Shelley

  2. Em's have you considered starting them now instead of the fall, so they know what to expect, and will not be scared all summer of the mystery of school?

    1. They don't seem scared, thankfully. They took it really well and are cautiously excited. Tim wants them to have a good summer before school starts and says he doesn't want to send them just to have parties and watch movies these last three weeks of school. They know school starts at the end of August and I think it'd throw them for a huge loop to move it up, lol.

  3. I'm excited to see how this next phase of life goes for y'all. I can see that the stress of having to "do it all" must seem overwhelming. You are such a good wife & mommy. I think that y'all sending the boys to school will have many positive advantages. For shopping alone with just Ilse...have you ever done/could you do "baby-wearing?" Even though she is not an infant anymore there are still many carriers (we have a BabyHawk that I LOVE) that allow up to toddler sized children to be carried comfortably. When I would shop with the boys I almost always had Eli in his carrier. Probably up 'til about 2 years old. And on family trips (zoo, museum, etc) when Johnathan would get too tired of walking and Eli was in the stroller I'd carry him...that was up 'til he was about 4! Anyways, not sure if that would be an option or not, but thought I'd let you know a possibility! :-) I love reading about your precious family!

    Blessings, Grace

  4. P.S. I also do a lot of "stroller shopping"...I just use my stroller for keeping Eli in it and put my groceries in the basket below. No one has ever said anything to me about it. I also take advantage of those reusable grocery bags if there isn't enough room in the stroller basket. I'll carry a re-usable bag on each arm and have the stroller basket filled. You could do this when shopping for less bulky items. There are times tho when you just need a grocery cart!


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