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Then there are days when we have meltdowns, Mom and Dad included. There are days when we feel like we can’t do this anymore or are we sure we even want to do this??? Wouldn’t it be easier just to put your kid on a bus and let the Public School handle all of these issues and challenges we face daily?
Giving up would be the easiest route. Letting someone else take control while we sit back and enjoy the few peaceful hours that we don’t have to handle all these things. Only then the phone rings asking us to come in because our child has had a meltdown and punched Johnny. Or Emmalee has a migraine and needs to come home (yes this has actually happened to us). So in the end, we’re still having to handle all the things we started with.
Challenges happen every day in life. Some challenges are huge and some much smaller. Some seem huge when they aren’t at all. But all challenges teach us some important lesson in life though we may not realize it until much later.
Each challenge presents a different result and needs a different way to be handled so I cannot tell you exactly how to handle the challenges presented to you personally but I can tell you what I do to overcome the many challenges I face in my days.
Pray. Prayer always starts how I handle my day to day challenges. Sometimes it’s a quick prayer: “Father, please make this happen.” “Father, please allow things to go smoothly today.” Sometimes it’s a more in depth prayer that lasts through out my day. But no matter, prayer is always the best way to deal with my challenges.
Then I evaluate what’s going on. The baby is crying and whining all day. Does he need a nap? Diaper changed? Sensory overload? Should we cuddle or is touch too much for him as well? (Sometimes he cannot stand to be held and other times he craves it and doesn’t realize that’s just what he needs.)
Why is Laycie extra whiny today? Does she need an extra snack because she’s growing? Did she even eat with her medication this morning? Perhaps she needs some down time. Maybe the task is too hard for her to complete yet.
All these things are challenges that I must determine and answer. Sometimes the answer is easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to figure out. Deduction and evaluation of my children is one way I handle our daily challenges and let me tell you, no one knows your children better than you do!
Then there are challenges of cleaning, teaching, keeping up with the Jones. Well, first thing I did was throw out the competition with the neighbors, exes and other homeschool families. This is my family and we have to compete with no one. We do things on our time, in the way that best fits us and that’s perfectly fine. Sure I occasionally find myself falling back to the old way of society says but then I stop and remind myself that society is not important. God and His plan for my family is most important to me.
Cleaning: this is managed by setting schedules which sometimes do fall to the wayside. There are many great apps and programs to help you stay on track. That one Lady has been a lifesaver to me at times and I’m fixing to get back to that myself. You have to find what works best for you, be it motivation programs, or things that list the job task to task.
Teaching: When life is in chaos, this becomes another challenge. I’ve suggested some ways to deal with teaching when you are facing these challenges in my previous posts for this blog hop. Make things easy on yourself. Teach curriculum that allows you to educate more than one child at a time. Use materials that simplify instead of over exert you. Teach your child educational independence too, so they can do the work on their own and learn with minimal input from you. Educators outside of Elementary to High School age don’t hold our hands. We’re expected to do it all on our own with little input from them. It’s okay to let your child do the same if they are able. It’s actually a skill they’ll use throughout their lifetime.
Organize: I have a hard time with this myself but when everything is in it’s place, it really does help our lives run smoother. Keep your curriculum in the same place every day so it’s easier for you to access. This will make you want to teach and make learning easier for your children. Same with the rest of the house. When your children can find their clothing, they can get out the door for appointments faster. When your kitchen is organized, cooking is more efficient. You also have more time for family time and bonding with each other.
When challenges become too much, take time to reevaluate your home and life. Take time off from school to relax and just be together as a family. Go camping, or just to the park. Change the pace. Take a look at what small things you can do to make things flow better for your home and life and then make those changes.
Challenges face all of us. They aren’t the end of the world, though sometimes they surely feel that way. Challenges just require us taking time to figure them out in order to overcome them. Once we do, things fall into place again until the next challenge comes along and then you start the process all over again.
Remember with Christ you can do anything!
P.S. This is the final post in the 5 Days of Homeschooling with Epilepsy and Other Issues series. We hope you have been blessed by our thoughts on these topics and have enjoyed this glimpse into our life. Please take a look at our other posts it the series and may God bless you in your journey as He has us in our own.
Last week, I was at my wits end trying to find something to write about on our little blog. My brain was just blocked. No ideas would come. I was seriously about to give up on this writing thing and just give y’all nice little Wordless Wednesday Images and reviews for the rest of my blogging career.
But God, wouldn’t have it! He wants me to write. He’s given me a voice for a reason. To share, to teach, to show others our life.
Recently, I was on Facebook as I often am throughout my day, and my attention was drawn to several posts within private groups that I am in. Those responses generated messages in my private inbox from those who wished to know our story a bit better. And since I love to talk and share, I couldn’t turn down the chance to give hope to others.
Through this, I was reminded just how important it is to write and share our journey with Epilepsy. God spoke… He really yelled at me and asked why I wasn’t writing and sharing this testimony that He’s given to us. And my honest answer is that I just don’t know.
If you’ve read my past posts on Epilepsy, then you know I don’t find it to be a burden but instead a blessing. I know we could have a worse disease or disorder. For our family, Epilepsy is challenging but it is our life.
For 37 years, I’ve had some relationship with this disorder. (I choose to call it a disorder while some classify it as a disease. To each their own.) It began with having seizures as a child, then again as an adult. When Emmalee was 3 months old, it changed to being an Epilepsy Momma and later to being an Epilepsy Momma of 3 with E. This led to me being an advocate for Epilepsy and an Epilepsy blogger.
My reason for sharing is that I want my children to know they are not alone in this. I want others to know they are not alone in this. I want the World to know that it’s okay to have Epilepsy!
Growing up, my Mother didn’t tell the world I had Epilepsy. It was something you kept hidden so others didn’t judge you. She would tell my teachers and advise the school but that was pretty much it. She made me aware and prevented me from doing many things. I wasn’t allowed to spend the night with friends or do activities that could cause me to hit my head. I was pretty sheltered and protected by her.
As a Mother, I understand why she chose to parent me that way. I also knew what I wanted to change for my own children. I didn’t want my children to be kept from doing anything they truly wanted. I also didn’t want to put them through the public school challenges of dealing with teachers who just didn’t understand their mental challenges in learning, so we chose to homeschool.
My mother was lucky in that out of her three children, she only has me with Epilepsy and I was her baby. In my own family, I have my oldest son who doesn’t have Epilepsy and my following three who do have some form of the disorder. All of us are uniquely different in our Epilepsy but I will discuss those differences later in another post.
But for now, this is what has inspired me. God has led me to share my life story, our life story, in order to help others. I hope you enjoy our posts and find them helpful as we hope to inspire you.
PTSD is an awful thing.
Fear is crippling.
Last night I was laying in bed, talking with Don and memories flooded back to me. Emotions that I try to ignore. Feelings that I don’t want to deal with.
I remember why I’m in therapy. I remember what brought me there, what I went through, what I try to ignore.
I can’t ignore it.
Sometimes I can feel his presence towering over me, screaming at me, telling me how much he hated me, how much he wished I was gone. I can feel his anger, hate, wrath.
“You’re not good enough… not pretty enough… not what I want.”
He told his girl of the month I wouldn’t work, didn’t clean, didn’t cook. That’s when he’d tell them about me at all. Many didn’t even know I lived there and often if they did his story was that I was his roommate or that he let me stay there for the kids.
”This is my house… my car… my land… none of it is yours… nothing here is yours… I will have my son.”
I lost count of how many times I heard those phrases.
I still feel his hands on my throat as he picked me up and threw me across the house. Still feel the fear and terror as he lunged at me. I still feel the cold metal as I collided with the washer and dryer.
I can hear the door slam as he left, running to his Mother’s house to hide out from what he’d done. His haven to get away because he knew they’d cover for him and give him a place to stay. He knew they’d side with him and make this all my fault as they always did.
For six years, I put up with abuse. I hid it. I dealt with it because I believed I loved him, that he didn’t mean it, that he wanted me. I made myself believe that it was my fault. That I just wasn’t good enough.
It was never my fault. I did the things I was supposed to. But no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t save him, couldn’t change him, couldn’t reason with someone who just did not want to help themselves.
I wake up every day thankful I no longer live that life, thankful that I don’t have to hide any more. Thankful that I am safe, loved and happy in my new life. I don’t need to fear anymore.
But even when you don’t need to fear, the damage is done and you must learn to relive, to heal, to forgive and let go. You must learn that you didn’t deserve the anger, hurt and pain you were given. You must learn lessons from your past, from your mistakes and you come to find strength hidden within you that you thought you would never find.
Today, I am stronger. Tomorrow, I will be even more so.
Until next time…