If you are a parent (period) then you will worry at some point, “Am I doing the right thing about ________?” Worries may compound when you add a diagnosis, any diagnosis, to the mix. And frankly, sometimes therapists make parents worry MORE. (Sorry!) Some questions you might ask are:
- Am I using the right cup?
- Should I supplement with (nutritional supplement of the moment)?
- Is she getting enough therapy?
- Am I parenting my other children well?
The list can go on. Today, I was talking to a family of a beautiful newborn about the use of a pacifier to work on strengthening the suck outside of feeding times. I encouraged them to discontinue this by 6 months. When asked why I really wished I had this picture to show them. That would have explained my embarrassed red face.
Yes, that is MY son with TWO pacifiers in his mouth. No, he doesn’t keep them both in for long – just one. And he will be 2 and a half. I know, I know. I’ve heard it all. But I’m telling you this because I’m human. I’m a mom and I work full-time and I get how hard it is to do everything. I know he’s going to need braces, but we’ll deal with that later.
Here are some tips to maintain sanity while you balance your life as a parent involved in therapy (for your child):
- If you have outpatient services see if your therapists can coordinate schedules. This way you only have one time to worry about. For instance if you see occupational therapy on Weds at 9am twice a month see if you can do speech therapy twice a month at 9 on the opposite weeks. Then there is no, “What week is it? What time do I have to go?”
- If you’re getting overwhelmed with therapy homework ask your therapist to pin point, “What is 1 thing I can do this week?” Then try to do this one thing. Good Housekeeping magazine has changed to “Good Enough” Housekeeping. Doing one thing really well is better than being overwhelmed, forgetting what to do, and ultimately doing no home practice.
- Ask your therapists to write things down. I can never remember anything unless it’s put on paper. Tell them you’re a visual learner and it helps you. This will work even if it’s a post-it for your fridge.
- See if your hospital or support group has someone who can teach you how to organize a patient care notebook. This can help you keep sanity in a folder. If you live in Cincinnati you’re in luck, there is one in October (click here) Care Notebook Classes 2010.2
I’m sure you have many more ideas and I’d love to hear them! Remember, do your best with what you’ve got right now and trust your child with thrive with the love and support you give. And when the guilt of “am I doing enough” creeps back just look my two binky kid and feel better.