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  1. This a marathon, not a race. Slow down and know that all those phone calls and letters can wait until tomorrow. He won’t know that you refrained, just barely, from calling his school Principal an idiot or that you successfully had his suspension rescinded.
  2. Get more sleep. It’s tempting to stay up after he is asleep to have some “me time” but in order to work with others you need to be rational and well rested.
  3. Put down the mop and just spend time with him. Teach him how to bake and let him eat the batter. Play board games over and over. Go to the park. He will remember the wind on his face as you pushed him higher and higher on the swings. If he remembers anything it will be these moments of closeness. It’s these small moments that will carry you through the hard times.2006-06-17-200412
  4. Get a Babysitter. He is a handful but you have a couple of people willing to be with him. Lean on them. Hire them once a week to give you time alone with your husband. You will grow apart as your son’s needs overwhelm you and it gets worse every year. Don’t let it happen.
  5. Let your husband help you. Tell him you need him. Open up about how overwhelmed you are feeling. Talk to him about taking over some of the responsibilities with your son. Don’t just use him as the enforcer at school meetings – have him do some of the follow up to the letters you write and the phone calls you make. He is kind and capable. Let him help.
  6. Try not to Ugly Cry in front of service providers. Tearing up is ok, deep heart wrenching sobs are not. Maintain your composure but be genuine. People will respond favorably when you show them what it feels like to be in your shoes. Certain people will thank you for giving them a glimpse of what your life with this spirited boy is like.
  7. Write about everything – what has happened, who said what, how you feel. Writing is your outlet and even when it is very raw you are thankful for having written it. Don’t stop or let being overwhelmed stop you. Writing is the key to processing for you and thus is necessary in order to move on.
  8. Take care of yourself. Take time away from the family, get a pedicure, get your haircut. Be kind to yourself. Do basic things for yourself like going to the dentist and your family doctor.
  9. When depression creeps in be sure to talk to your family doctor early on. Maybe if you treat the depression early on you can avoid some hospital stays. Go to therapy and stay in therapy, even when things get tough stick it out.
  10. Love yourself! You are a dedicated advocate for your children but don’t just define yourself by your advocacy skills. You are so much more than that . . . You are a mother, a wife, a friend, a writer and so on. You are amazing.
May 26, 2016

Advice to Myself as a Young Mom of a Child with Disabilities

This a marathon, not a race. Slow down and know that all those phone calls and letters can wait until tomorrow. He won’t know that you refrained, just barely, from calling his school Principal an idiot or that you successfully had his suspension rescinded. Get more sleep. It’s tempting to stay up after he is asleep to have some “me time” but in order to work with others you need to be rational and well rested. Put down the mop and just spend time with him. Teach him how to bake and let him eat the batter. Play board games over and over. Go to the park. He will remember the wind on his face as you pushed him higher […]
May 3, 2016

Mental Health Awareness

Where I live it is Mental Health Awareness week for both youth and adults. Check out some of these sites for more information: Canadian Mental Health Association Children’s Mental Health Ontario Parents for Children’s Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness (American) Also my son and I contributed to podcasts at CPRI in London – go to this link to hear our podcasts and some other amazing ones. Mine is the under “families” and Corbin is under “kids” CPRI I have asked all of my work colleagues to wear Green tomorrow (Wednesday) to raise awareness for Mental Health – we’d love to have you join us. I’m not on twitter or snapchat or any of that but you could always […]
December 14, 2015

Giveaway!

So using a random generator I have the winner of the Tim’s or Starbucks giftcard Congratulations Andrea!! Leave a comment as to which card you would like and I will deliver it to you. Thanks to those that played – I appreciate the sharing of my blog and the new ideas for blogposts. Tina
December 7, 2015

A Christmas Giveaway

So who doesn’t like the chance to win something? The rules are simple – leave a comment here on my blog telling me which blog post is your favourite for a second entry in the draw include in your comment an idea for a new blog post. Share are my blog link on your Facebook status for a 3rd entry (if we are not friends on FB just let me know in the comments that you did it – I trust you) see. Isn’t that easy? Contest closes December 13 so hurry! And for your hard work if your name is chosen I will send you a gift card to either Tim Horton’s or Starbucks. You choose. Happy commenting Tina
November 7, 2015

Update

So all is well in the Szymczak household (knock on wood) and it will be overwhelmingly better for Adam and I as we head to Las Vegas on Monday.  It will be our first time there and we are super stoked to go.  Adam’s mom will be watching both boys (keep her in your prayers). Corbin will still have his support staff so all will be good I am sure. In other great news I stepped on the scale the other day and I have lost 10lbs!. Great way to start a vacation.