Submitted by Zoe Withers
I had so many plans, but they all went by the wayside when I got sick (and I mean really sick) recently. As a co-founder at ThinkBaby.org, I regularily devote time to writing and cultivating articles for our readers on a wide variety of topics related to children including baby gear, feeding babies, and recipes. Readers appreciate that we provide thoughts about a lot of things which you can see when you scan some of our most recent stories which included thoughts on things like healthy toddler sleep habits, toddler play, and comparing free-style vs. forced parenting.
Being sick was no fun, and I hope I'm never that sick again, but some unexpected good did come from it.
It turned out to be a good opportunity for our kids to bond and interact with both sets of grandparents who were nice enough to swoop in and take care of them whilst I was completely out of action, and my husband was working. I'm grateful that they were willing to keep our house together and our kids fed, bathed, nurtured and loved during the last weeks.
Thankfully I'm feeling great again and am back at it; managing the kids, the house, the web site, and the work. Check out my latest story: Infertility & TTC: Why Self-Love is the Most Important Thing.
Submitted by Maggie
I love Facebook. It lets me catch up with old friends, share news, and learn more about the world - even fake news. But Facebook becomes the enemy when I read about the accomplishments of my friends’ children. Though I delight in their news and smile at their many accomplishments, I feel envy and a touch of exasperation - this could have been my child.
Our son Daniel is on the autism spectrum. At age two he was diagnosed for PDD/autism and began a long road of intensive therapy and development. This forced a decision on my husband and me; who would stay at home to become his full time caregiver, therapy administrator, and advocate? My husband, Dave, volunteered to take on that role. It's a role that all the training in the world never prepares you for; staying home with a special needs child. I continued working, and thankfully I was capable of taking on the role of breadwinner.
Daniel is now 21 years old and has very limited communication skills. When he is able to connect daily events and report back on a day’s activities, I want to post about it and sing his praises. But I fear that his stories about stocking candies at Walgreens and spotting rainbows, which are delivered in one-two word sentences, might sound trivial and banal to the average Facebook friend even though we know the effort required for him might be equivalent to another child making the honor roll. When he's able to make a connection and tell us about it, it brings a level of joy I wish I could share with others, but I get that most wouldn't understand or appreciate it.
There is a poem that I keep close and read often. It’s called Welcome to Holland, and it speaks about raising a special needs child and the different experiences you discover along the way. The experiences are different than what you probably expected, but not at all bad.
A mother once told me that the secret to parenting is to be long on patience while maintaining a sense of humor. Special needs parents also need to persevere in a way that most parents can't understand. This means looking for the "honor roll accomplishment" in everything that their special needs child does. It may not be Facebook material, but it certainly is wonderful for me,
Submitted by Jim Haselmaier
Managing personal and professional obligations is a challenge on a good day. When unexpected complications pop up it gets even harder to keep everything and everyone on track. You probably know what I mean; a meeting that runs late, a call from the school, realizing that you've got two different colored socks on as you prepare to meet with your customer, or, a family member that gets sick.
When someone gets sick at home, the challenges can mushroom into even more problems if other family members end up with the bug. And being sick yourself is often the worst because, in addition to feeling lousy, you start to fall behind at work and at home as the ratio of "doers" (aka "parents") to those needing attention (aka "kids") gets out of whack.
Submitted by Jim Haselmaier
When our first child was about six months old and we were in the throes of being new parents, I started feeling weird. I didn't exactly feel sick, it was more like I was feeling really stressed out and anxious. I was pretty worried that there was something seriously wrong, so I went to see a doctor.
Based on the doctor's questions, it became apparent that my "illness" was stress; we had a new baby and my job was intense. The doctor also helped me recognize that my coffee consumption had gone way up. His suggested remedy: Cut down on the coffee; Try to get more sleep; And take a stress management class.
So a couple of weeks later, I'm in a large conference room at the local hospital attending my first stress management class. As I'm contemplating the info the instructor is sharing, the phone on the wall rings. (There were no cell phones back then.) The instructor stops instructing the class, answers the phone, and the room quiets as everyone listens to her end of the conversation. Then she turns to the class and asks, "Is Jim Haselmaier here?" I raised my hand. She says "Your wife and daughter are in the emergency room downstairs."