Monday, April 29, 2013

Support Groups

Do you have a support group?  I mean a formal group that meets and makes plans.  Do you have a support group?  Have you tried one before?

I have tried some here and there. Some things I realized:
  • Having support is necessary.  My support is not through a "formal" support group.  God has placed several families in our lives that have "special" children, families that we have known long before kids.  I need those people, I talk to them about anything and everything (and perhaps a little too much talk about poop for the average person).
  • Meeting new people always helps.  Just like when you have your first child and trying to figure out all of those newborn tricks and adjusting to life, talking to other new moms always helps and makes you not feel as isolated.  The same can be said for moms of special needs munchkins.
  • Ideas and Resources.  The special needs world is quite an interesting one when it comes to resources.  It all seems like a foreign language that you cannot understand until you understand.  Understand?  Sometimes you do not even know the questions to ask.  Having parents that know the process or have been through the process is a great resource.  There are programs and benefits that you might not even know existed.  Or even to just get ideas for doctors, new equipment and good looking wheelchairs.
  • I do not fit well into a general "special needs" support group.  I do not relate well to moms that have children with autism, for example. Our experiences are so different that it can be frustrating.  It helps to be with those dealing with medically complex issues.
  • Not having a specific diagnosis leaves you a little in no mans land, many parents find support within their child's diagnosis.
  • I need things to be a bit more up beat.  I have a lot of humor in our crazy experiences...frankly we have to laugh because otherwise things would be to stressful and sometimes just pitiful. 
  • I cannot dwell on what we do not have and what my child cannot cannot do.  Yes, there are times that I need to talk through things (despite all of what I write on this blog...I do a lot of my venting on this blog).
  • My world cannot only be about medical things and dwelling on Brayden's needs.  Yes, we need to discuss all of that but we all have a life...and our life is (and should be) more than just about Brayden's medical issues.  And Brayden's is so much more than just his medical issues.  He is a funny little boy.
  • It does help to have other parents that understand you.  Saying to a neighbor, "We had rough day", means something totally different than when saying it to another parent of a medically complex child...a rough day usually mean something much more dramatic/serious.
  • Support needs to fit your personality.  Much like you find friends, your support needs to be a good support, something that helps you...not bring you down.  Again, I find that with great gals that I can call on at anytime of the day and I know will always provide a good laugh about something.
All that to say, find support but there needs to be a balance...the key is finding the balance (let me know if you know how to do that).

No comments: