Saturday, June 26, 2010

Parent perspective....

As a stay at home mom of a EXTRA special little girl, I know that my perspective of things is a lot different than my hubby's. He has a job that he goes to everyday, friends he works with, people he deals with. Much like "normal" people. I, on the other hand, spend 99.9% of my life with a six year old little girl who can barely talk and understands only simple things in life. My concerns are...is she safe, is she happy, am I setting a good example for her, am I leading her on the right path, am I providing her with the right stimulation/learning experiences, did I spend enough time stretching her. Not the things that most people worry about.
My life is consumed...but I am NOT complaining. It's my responsibility! I am OK with it.
But for Carl it's different. He sees himself as other things besides the dad of a special needs child. He still wants to go do things that we used to do before she was born. Hiking, camping, overnights at the beach, swimming at the lake until late at night.
It's hard for him to NOT be able to go do those things. He is a GOOD sport, believe me, but sometimes I can see him wearing down under the monotony of our days.
I do miss those things, but I don't ache to do them like he does. So this weekend, he has gone camping with his best friend from school and his little boy. They are planning to do some fishing, something that Carl really misses.
I am happy that he is getting out and having carefree fun...but I miss him and worry about all kinds of potential problems. I hope this gives him a little boost and gets him refreshed to come back to life.

9 comments:

The Henrys said...

Candace, I so understand what you are saying. I see Hank feeling the same way. I think it is important for every parent to get away and enjoy some time as just a person, not mom or dad. I always come back refreshed and feeling good. Sadly, we don't get to do this much.

It's great that you encouraged Carl to get away and hopefully he will come home feeling refreshed! Maybe you should take the time next? =)

Mo said...

It's a balance for sure, and a hard balance at that. We both would like to do more here at this house too. I could talk to you for hours about this and I understand where you are coming from. But special you are for allowing your hubby the time he needs...

Alicia said...

Yup, right there along with you. My hubby embraces this special life we live with Marissa but he longs for the old activities. Gun range, fishing, playing guitar with buddies... He does get out to do these things, but not as often as he wants to or deserves to. How interesting it is to know how differently we and our spouses deal with this different family life.

Jean said...

Really good post. I can certainly relate!
Like you, I've given up my career to care for my autistic son and his NT big brother and sister. Tough, tiring but I wouldn't have it any other way.
My husband is a great Dad, but he's taken to cycling with a passion since our son was diagnosed, and I feel if that's what it takes to help him cope, then so be it.
There can be a few wobbles on the road to finding a balance tho.
XXX

Jen said...

I know exactly what you are saying. My husband rarely gets out to do the things that he used to do and loves (nor do i for that matter!) but he also knows it is only for a few years until the children are older and we can all do it together. In the meantime we do our best to get 'me time' however brief, just to keep us grounded and functioning:) I hope Carl has a great time :) Jen.

Jo said...

Candace, I completely understand. I too am a work - at - home mom so that I can take care of Monkey's needs. Hubby is first and foremost a wonderful daddy, but he has - and wants - other identities as well. Don't get me wrong - as much as I love taking care of Monkey and there's nothing I would rather do, I do sometimes yearn to do the things I did and wanted to do before I became Monkey's mom.
I think there needs to be a balance for any parent, but even more so for parents of children with special needs. Yes, our husbands need a break, but so do we. Our job is as difficult as it is wonderful, and we need to recharge.

April said...

I hope he a wonderful weekend! I'm sure he missed you both and will be ready to dive back in!
Love you!!

Katy said...

I think it's always harder for men to adapt their lives to their children's needs.

I let Hubby have his time off, floating down the river every summer--we all need a break every once and a while (that includes you, mama!)

Cjengo said...

I very much understand this. Mike is in a HUGE funk because of our issues with Jude. He stays home all day, and I think he is almost jealous I get to go to work (trust me I would rather change positions), It's hard not being able to do the things you loved so much. I also find it very annoying that friends and family do not understand that you cannot just drop everything and go to dinner, etc.