Every parent deserves a break. I mean every parent does their best to keep their child safe, happy and cared for. Yet, when your child’s care turns into a 24-hours around the clock shifts alone its exhausting. Like new baby exhaustion, except when your time Is done watching your child you have to get up and go to work. I feel guilty for wanting to work on your dreams instead of engaging. I am too tired to create.
This leads to soul crushing cycles. Times where I feel so isolated, and the bad circumstances pile up. When you do get a free moment you’re just really exhausted both emotionally and physically. The reality is there is not much help. The most reliable support I have is state paid respite, which I am grateful for. I get support overnight from 11:30PM to 7:30AM. I could stay up and burn the midnight oil and create at night, right? But them when will I get rest for the next morning and day when I am expected to go to work?
What does self-care look like for a mother of doing it all by herself who is exhausted? How can I make time to care for my child, refuel myself and follow my dreams? There are so many opportunities I let go of because my daughter needs me. Every time I pick up a new one I feel like giving up. What’s the point? Who will step in when I need to write a paper? Who will watch Sophia so I can go to a PD or a work event on a Saturday? What do I do when I want to book my own doctor’s appointment?
This is my third try at graduate school, if I don’t finish now, I never will. It doesn’t get easier, and I don’t want to resent taking care of my child. But I can’t stop dreaming of graduating, writing books, or traveling. Not for anyone else’s pride but my own. I wish there was a positive spin on this, there is not. The truth is life is hard, there are no easy roads. We all journey along and make the best of our walk down the path.
For so long the focus was giving Sophia the best life so that she continues to live. It’s been being by her side for every procedure, hospital stay and seizure. I’ve sacrificed careers and relationships to keep her safe, happy, and well cared for. Now how do I do the same for myself? I am struggling in this journey to find balance with my own passion. It’s my biggest battle yet, but I will not give in. Please keep me lifted in thoughts and prayer as I navigate through this.