The Holiday Season Can Be Hard for Caregiving Families
The holiday season can be hard for caregiving families. I spent Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and my birthday the hospital with our infant son. Because of his precarious health when he was young, several times we made the difficult choice to stay at home for Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of spending it with extended family.
I didn’t like making those choices. I didn’t want to miss the holiday traditions I’d experienced growing up. On our birthdays, we chose the menu for dinner and whatever dessert we desired. Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent with either Mom’s extended family or Dad’s, the women gathering the day before to prepare feasts that culminated in the most delicious homemade pies I’ve ever eaten.
At the beginning of each holiday when our son was hospitalized or we chose to stay home, I grieved what our young family would miss. However, as we experienced each holiday with people who weren’t part of our extended families, I found pockets of joy.
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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.
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