I Made It! 10-Years As A Caregiver

November 20, 2019

I Made It! 10-Years As A Caregiver

Well my angel turned 11 years old on November 18 and I want to celebrate being a caregiver for 10 years. That’s such a huge milestone. I’ve been a caregiver for 87,600 hours and we’ve both made it thus far with a smile on our face.

The reason for which I make a distinction between her age and my years as a caregiver is because we didn’t know that anything was ‘wrong’ until her 12-month check-up. That’s when our world turned upside down and so started the journey of being a caregiver and becoming a mother of a child with special needs.

The early days are a blur and there are many parenting behaviours for which I am embarrassed. I felt overwhelmed and stressed to the max. Can you believe that going to my full-time job was an escape? That the fast-pace environment of a communications shop did not bother me at all? I loved that I could go to the bathroom and eat my lunch in peace - and that for those 8 hours daily, the fight or flight response was paused.

But I was always waiting for the next thing to happen - Summer loosing half of the hair on her head to alopecia, the daycare calling to say that they were unsure whether they could manage her, her being discharged at 4 yr old from therapy due to the long waiting list.

These small items all add up to chronic stress. Only when I started to learn what happens to the body when it's under chronic stress, did my physical symptoms start to make sense. Inexplicable rashes on my arm that had the dermatologist puzzled; an anxiety attack at work where I couldn’t breath and I had to be taken from the office on a stretcher to the local hospital - where doctors could not find one thing wrong with me.

But then I realized that I had a huge, scary problem on my hands because my life wasn’t going to change, the stress wasn’t going to get any better, so if I was physically and emotionally breaking down - how I was I suppose to handle my life?

In fact, when Summer was very young, I told myself that things would get better, yet every age brought new challenges, new behaviours, which then resulted in new frustrations for me.

Because I understand what it’s like to have a special needs child, and because I saw myself going down a road that would end in me crashing, I knew that I had to do something and since there aren’t any doctors specializing in supporting parent caregivers, I knew I was on my own to figure out how to best support myself mentally and physically so I could best support and care for my whole family. 

Thus began my love affair with self-care. I knew enough that I had to start making changes in order to get different results. After years of working with energy coaches, personal development coaches, reading, etc, I've noticed a huge shift in the way that I was feeling and a huge improvement in my parenting abilities.

Looking back now, I’m so very proud of how far that I’ve come. I now feel ready for the next 10 years as a caregiver.





Leave a comment


Also in News

A woman in a black pencil skirt, white blouse and black heels is standing with left hands up at her forehead and is gazing forward. Her shadow is a women in a cape. On the wall in the background are are the words
There's a Superhero in All of Us

May 04, 2021

If I had to choose a female superhero to represent a family caregiver, I would choose a warrior that has a shield engraved with the letter “S”. The “S” stands for softness, spirit and self-awareness.

View full article →

A woman sitting on a rock looking out at the ocean. We see that she has blonde hair and wearing a cobalt blue top and white pants. The sky is blue with white clouds.
Choosing Compassion

April 25, 2021

When people get tired and frustrated, compassion is usually one of the first things to go out the window. When actually, that’s when we need it most. Both compassion for ourselves and compassion for others.

View full article →

Grey oval stone engrained with the word hope is sitting in the sand. There are four circles drawn in the sand around the rock.
Support & Hope

April 11, 2021

But now I understand the importance of hope. Parents of children with autism need stories of inspiration and hope so that they never give up on their kids. 

View full article →

Sign up to receive my weekly blog, recipes and to learn more about upcoming retreats & courses.