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It’s been over three weeks since I last blogged and I’m finally back and ready to talk! Even though I’ve already posted some of this on Facebook, I felt I needed to post some of it here as well before I moved on to other topics and posts.
The past three weeks have been incredibly hard. My sister-in-law who has been living with us for the past 5 months to try and help with our two special needs kids, went to visit family and did not come back to live with us. It was unexpected, we were given two days notice, and we had less than a week until we moved to a new house.
I know that not most people get to have someone live with them to help, but if you knew our situation you would understand. My husband will be leaving eventually on a one year tour for the military and I thought I was going to have support and help during that time. Apparently it was not meant to be, but to be honest we were quite shocked.
On top of that, we were devastated to learn some things about our family. We learned that family is not always who they say they are. That just because you share the same blood, it doesn’t mean that they will be there for you, support you, or believe in you. It’s been one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn yet.
Only a few days after the news above, my daughter tested positive for the H1N1 flu. I have no idea where she got it, and was shocked that such an awful flu is going around during the summer months. Two days later my son got it.
So I have two kids running 103-104 temperatures and it’s moving day. Granted, we were only moving two streets over to a bigger house on the base, but between packing boxes, and desperate calls to the nurse at all hours, you could say we were already exhausted.
Then during the move, when they were trying to disconnect our washer machine, a pipe burst. It was awful. The entire downstairs of our old house flooded. It happened so fast, but I was able to move the sick kids upstairs. Everyone else tried to quickly move our things outside to dry ground so that they didn’t get wet. Maintenance was called, but we had already packed our towels and had no way to clean up the water.
We waited two hours for maintenance to show up. Meanwhile, I am knocking on neighbor’s doors begging for towels and asking to borrow shop vacs. By the time maintenance arrived, we had it under control and mostly cleaned up. The water was dirty and smelled and the whole house smelled now too.
Later that night, my daughter took a turn for the worse. At 2 am we made the decision to take her to the ER. After about 8 hours in a room in the ER they decided to move her to an inpatient room on the pediatric floor to monitor her overnight and give her IV fluids. It turns out that even with a feeding tube you can get very dehydrated.
Back at the house, my son is still sick, and we still had a good amount back at the old house to pack up and move over, not to mention a mess from the flood. Somehow we managed to do it all with the help of friends and people we barely know. I have never been more grateful in my entire life.
Two days later my husband gets the flu. The doctor says he is severely dehydrated and wants him at the hospital if his fever hits 104. I take his temperature: 103.4. The doctor ordered 4 oz of fluids every 20 minutes. So between timers, me making him drink the baby’s pedialyte, and friends bringing gatorade he managed to stay out of the hospital.
Somehow amid it all, I managed to be the only one in my family not to get the flu. I suppose it was a blessing and a miracle, but after everything we had been through I just wanted a few days to lay in bed and rest.
That has been the past three weeks for me and that has been one of the main reasons I have not blogged. At this point and many other points that people don’t know about, I have stopped blogging in order to better take care of my family. My family always comes first. In fact, this whole year has been a big step back for me with blogging due to my daughter being in the hospital four times, and because of all her special needs. I’m sure you are wondering where I am going with this and it’s sad that I have to explain all this, but I think it needs to be said. I hope that it will be helpful to others who feel and do the same as me.
We have had several people accuse me of being dramatic and wanting attention when it comes to the things that I post on my blog and on social media. These are people from my church and people in our family. At first, I was able to get past it, but as time has gone on more and more people have come out and said things. I can’t express enough how very very hurtful it has been.
I do NOT put my entire life out on social media (Facebook, etc) or my blog. There is a lot that those of you who follow along don’t know and there is a lot that I choose not to put out there due to personal reasons, a good amount believe it or not. But I do choose to be open on social media for several reasons:
3 Reasons Why I Choose Social Media
1. It’s an Easy Way to Communicate With More Than One Person at a Time.
We are a military family. We live away from family and friends and with everything that goes on in the lives our kids (their health and special needs, not to mention everything else), it’s very easy to be able to just put updates out on Facebook so that I don’t have to call everyone each time someone wants an update. It’s there for those who care and for those that don’t, that’s okay too. But it’s out there so that everyone who needs or wants to know what’s going on with our family can have it.
2. I Use it to Show People That You Don’t Have to Hide Behind Fake, “Happy Statuses” All the Time.
It’s ok to say, “Hey I am hurting today, and I need some extra help.” or “Hey, today was a bad day, but that’s okay, tomorrow will be better.” It doesn’t always have to be “happy-go-lucky” all the time. You don’t have to pretend to be someone or something you’re not. I’d much rather read real statuses about real people who are struggling, but are getting through it, then statuses and updates from those who hide behind the “my-life-is-perfect-and-nothing-ever-goes-wrong” statuses.
3. I Use it To Try and Make a Difference.
I am not perfect and I have a lot to learn. I am the first to admit that I can be just as sinful and crazy as the next person, but I hope that somewhere along the way, I have reached out to someone. I hope that I have encouraged someone in this journey we call life. I know that there have been others who have encouraged me with their posts and prayers, and I hope that I can do the same for others as well. Isn’t that what we’re here for? To make a difference? To show God’s love?
While it may look like I spend a lot of time on my blog or on social media, and while I have been accused of neglecting my children to spend time on it, I would like to say how easy it is to quickly post a status via my phone. Or upload pictures while I am sitting on the floor playing with my kids or in one of the many waiting rooms I sit in for my children’s therapy and doctor’s appointments.
I would never ever choose social media or my blog at the expense of my family. I spend time online yes, but what many people don’t know is that much of that time is spent trying to make money to help my family. Or that a lot of blog posts and social media updates are scheduled out sometimes days and in the past even weeks in advance. Every little bit of time online counts and the $2,000. I have made so far this year via “spending time online” or what I call working and having a job, has been a huge help.
I know that things may seem dramatic when it comes to my children, and I don’t mean to make it sound in that way. Sometimes I get worked up, I am anxious about my children and about getting all their needs met, and I am willing to do ANYTHING to help them have their best chance at life. If that means taking them to therapies, doctors, and specialists, and yes even traveling all over the country, then I will drop everything to do it.
If there was only one thing I could say to all of you my friends, it’s that all we ask for is a little understanding even though you don’t understand. Yes, you don’t have special needs kids. Yes, we live a different life than most. And yes, it’s hard. But just please, try and understand. Please be understanding before you pass judgements or say things that are hurtful. And please know that we love our kids so very much and just want what’s best for them just as every parent does and should.
Social media can be a time-killer that’s for sure, but it can also be used for many good things. It’s all in how you use it. It’s all in your priorities. Maybe for some it’s time you stepped back a bit. Maybe for others, it’s time you came out on it a little more. For everyone it’s a little different and that’s okay with me.