Today I am proud to introduce my friend Debbi Henry as my guest blogger! I started this blog as a way to vent my frustrations, share my triumphs and find other like minded moms out there. Debbi is one of those amazing people that I instantly connected with. She is a mom dealing with all of the things that we all go through. She writes with honesty and heart. I’m happy to share her words with you today!
Before I had kids, I was in college and had dreams of one day being an elementary school teacher. I was doing some work as a substitute teacher, and I was bound and determined to finish college so that I could have a classroom of my own.
After the kids were born, I had planned to stay at home with them for a few years, and then move on to my career. I continued to be a substitute teacher, but mostly stayed home with the kids. I felt like I had the best of both worlds. Little did I know that our world was about to be turned upside down.
After a whirlwind of doctor appointments, MRIs, blood tests and much fear, Gracie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We had to learn a whole new language and do tons of research. We were so scared about Gracie’s future, and what this meant for our family.
With so much to deal with, and with so many emotions controlling my life, I forgot about myself. How could I think about what I wanted when I was so scared if Gracie would ever walk, or talk? How could I think about myself when I was worried about my son, and how this new life was affecting him? I was worried about my marriage and if we would be able to keep it together.
Gracie’s daily needs left no time for me. For a while, I tried to do the things that I liked doing. I tried to keep up with scrapbooking, and to go to movie theaters and restaurants. I lost all interest in becoming a teacher. I tried to have dates with my husband. It wasn’t long before I stopped trying to do anything for myself. It just never worked out and was too difficult and overwhelming. It was much easier to just give in.
Years later, after several eye surgeries, more tests and a new diagnosis of a rare chromosome disorder, I have emerged as an entirely different person. I am trying to discover who I am now, and what my new dreams should be. I know what I want for my family, but I don’t know what I want for myself.
I have learned that I need to take care of myself in order to be a better wife and mother. I am always better for the kids after getting a break. I am happier when I am well rested and have been exercising. I am providing them with a strong, stable family when I invest in time alone with my husband.
I am trying new things to discover what my interests are. I have started a blog and have found that writing is a great way to release stress. I am trying to learn digital scrapbooking and am looking for a book club to join. I have a counselor and see her whenever I have times of depression. My husband and I have started a new goal of taking two days to ourselves when it is our anniversary.
I am trying to be Debbi again, not just mom to Caleb and Gracie, and wife to Hank. At times, this won’t be easy and we will have difficult times to get through. However, it will be worth it, and better for my husband and kids. It will be better for me too, and I am worth it.