Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years Resolutions of a Complex Mom

At this time of year reflection on the past and resolutions for the future tend to occupy our thoughts and conversations. Resolutions are hard to keep for everyone. In families with complex special needs it is more difficult.

All families deal with unexpected events both positive and negative. Both can be stressful. I have compared our life as complex parents to the journey the old ships made before the modern navigational tools and lighting systems were available. There are so many unseen hazards in our journey, partly because our children have difficulty communicating what they experience physically, developmentally and emotionally.

Here’s a glimpse into my personality: when Billy Ray has a doctor’s appointment and there is a risk of something serious, I catch up laundry and get things either in a bag or organized so my husband knows what to bring if he is admitted to the hospital. I hide them from Billy Ray so as not to worry him but I desperately need to be prepared. I think this started from years with a terminally ill husband as well as Billy Ray and being caught off guard numerous times. I am the most secure when I know what to expect. The unknown is the scariest part to me.

As I was writing this post, my friend, Keddie, called. Last week her car went out a few blocks from our house. She just got it back Thursday. Friday it went out on her again.
She borrowed car and it went out on her over the weekend. She was talking to me about the Serenity Prayer. I don’t know why I wasn’t thinking of it in this post because I wrote about it in Parenting Your Complex Child.

We could probably all quote the Serenity Prayer with all its various translations:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

It sounds so simple. There is so many things that we can do for our complex children. We can make visuals, find the right school program, plan schedules, see to medical care, proper diets, etc., etc. There are some things that we must accept and that is where it gets more difficult. It takes wisdom plus to know the difference. It is something I still struggle with from time to time.

This year I resolve to TRY to:

  • Do the things that make me stronger (such as my personal devotions, haircuts, doing my nails and shining our dinging room table) because if I am stronger I have more to give to Billy Ray.

  • Do everything that I can to give Billy Ray a life that is comfortable for him.

  • Accept that there are some things I can’t change for him no matter how much I love him.

  • Share what I have learned in our journey with parents in the same struggle and learn from them in the process.

  • Recognize that I can’t do everything I want to do.

  • Try not to get too puffed up because Walmart is carrying my book (smile).

Until tomorrow,
Peggy Lou Morgan

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