Raising a son with special needs (soon to be 34) has allowed my husband and me to work together on a lot of different levels and on different issues. So when our daughter and son-in-law, who were living with us a few years ago, went to the hospital to deliver their second child, we went into our dance!
We’d just gotten back from seeing MR. CUTENESS (our newest grandson) at the hospital. We were all tired from little sleep the night before. MR. MANNERS (the 3 year old at the time) needed lunch. There were three loads of laundry to be done. The dishwasher needed emptying. There were no groceries. Our son with special needs needed to be picked up from his place of supervised work. Sound familiar?
When you have one of those days/weeks/months/years … you and your spouse need to develop “the dance.”
Joe and I have learned the dance of “divide and conquer” in the 34 years of caring for our son. It’s taken time, but we’ve learned the different combinations that make the dance work well – together! We had to learn:
- Who does _________ best?
- Who does _________ fastest?
- Who does _________ easiest?
- Who does _________ with the least amount of effort?
- Who does _________ with the best attitude?
Once figured out, you’re ready to put a plan into action. It looked something like this on the dance floor:
Joe took the grocery list and went shopping while I fed Mr. Manners. I started the laundry and when he brought the groceries in we both unloaded the dishwasher and unpacked the groceries. He knows which items I prefer to put away myself and I know which dishes he likes me to put away as we do the dishwasher. Getting our son from work when the 3 year old napped was up for grabs on who wanted to go. We know the dance. And when you step on each other’s toes…it’s good for a laugh, a kiss, and learning how to get back in step!
Balancing life is like a dance. It takes practice. If you don’t practice, it will probably always look like awkward.
Practice discipline. Practice setting daily priorities before making a big list for the year. Start with small steps….and work into the harder (and fancier) steps once you get the simple ones “down”!
After some practice, the dance actually starts to look like we know what we’re doing! Give it a try!
Latest posts by Cindi Ferrini (see all)
- “Prioritize Me” - September 18, 2023
- Profess-Process-Progress - August 21, 2023
- Five Important Ways to Support, Help, and Encourage Foster Parents - July 17, 2023