Every parent would understand to some measure how difficult it can be to find the balance regarding raising a family! Between time, children with different personalities, church functions, extended family, friends and money, just to name a few, things can get demanding and tough!
It seems like finding the balance is an ongoing struggle! So often I catch myself saying ' it's trying to find the balance.' To be honest, more often than not, the balance around here feels quite lopsided! It's tough to get it balanced.
We need to find the balance regarding time with a special needs, time demanding, energy exhausting son and 3 healthy, typical kids. How much time do we take for Jacob, knowing his days are numbered, yet not forsaking our other children? Yes, we are unsure of the length of days with our other children too, as with ourselves, but it stares us in the face every day that Jacob's life is humanly speaking - short. How short we do not know, but we do know, far shorter than normal! How do we spend the time with our other children as they also are only young once? It's not that we can press the pause button and have them pause in life.
We need to find the balance regarding respite time. Jacob goes once a month for 3-6 days to a respite home. Without those homes, I don't know where we'd be - other than we'd long have fallen off the balance! When he goes, how do we balance our time with family, friends, shopping for necessities AND rest? When Jacob's home, it's beyond difficult to get out, so many things pile up for that one week a month when he's gone. By the time the week is over, I'm left feeling more exhausted than when I began.
We need to find the balance regarding raising our kids with a special needs brother and his care and concerns. How much do we tell them? When do we tell them? Do we tell them that Jacob had a lengthy apnea (not breathing) spell, or do we just put on a good front as if nothing happened? Do we tell Breanne, or do we not tell her? If so, how do we tell her? How much do we prepare them for the days ahead, or do we let them be kids, living the typical care free days? What do we tell each of the kids as they all handle the situation differently and are at different maturity points?
We need to find the balance as a husband and wife to have quality time together. That's tough as Jacob's demands get bigger and his irritability increases. It's pretty tough to have a heart to heart conversation with Jacob crying hard in our ears. The more stress that is thrown our way, the more we need each other’s support, love and undivided attention!!
We need to find the balance with work that has to be done inside the house and out. I can't function in an upside down house, yet, there are days, I feel like I should invest in a pole vault to get from one side to the other! It's finding that balance between wanting it done and feasibility. Its finding the balance to be able to say, ‘tomorrow is another day, and if it doesn't get done tomorrow, we can tackle it another day.’
We (I mostly)need to find the balance between getting proper sleep and spending adult time with the night nurses :) This one is so for me only. All our nurses past and present know exactly what Paul’s report is going to be if I'm not home - 'Jacob had a pretty good day. Good night.' They all get a kick out of it. My reports don't quite go like that! Seeing how I used to get out of the house on an almost daily basis before Jacob was born, it was a tough transition to be housebound 6 days a week! All that said, if I stay up late, it back fires on me, as I then need toothpicks to keep my eyes open the next day. Balance? Not found on this point AT ALL!!
We need to find the balance for church, bible study and personal devotion. Jacob's life is unpredictable, so a set time is not possible, yet time is so crucial! God must be the focus and centre of our being, yet, it's so easy to have the cares of the day override it all.
We need to find the balance with many other things also. I'm unsure how to find the balance! It's a constant struggle. Every day we are faced with the realities that this life is tough, yet, one that isn't without hope. There is an element of comfort in this all. Our times are in His hands. He sees our daily struggles and He can sanctify them.