Pam Halter
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Parents Blog

Keeping it Together - part six
2/10/2014 8:20:16 AM by: pam

This week, I want to share both mine and my husband's perspective on the Division of Duties, as we call it.

PAM:  I work from home, so most of Anna's care falls on my shoulders. We are fortunate Daryl has a job with benefits that supports our family without me having to go out to work. When I was pregnant with Anna, we made the decision I would stay home with her. We had no idea how sick she would be, so it turned out to be a good decision. I know and understand Daryl can't simply leave his job (he's a public school teacher) anytime he wants, but having the majority of not only Anna's care at home, but also all the doctor's appointments and emergency runs to school and the hospital get the best of me some days. I resent the responsibility most of the time. I'm weary in body and mind and I'm tired of doing it all by myself.

Daryl knows this and there are times he takes off work to go with me, especially when we are seeing a new doctor. And he has always met me at the hospital if he's not home when there's been an emergency. I can't tell you how important it is to have him there during times like that. We take turns getting something to eat or use the bathroom. An ER visit typically runs 4-5 hours. It is physically tiring as well as mentally exhausting. Yes, childcare is usually a mother's job, but the father's support makes it bearable.

I'm also thankful Daryl is the type of husband who not only supports my writing, but he also encourages me to attend conferences and workshops. Between him and our respite care workers, I am able to pursue my career and get a break every so often. It keeps me from going completely crazy under the enormous weight of Anna's care.

Husbands, your wives need your support and help. Wives, allow him to assist you, even if he doesn't do things the same way. If you work together, you'll find you balance each other out and the load will be lighter.

DARYL:  I'm the second team player stepping up from the bench in the caregiver dept. I'm the one to take over or step in when I come home from work. Taking Anna to the bathroom, getting another cup of juice, filling her snack bowl. These things don't seem to take a lot of effort but sometimes after a full day of work, I just don't feel like it.  Husbands, keep in mind your wife might not feel like it either and where would you stand if you both reach that point at the same time? Annoyance, frustration, resentment. All because of the selfish sinful beings we are. That's right; it's my sinful nature that gets in the way of being a servant. Anna interferes with my schedule, my time for me. Yep, that's selfish me. And Anna's timing for interrupting is impeccable.

So what do I do?  Take a breath and try my best to serve. Anna doesn't plan; she just does what she wants when she wants and lives outside of our worries and cares. It requires patience that I just don't have some days. But I press on, and God provides the strength at times and sometimes the kick in the pants to remind me I need to care for the child he has given me whether I want to or not.

And don’t forget the little things for your wife. When you can, do something your wife usually does without her asking.  Clear or do the dishes. Do the laundry, run the vacuum cleaner, something. If you're not sure just ask. You might be surprised how easy it is and sometimes the answer is, "nothing right now."  Your wife needs to know you are there to help even when she may not need it just that minute.

Together, we say, "The key here is communication. Don't carry all burdens yourself. Drop your pride and ask for help."

Galatians 5:13 "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love."

 


Comments

Ann Marie From At 2/10/2014 2:14:42 PM

Pam & Darryl ~ So true for all parents whether their child is special needs or not. I think you both bring out a crucial point ~ the necessity to ask for & accept help, as well as to remember to ask the other if they could use help. That glass of wine that you didn't pour can mean so much!!

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