Last night, my husband spoke the three most terrifying words in the English language. "Take a break." I was horrified. My blood ran cold. "But, but..." "No buts about it. Take the day off. Why don't you have some fun?" he suggested, smiling. Fun? Fun!? I drew a blank. And that's when I knew I had a problem.
My 13-year-old son Jacob, who has a rare neurodegenerative disorder, was discharged last summer with 24-hour nursing care in our Toronto home. But aside from the fact that nurses can cancel at a moment's notice -- leaving parents like me to pull all-nighters so my son doesn't choke to death -- we're facing alarming incompetence when they do show up.
Are you wondering how you will survive the upcoming holiday season with your ex-spouse as co-parents? For newly divorced individuals, life is often chaotic. You need to settle into a new routine and heal a broken family. But just because you are divorced, it doesn't mean that the holidays have to be sad.
I noticed a distressing new trend: whenever we visited friends and family, they didn't really see me anymore. It was all about the baby -- how she'd changed, which adorable outfit she was wearing, or who she happened to look like that week. It took a while to get used to this strange sense of invisibility.
When my son was a toddler, I remember a few events that I declined to attend simply because it was too complicated -- I just didn't have it in me. Looking back at the earlier years, I realize just how little people new about my son and his autism. I think our experience would have been different had others been more aware.