Finding Balance – Can we?
Today, I am writing to you wearing both my parent and adult with hypermobility hats. It is quite a personal post that I am sure many of you will understand. But one that I know I need right now and I am sure someone else out there does as well… how do we go about finding balance?
I guess you could say I came to a crisis point. We had been away for the long weekend and then my youngest daughter had a birthday party to go to yesterday afternoon. It meant that I had been on the go for far too many days, and my body had said enough is enough. I spent the night quite unwell and emotional. Not due to a virus, but due to exhaustion. I can feel that my body has hit the wall.
But what do you do? As much as I wish I could hit the pause button on life for a few days to rest and catch up, unfortunately, life does continue around you. I still have a family to care for, a business to run, clients to catch up with, reports to write, some housework to do and of course the uni subject that needs completing. Just the thought of it all makes me feel unwell again.
I am blessed with an amazing husband who let me sleep in while he got the girls ready and took them to school. He contacted my daughter’s teacher to let her know I wouldn’t be in as a classroom helper today. And I just rested. My husband taking the morning pressure off was such a huge relief. My body is still not feeling very well. But I am certainly feeling a little more relaxed.
So what do I do from here? Some things certainly need to change. I can’t keep running on fumes anymore. I guess you could say it is time to for me to take a moment and respect my body; respect my limitations. Not only for me but for my two young daughters who also have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. I need to be their role model on how to manage life so they can experience life to full without crashing into a heap the moment they do something a little out of the ordinary…. That something might just be something important such as creating wonderful memories as a family.
They need to learn how to balance well family, work, and life in a way that is not ruled by JHS. But how can I expect them to do that if I am not doing that myself? Children learn more by our actions than by our words.
The first step is to take some time to rest. For me, that is a cuppa and some quiet worship music to sit and rest in God’s presence. I will just rest until I can get my head around what I need to do.
Then I need to look at my goals. What do I want to achieve in life? What example do I want to be for my girls? I want them to know that they can achieve whatever they want in life, and the JHS won’t stop them. But they need to work on the balance; they need to respect their body’s limitations and take into account the time they need to rest.
Balance is always the key when living with chronic health conditions. You don’t ever want it to rule your life, but you do need to respect that sometimes you will have limitations.
Then I need to work out how I am going to achieve this. I need to develop the plan and write it down. For me right now it might mean saying no to a few things. It means setting up clear boundaries about what I can do and the biggest thing: sticking to it! It is thinking ahead when planning things like a rest day after a big weekend, only out one night a week, easy meals in the freezer, ready to go in the slow cooker.
I know I can do this. I know you can do this. Just because we have a connective tissue disorder, doesn’t mean we can’t live life to the full or achieve some amazing things in life. We just need to find the right balance for our individual life. That balance shouldn’t be like walking a tightrope where one small slip and you crash, but rather a suspension bridge which is wide enough to allow some room for correction (especially with our clumsy bodies!) and time to relax and take in the view.
You will be better for it and so will our kids.
How are you going to find better balance or widen your suspension bridge?
Some could say that my world is surround by hypermobility conditions, and at 34, I totally agree. Firstly, I am a mother of two gorgeous daughters who have both joint hypermobility syndrome. I too have since been diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome which explained so many years of puzzling the doctors. I also run my own paediatric occupational therapist service, Mobile Kids O.T., specialising in pre-school and school age children with handwriting/learning difficulties, many of whom are very hypermobile. When I am not balancing the roles of wife, motherhood, work and running my own business, I love being creative – dressmaking, crochet, needlework. I am so excited to be able to share with you from the perspective of parent, adult and therapist living/working with hypermobility. My business is Mobile Kids OT