We recently had a wedding to go to. We asked my mother to babysit, but when we called to confirm, there was a mix up in weekends and she was no longer available. My mother in law was going to the wedding with us…..SOOOOO we set off to find a sitter. We have not had anyone babysit for bedtime besides our moms ever so this was a new adventure in its self.
We couldn’t ask our friends for a sleepover because with Nolan’s sleep issues we cannot wake him to bring him home and we cannot leave him because it would not be fair for them to be up with him for 2-4 hours in the middle of the night if this should be the night that he would get up. We had to find a sitter to come here. With Nolan being basically non-verbal and not playing with toys, we have to be very careful who we pick.
We called a former therapist who always said she wanted to babysit. She was so excited and really wanted to, to find out she had a prior obligation. Then we called a girl I used to babysit for and is a therapist at Nolan’s center. She, too, was very excited and wanted to but had a prior obligation. We were out of ideas. Soooo we resorted to family. We asked my baby brother. Now he is 20. He is an adult, spent most of his junior and senior year at our house, and knows my kids BUT putting 2 kids to bed solo– juggling 2 kids in general is tricky. Plus I cant say if he has ever changed a poopy diaper before. BUT we needed a sitter and he was willing and we were close and we had to go for it. We left as close to dinner as possible.
We got to the wedding and he reported all was going well. We were getting together to take a family photo and he called (it was bedtime and he asked where one of the meds we had listed was, and we told him where to find it). Everyone was calling me over for the photo and I said I will be right there it is the sitter. When I came running to the pictures I said, “Sorry it was the sitter, we have never had one before so I had to answer!” A cousin taking the picture said, “never? You need to get out more.”
It got me thinking, we DO need to get out more. I would love to get out more.
…and then I thought of how much work and worry and everything else it was to get out. Finding someone that can deal with special needs is tough, really tough. Sometimes leaving the list is harder than just doing it yourself. I taught, and I know many other teachers can relate–it is easier to come sick than to write sub plans. We make choices….and it is so hard.
I often feel I am one who needs the break the most, but finding the relief is the hardest. Our parents are so great with our kids and always willing, but you also dont want to ask them all. the. time. We need their help for obligations, we dont want to tax them out for fun + obligations.
Then you take into account–if I stay up late going “out” I dont know how much sleep I will get that night. Even if I get home at 11, I could get 3 hours and I could get 8. Its terrifying to have to make that choice.
We got home from the wedding at 11:30. I was in bed by 12. Stella woke up screaming at 1. I got her calmed down and back in bed at 1:30. Nolan woke at 3:30. Alex rocked him and sat with him until 4:30 but since he had to work the next day, he tagged me in. I got him to sleep around 5. They were up for the day at 6:30, Alex let me sleep until 7. All I could think was THIS is why I don’t go out!
We went to the wedding-we got out. It was a great break and it was fun to see family, eat great food, dance, and celebrate the happy couple. All went well and my brother rocked it as well as gained confidence so I feel I could ask him to babysit again.
I guess the point of this ramble is to say, if you have someone who deals with special needs–dont judge them for not getting out. Dont judge them for not getting a sitter. You have no idea how much work it is. Also, try to help find a way to get them out. They need it, trust me! You dont need to do it yourself, you dont need to inconvenience them, you just need to be there for them and not fill them with a sense of shame for not being able to do it this time. I am not mad at anyone, I do not blame anyone, I do not want anyone to feel bad. I am just trying to open eyes to new perspectives.