Tag Archive | chronically ill spouse

Hug ’em anyways, momma…

Well, I got my share of momma hugs this weekend, but I also got the brunt end of a bad mood, too. What to do?

IMG_0876We’re rapidly moving from tween to teen this year. It’s a hard, hard time to have a parent sick in bed regularly while the other parent is trying to keep all the plates spinning. But, nothing, and I mean nothing is worth losing connections with my daughter.

We recently watched a very, very inspiring movie called The Queen of Katwe. Even though the mom is a widow in that true story, I could relate to her so vividly is some respects. Granted, I don’t live in a third world country. I’ve always been able to find work, and get help with bills when needed.

But I can relate to setback after setback. I felt that momma’s pain in living technicolor. When she realized how much chess meant to her daughter, she was willing to sell her most prized possession to help her daughter succeed. Success happened but not overnight. I won’t spoil the ending for you. If you’re like me, keep a box of tissues nearby.

It will take extra grit and sacrifice to swim against the life-sucking illness. Love fiercely, momma!

Love finds a way. Love found me begging God on my knees for a good, safe homeschooling community three years ago. I tried to form my own, but the lack of commitment made it fall apart.

My daughter is an only. We needed friends and enCOURAGEment for our journey. God answered. He brought a nationally known group to form a community in our area. I was able to tutor to pay the fees. (People commit to what they pay for. Truth!)

You know what? I got a huge thank you from my daughter this year for making her go the past three years.  She was initially afraid to try. Now she loves it. She excels at most of her work. That didn’t happen by accident!

Pray fiercely, momma! Ephesians 6:10-18

Turns out I was not the only momma praying for help. We were able to share burdens and bear each other’s burdens. Now I pray for wisdom as we navigate teen years and chronic illness in the house.

It’s a challenge but also an opportunity.

I want her to find her gifts and talents and hone them! I want her to be resilient, compassionate, gritty, and full of hope in God. So that means I’d better keep praying big prayers. Can’t quit now!

Hug ’em fiercely, momma! See that stinky attitude as a cry for love. Swipe the screen-time while you’re at it.

Chronic illness, well, it’s no fun for anyone to witness. When you live with it, that’s even harder. Some days it makes me angry, too. My child, on the road to sorting out all her inner workings, well, of course she thinks this stinks! At the stinky moments, sometimes a quiet tone and wrapping your  arms around the huffy child is just what the doctor ordered.

Moms, we’re a safe haven. We’re a venting station. I want my child to be able to tell me exactly how she’s feeling. Nicely, of course, but truthfully. (We’re working on the “nicely” part still. Snagging the Kindle seems to help). A nice cup of hot tea helps, too. Or cocoa, depending on the kid.

Then I want to direct her to Abba, Father. She’s starting to see. Mom prays. About. Everything. I can’t fix things. But God is our very present Help in time of trouble. Psalm 46. He knows our thoughts. Psalm 139

Fierce loving, praying, hugging mommas, you’re my inspiration! Maybe  chronic illness will be the catalyst to make our children extra gritty and kind. Maybe their souls will be supercharged to trust God for big things. How’s that for a prayer request?



Tag-team homeschooling

“But you’re gone all day. How do you homeschool?” While these questions have a detailed, specific answer, the truth is, I don’t do this on my own. My daughter has the blessing of two living parents, committed to the Lord, each other, and to her.  That being said, homeschooling with a chronically ill spouse does have its unique challenges.  Or better put, the ordinary challenges  of time-management, priorities, and focus can become magnified when the delicate balance of home life and work has added stress points.  I’m in the early years of homeschooling, and cannot pretend to have everything right. I ask for help and advice from other homeschooling moms on a regular basis. Some of their tips have been life-savers for me. Other ideas have just not worked for my family.  No one I know personally is in my shoes: bread-winner & homeschooling mom.   Maybe you can glean even just one helpful crumb to encourage you on your journey from this post.

1.) Read James 1 and ASK for wisdom from above. Read Proverbs and remember what wisdom looks like.  Parenting on any given day is a challenge that needs to be faced on our knees.  Homeschooling is an extension of committed parenting.

2.) Talk to your spouse about the schooling goals.  I’m the nitty-gritty details person in the house, but the goals need to be set in unity.  Basically we have a “divide and conquer” approach with our active, hands-on, creative little Tigger of a daughter.  Spreading out our schooling sessions into little chunks throughout the day has actually worked to her advantage and her learning style. It also works well for my husband who needs a nap nearly every afternoon to cope with life and pain levels.

3.) Allow yourself flexible goals!  While I lay out an overview for the week, I write down what is actually accomplished AFTER the fact.  We often have to tweak our plans.  I may end up doing two math lessons on Saturday, and my daughter may have watched an educational DVD series in place of Math during the regularly scheduled math time for few days that week.  My husband had a bad migraine that lasted 2 days.  Math at night after Mom is finished giving piano lessons just doesn’t work as well. So, we regularly visit the library every Friday so that we have an abundance of resources to choose from!

4.) Prioritize what is most important first!  Bible, reading, writing, and math are our top goals to finish each day.  Science and history so naturally get fit in as we take educational trips to the Aboretum,  the historical sites in travels along the way, reading historical fiction, and our mini-co-op group.

5.) If at all possible, join a homeschool co-op or group.  Especially in an only child situation,  this pooling of resources has been a shot in the arm for my family.  Maybe you can even meet one evening a month to work on a sewing class, or science project together.

6.)  Record progress and give thanks for it!  I taught kindergarten and worked with littles enough to realize my daughter was struggling way beyond normal with her reading.  I was sorely tempted to throw in the homeschooling towel, and find a way to send her somehow, on one income, to private school (laughably beyond our means). Lots of advice, prayer, and research went into this struggle.  Now she is reading at her early third grade level. I am grateful beyond words for this victory.  Without the help of my husband, family, and friends, we could not have been this successful thus far.