5 Ways to Recover from Caregiving Chaos

by Feb 26, 2015How-Tos, Special Needs Parenting4 comments

Two days before Thanksgiving of 2014, my life descended into caregiver chaos. Not because of a kid with special needs. But because of an aging parent with special needs. My mom, to be specific. Who came to stay with us until the end of the year to give her primary caregivers, my brother and his wife, a much needed break.

That break nearly broke me because in quick succession…

Mom had what we think was a TIA that affected her balance and thinking.
My husband’s back went out, and he was MIA for several days.
My brother and I put Mom’s name on an assisted living facility’s waiting list, expecting a 2 month wait.
A week later, someone from the facility called to announce they had an immediate opening.
The next week, our granddaughter was born 10 days early.
The same day the page proofs came for my latest book.
And our daughter and her husband moved into a new condo.
A week later, we moved Mom into the care facility.
The next day, I went to help with the new baby for several days.
When I came home, my husband and I arranged to haul furniture to our kids’ new condo.

I am not making this up.

And I’m not even mentioning the time spent dealing with an email hack, a Facebook hack, the sudden death of the business software I’ve used for years, wrangling with Mom’s insurance company, wrangling with a financial institution not eager to cash in one of Mom’s annuities, a week long visit from our daughter and son-in-law right before their move, the dog that died, or the evil laugh Mom gives when she beats me at Uno, which is pretty often.

To read the rest of 5 Ways to Recover from Caregiving Chaos go to the Not Alone website at www.specialneedsparenting.net.

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By Jolene

Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream series for parents of kids with special needs. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. She’s also the creator and host of the Different Dream website. Sharing Love Abundantly With Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and at Amazon.


  1. Jolene

    You are welcome, Vonda. It’s hard to run a larger ministry when family caretaking ministry requires so much time. I keep telling myself to be faithful to family now, and God will cover the rest. Jolene

  2. Vonda Skelton

    Oh my goodness. My life has been a mirror of your experience this past year, and it’s still ongoing. And the difficult thing is, I WANT to do everything I’m doing, but sometimes it’s just too much, especially since I, too, am still writing and speaking and leading a very busy ministry.

    But just yesterday, I came across a verse I’d never really grasped before: Romans 15:13. I realized I can have ALL joy and peace, and hope to overflowing “as I trust in Him.” I’ve got to quit fretting and just trust…

    …Even in the midst of deadlines and demands.

    Thank you for your validation today, Jolene!

  3. Jolene

    To be honest, I’m still catching up. But the chaos is over, and that is wonderful.

  4. David

    Wow – I think next time I am having a difficult day, or week I’ll refer to this post. I am amazed you made it out in one piece! The hack alone would have put me in a tailspin!

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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