Thursday, August 7, 2008

Help Wanted

*Disclaimer: this blog is not about me asking for help it is just me venting my frustrations.

There are not enough days in the week. Brayden averages 4-5 appointments a week; thankfully Brayden’s occupational and vision therapist come to the house but we have other therapies and a hand full of doctors to see on a regular basis. Having several appointments is our typical week. Living about 30 – 60 minutes from most of the offices he goes to, we spend a lot of time out of the house.

School is starting up in a few weeks. Carter will be going to afternoon kindergarten from 11:30 - 2:30. Luke will be going to preschool (which is 30 minutes away) T, W, Th from 9:30 – 1:30 p.m. Some how I have to manage getting Luke to preschool, Carter catching the school bus, picking Luke up from preschool and picking Carter up at the bus stop; all the while finding time for Brayden’s countless appointments. I have no idea how to do this.

From the start, we have struggled finding help with Carter and Luke. It is not a consistence time that we can schedule with someone; it is all based upon Brayden’s crazy schedule of therapies and doctors, which can be very last minute. Carter and Luke have been dropped off at so many places. I desperately want to find a good system for them when school starts. I am tired of disrupting their lives and not knowing who will watch them.

I have a hard time asking for help, admitting I cannot handle all of this and I do not have it together. Many people have offered help but it is hard to know how much to ask of them and sometimes it is not that kind of help that is needed. People that I thought could really be of help have turned out to be no help at all.

Today, I requested a VBS camp to accept Luke, even though he is too young. He would really enjoy VBS but the truth is that I need childcare for him. We have five appointments that week. Carter is going to the VBS so I needed a place for Luke. I felt uncomfortable asking this church to make an exception for my child. Why should I be an exception? I asked the therapy center to change our appointment time in the fall so I could get Luke and Carter to school. The center had to call a few other families to move around the schedule. I felt uncomfortable asking. I had to make an appointment with the pediatrician, whose schedule is full for weeks. I asked if she could squeeze Brayden in just a few days because we missed his 15 months check up due to the unexpected hospital stay.

I have a hard time asking anyone to help or make an exception for our family, especially when I cannot reciprocate. They have their own lives, with busy schedules and do not need my ever changing schedule disrupting their day. The next couple of weeks I will be making those humbling and uncomfortable phones calls asking neighbors (who are wonderful) and close by friends to help with school pick ups and drop offs. Maybe we can hire someone for random hours.

I just sat in the car today and cried. I am trying to make everything work. It is a puzzle that I am trying to align and fit all of the pieces in to but I have not figured it out yet. I do not want Carter and Luke to feel this chaos and feel like Brayden’s life is first priority. I do not think that they feel this way but I am always concerned. I have no idea how to get everything done; school, appointments and possibly squeezing in some actual fun activities (even if it is a drive threw the McDonald’s to get the boys a milkshake).

I saw this in one of my “disabled child” books: Contrary to popular belief, help is not a luxury, a self-indulgence, or a sign of weakness. It is a necessity.

It is difficult to ask others to switch schedules, make exceptions, drive to our house to help and try to understand our circumstances. I do not want to inconvenience people. I really do not want to inconvenience people. I do not want people to help because it is out of obligation (we know when they help out of obligation, the attitude behind the "helping" is not well hidden).
I do not know who or how to ask for help.

I need help.


Courtney said...

oh, carrie. how amazing of you to ADMIT you need help. i have a very hard time ever doing that (and i think we're a lot alike in that way). i'd LOVE to help you in any way i can. not sure what that means. one thing i can think of is if you EVER need anyplace to have Carter and Luke hang out ANYTIME - drop them off here!!! Joshua has hardly ANY little boy friends. he doesn't go to preschool. and we'd LOVE to have them ANYTIME!!! i'm SO serious!

Debbie said...

Hi Carrie, I just don't even know what to say. My heart just hurts for you right now. I never ask for help for anything unless it is dire so I know how you feel. I do know Carter and Kyle have played together in Sunday school. If you are out this way and need to drop them off or I can meet you somewhere, I can take them. And I do mean that. I will pray for you my sweet friend. I really do appreciate how open you are. The Lord will make a way for you. Don't be afraid to ask.

Andrea said...

I wish we lived closer so I could help! And not out of obligation, but because your boys are seriously a great deal of fun and Noah would eat up time with them. It's hard to ask for help - but sometimes there are people God has placed in our lives for help and we'll never know if we don't ask.