Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Refocusing

A friend of mine who had her first child last year mentioned she felt like she was losing herself in motherhood. Her identity became so wrapped up in being a mom, she was neglecting the other parts of herself. I have heard this sentiment before, but I must finally be ready to understand. I get it. Totally and completely. 

Since the kids were diagnosed life has changed dramatically for our family. Matt changed his career, we moved to the DC area, and I threw myself into caring for Waverly & Oliver. However in the process of caring for them, I have neglected me. I used to feel selfish for feeling this way, but I am realizing that if I care for myself I am better prepared to care for the kids.

So begins my journey of refocusing, not to the detriment of the kids, but to the betterment of me. I need to take care of my body - eat better and exercise - to be healthy and strong. I need to take a class or find a hobby, taking some time each week to learn and grow. The most difficult challenge will be developing friendships and connections. I often feel so lonely, connecting with people via phone calls, texts and Facebook. I need local relationships.

I am beginning to realize that when Waverly & Oliver pass away, I need to have some support and structure built into my life to carry me through.

*ISO compassionate women who will accept a loyal friend with lots of baggage and a very complicated story*

6 comments:

Jenny said...

Hi Shannon, I have followed your blog for a few years and have been inspired by your journey. I, too, have had a child with a devastating diagnosis, and she only lived one year. I also have additional children, two of which are in 4th and 1st grades. I live in NoVA as well. If you would consider meeting or chatting, please let me know.

Joanne Huff said...

Shannon, I really love this post. All of this makes so much sense, and resonates with periods I have gone through as well. These exact same thoughts have run through my mind, about knowing that I will need something, a sort of framework of purpose, when Sasha is gone. And that regardless of situations, with healthy children or otherwise, having a strong sense of being, or identity, outside of motherhood will always ripple throughout the entire family.

Camille said...

Hi friend,

I'm not sure if you have looked into support groups in your area, but I have found it helpful from time to time to go and sit with other parents who share similar struggles (not necessarily the same diagnosis). Talking with other parents of special needs kids brings empathy. And I need that. Talking with friends who have typical kids brings sympathy - I need that too. But they aren't the same and sometimes you just need to be with people who "get it."

Pamela said...

Taking care of you is very important. You can't take good care of other people long-term if you aren't taking good care of yourself. Taking care of you isn't selfish. If I lived anywhere near you I would be happy to get together with you (with or without your children) but alas, I am half a country away. I'm sure there are many wonderful people in your area though that you will find as you seek out new hobbies and friendships.

Holly said...

Good for you! Have you considered running? 2 years ago--inspired by waverly and Oliver, truly, to prep for the 5k that never happened--I started running. I could only run a few minutes at a time. I was also coming out of post partum depression. Two weeks ago, I completed my first marathon. It has not only gotten me healthy, it has made me part of an amazing community of women runners, and my friendships are flourishing. Thank you waverly and Oliver for inspiring me to run because I can and to keep running.

Holly said...

Good for you! Have you considered running? 2 years ago--inspired by waverly and Oliver, truly, to prep for the 5k that never happened--I started running. I could only run a few minutes at a time. I was also coming out of post partum depression. Two weeks ago, I completed my first marathon. It has not only gotten me healthy, it has made me part of an amazing community of women runners, and my friendships are flourishing. Thank you waverly and Oliver for inspiring me to run because I can and to keep running.