Doing What Is Best....
Ahhhhh.....this one is easy, isn't it? Or is it? I just had this
tested as we have had to consider what is/was best for our family as a
whole. We are often centered on what is best for our daughter, but that
often leaves my son, myself and my husband wanting. So we had to take a
long look at what is best for everyone. Some people suggested a
seriously difficult decision to make that I felt might be good but might
be devastating to everyone also. So we spent time, prayed and thought
and talked. And we did do what was best for all.
Making a decision for your family, with a bipolar
child, is difficult. It seems the bipolar child leads the family and
Sometimes doing what is best for your child is not best
for you or for your family as a whole. Then you have to look at the long
run. Is this best for the child and hurts the family in the long run? Is
this best for one child and not the other? Can we make a decision that
is best for both (or all) children?
But you must be willing to put yourself aside often and
make a decision that is best for your child that is bipolar.
If you are like me, this can be a hard thing to do. Or
you might find that you go back and forth between what's best for the
child and what is best for you. Or you might go overboard and look at
what is best for the child all the time leaving yourself out in the
cold, as a martyr might.
Balance is important. What is best for all might be what
is ok for one in the family, sort of ok for another and really good for
another. Every decision can't be for the sake of the bipolar child. But
often they seem to rule the roost!
You have to be willing to put your needs aside often to
raise a bipolar child to their highest potential.
But you can't put your needs aside always. Don't forget
about yourself and your spouse. Be willing to use babysitters and
grandparents and family and friends to get some relief from the day to
day difficulties of this task. But also, be willing to sit in a doctor's
office entertaining your other children for the sake of reaching
stability for your child.
Be aware of the sacrifices you make. Don't push them
aside. But also, take note of the progress your child makes daily,
weekly, monthly. Take pleasure in this progress every step of the way.
Pat yourself on the back. Congratulate yourself every time your child
says "Hey mom I did it!".
Take credit where credit is due. You make sacrifices for
this child and their accomplishments are just as much yours as theirs!
But you do have to be willing to do whatever it takes to
help your child. And we all do it everyday, even moms of "normal"
children make this sacrifice daily!
We are all angels!
As we make our sacrifices for our
children.....driving to doctors and therapists, homeschooling, dolling
out meds, watching as meds are taken, holding our tongue when we want to
yell and scream, taking the blows (physical and emotional)......we are
angels for our children.
Always remember what you are doing for your child is
for everyone else too. For your child's future, their well being, their
stability you can and will do what you need to do.
What Can You do for Yourself?
You must take care of yourself so you CAN take care
of your child. Here are a few suggestions:
See a therapist. Either see your child's
therapist for some time during your child's appointment, or find
your own therapist. Raising a bipolar child brings up our own
issues, brings on new ones, and demands our stability......get help
Don't isolate yourself! You have to get out and
your child needs to get out of the house too. Form a homeschooling
group park day (or find one in your city). See friends with kids
that can play with your child. Get out of the house and have some
Keep your relationship with your spouse strong.
You need to feed your relationship with your spouse or significant
other to keep it healthy. You need this relationship, and it's so
easy to let it go and totally focus on the child. Go out on dates,
find someone to baby sit. Even if you have to go out during the day
on weekends to get a babysitter...do it!