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Remembering Priorities When Your Baby Is Sick

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First, when I say baby I’m talking about my soon to be three year old daughter, and I imagine mothers with adult children still consider them their “babies”.  If anything seems out of sort with your baby you are immediately attuned, playing detective, texting or calling all of your resources to figure out what “it” could be. Don’t get me wrong- you definitely have those thoughts such as “great, how am I going to do this”, “am I doing it right”, “I don’t want to do this”, etc…  However, at the end of the day (if you’re lucky enough for it to be one day only) you are reminded of what really matters in your crazy, hectic life.

This is how my story went the last couple of days: I was going about my life as usual re-writing my never ending to do lists of work tasks, bills to pay, groceries to buy, phone calls to make , emails to return, interrupted here and there by the infamous Facebook check, linked-in acceptance, or a quick sneak onto my “happy street” game (I swear it’s a reinforcer for one my clients)!  I finally got the kids and myself fed, our nanny arrived, and we had a great idea to take the girls to the gym playroom while we worked out.

I went to pick up my 3 year old to get her moving with her shoes and coat, and immediately felt the difference in temperature on her back. I instinctively moved my hand to her head– yep she was hot. The nanny checked. We knew. I took her temperature and sure enough she had a fever (although there were no other obvious symptoms).

At that moment all I cared about and thought about was making sure she was ok. All at once the overwhelming and ongoing to do list was not a thought in my head. I wasn’t worried about who said what and/or why or when. This thought the night I laid in bed just cuddling my daughter (who turned out had strep) inspired me to write this blog because I imagine many of the families I work with feel this way. In fact, I know several who not only feel this way, but live this way!  They quickly are acting as fact finding detectives in the medical field, educational field, and the list goes on and on. Many of them are the most direct parents I’ve met because they are practiced advocates for their children. A quick google search yields blog after blog of parents struggling with finding a healthy balance:

   http://lilybrose1948.blogspot.com/2013/05/autism-mom-finding-balance.html?m=1

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/05/02/Autistic-children-families-need-priorities/UPI-56381304394917/

If anything I hope this is a reminder to professionals to remember that the parents we are working with have a lot on their plate. Sometimes, we may be the first break they get all day (and usually that break is used to organize some other part of their child’s life). I will try to remember how I felt when my own daughter needed me to drop everything. Some of my friends’ concerns on Facebook seemed silly in comparison. Parents need a break and balance. We all do! I hope the work I do within their homes and with their child gives them the short and long term break they need and deserve :)

 

~Tammy


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