Easier said than done.
Seeing many of our friends on social media taking trips to Japan, Italy, France, Greece, Egypt, and all around the USA, keeps us ever mindful that our feet are firmly planted in the nation of “caring for special needs”. Not a complaint; just a fact.
We have done our fair share of travel; no complaints, there. We have many memories of Europe and even USA travel thanks to the help of family and friends; but we can not JUST GO!
We recall, while speaking at a FAMILYLIFE WEEKEND TO REMEMBER talking to a young group of about 5 couples from a church (while family cared for our son at home!). They initiated a discussion about how one of their friends with “a child with special needs” would really benefit from coming to this marriage weekend. They came to the right couple, because we encouraged them in this way, “They will never come to one of these weekends or any other one unless they have someone with whom to trust their child. How about if all 5 of you couples take turns getting to know the needs of this family and meeting those needs, letting them know that all 10 of you will make a “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER” happen for them. Yes, 10 of you can do what 2 of them do; but you’ll need to learn. You could make it a “Weekend to Remember” for you, too, as you all make it happen for them! You would forever be their heroes. AND perhaps another time in the year or throughout the year you can give them respite for a night out – alone!” We have no idea how this ever worked out or if it did, but we challenged them!
Can you open yourself up enough to get a night, a weekend, a week away? It takes someone to volunteer but it also takes time for us to think differently and then act upon it! Here’s some thoughts for you, the main caregiver to consider and then act upon:
- If you have others in your life that you’d like to help you make weekends like this happen, you’ll have to help train families; spend time with them; welcome them into the “mess” of the life you live.
- If you don’t have others in your life to ask to make “getting away” happen…are you willing to invest in others to make friends and help them learn? It takes time, effort, etc. on both parts.
- Are you willing to do what it takes to train others to help you?
- Can you surrender the “I’ve got this” attitude (we all have had it or still have it….it’s hard, but….) in order to let go and let others help?
- Can you allow your home and surroundings to not be exactly as you keep them when you return because they will do things differently and maybe not quite as perfectly? I know this truth hurts. It hurts us, sometimes, too!
- But the bottom line questions are: Can you do it? (And then…) WILL YOU DO IT?
We know it’s all easier said than done. We know because that is how we need to live if we want time alone, time to get away, time to work and enjoy “us.” We can also say all of the above is worth it. Work at it then….
Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini share their newest book: Love All-Ways: Embracing Marriage Together on the Special Needs Journey (order at www.cindiferrini.com). They are authors, speakers, and bloggers for several blogging sites on marriage, family and special needs. They spoke nationally for FamilyLife Weekend To Remember Marriage Get-a-Ways for 20 years, authored *Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change our Course, and have been interviewed on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Janet Parshall at “In the Market”, Chris Brooks of “Equipped” and various other radio and television venues. Connect with them at:
and via social media at: