This week we received some bittersweet news from my husband’s employer, in the form of a change in the out-of-town job he’s been supervising. It would require he stay on the job site for 45 days or longer, instead of the one week on and one week off it’s been this month. While I’m glad he not only has a job in this economy, but is also afforded opportunities for more hours and better pay, his absence is felt very strongly at home. I’m sure other households with special kids can relate when one caregiver must be absent for long periods of time. Heck, any family with one parent who takes business trips can understand.
This reminds me of a few things. First, I sympathize with my mother even more. There was always a baby in the house, and for several of my Elementary years, my father took numerous business trips and was away a lot. There were anywhere from 4 to 6 children at the time, and my mother, amazing as she is, cannot have gotten through that unscathed. I know I wouldn't have.
I’m also reminded, as I am anytime my husband is gone, how much he does when he’s here, and how much I should appreciate his support. I know I don’t do that enough when he’s home.
That all being said, I think as parents of special kids, we understand how isolating it can be to care for them. I have read so many blogs and comments from parents that we feel so alone sometimes. The lack of resources just touches the surface. Sometimes there are family members and friends who just don’t get it, and we get tired of explaining all the time. (My cousin commented on this on Facebook recently, and it kind of inspired this post.)
I suppose if this is our lot in life, we need to be our own advocates for the support we need, and our own researchers of resources. And we need to band together to gain strength from each other. It’s a long, hard road to travel, caring for special kids and all the joy and heartache that brings with it.