It is hard to make quality time and to satisfy everybody’s needs for attention. But we all try and are considerate, even if it means sacrificing our own needs for time for ourselves.
A lot of difficulties with family issues was put onto Zackery. And he sensed it. When quarrels between my girls and me became too much for him, he went into the carport finding refuge in our car. There he found some quiet time.
When looking at my family needs, I knew I had to find a solution. And I created three families……one family was one on one with Zackery……another one was just me with my two girls ….and another one us all together.
The last one was the most difficult one to do and was full of restrictions. I will give you an example.
Christmas is always a very special family time and after a nice turkey dinner everybody can finally open up their presents. This is what you think!!! We could not do this. Not that particular Christmas, but we learned from it. Zackery reacted with intense distress to the tearing of the gift wrap paper. He tried to cope with lashing out and hitting.
At that time, we lived in Terrace, BC. CLBC had a respite home there, which was always staffed, also on Christmas. In my distraught I called them, and they agreed to take him. Zackery got dropped off at the home and my daughters and I could continue with the evening (we celebrate December 24th).
Everything was fine, but it was Christmas time, a special time where the family should be together. Guilt crept in. What did I do? Guilt took the best of me.
What did I do? I went to the respite home and brought him back to us. This was a mistake. I know, you, my readers, are assessing the situation better than I did at tat time. When Zackery came home, he remembered the noise of the paper tearing, he remembered that it was him who was “guilty” and could not be calmed down. What came next? I brought Zackery back to the respite home. This time he stayed until late evening. The girls and I had time together, could read all the cards, make phone calls, and enjoyed our presents. That evening I was exhausted.
I think my oldest daughter had the most difficulties coping with our unique family situation. All she ever wanted was to have a normal family, and she said so many times. Having a child with special needs creates an imbalance in the family, no matter how small or big.
We as parents need to make the best of it. Quality time becomes the answer. Spending time with everybody was the answer, but it was harder than I thought. What did I do?
I created some travel and shopping time with my girls. Off to Prince George we went whenever we could. It was something to look forward to. When the girls were small, PG was a good idea. Later it became Vancouver when they were teenagers.
Making these trips possible was not easy to do financially. I worked outside the home and we lived in low- income housing. This helped.
These trips were fun, the hotel in Prince George was good and expensive. I always booked a fancy hotel and we stayed three nights. A casino was close by. Being tight with money ( I actually did not have enough) I risked playing $50,- at the Roulette table. I am not a gambler and played safe. Stupid as I was with being a gambler, I put chips on either red or black.
Believe it or not, every time we went to PG, every time I went to the casino to make some money, I made $50,00. My money back plus additional $50,00-. My goal was $50,00. I knew this was the amount I had to pay for dinner at the restaurant.
I strongly felt, the universe was helping me and I was in awe. $50,00 was needed to pay for a fancy dinner for three. The hotel had a Japanese restaurant downstairs. This is what we had, dinner and a show. The cook was also a performer, throwing knives through the air, catching them, chopping meat and vegies like an artist before our eyes. We enjoyed the atmosphere tremendously.
And I felt so grateful to life and the universe. I remember being happy and at peace.