Caregiving Moms are FOR Other Caregiving Moms
Caregiving moms are for other caregiving moms. Or are we? In the fourth installment of her series, Heather Braucher describes the struggle many caregiving moms face in accepting and giving encouragement from other caregiving moms.
I was in a parent workshop listening to a speaker talk on the subject of behavioral therapy for children. I could sense that there were parents in the room—like me—who were in the thick of the struggle.
But there were also parents in the room who were on the other side. The side where victory and hope live.
During the talk, I battled the voice in my head that said, “Your situation is more complex. Your child’s struggles will never end. You will never be on the other side.”
I hate that voice. I believe it to be the voice of the enemy, the father of lies, who wants us to remain trapped in discouragement, devoid of hope.
I have become more aware of that voice. I guard my heart with prayer and keep my eyes open to recognize it. I prepared myself before the workshop by praying, “Lord, help me hold every thought captive to you. Help me hear what it is you have for me today.”
The voice and its thought, “That’s great for you, but there’s no hope for me here,” had wormed its way into too many areas of my life before.
I recall the early days when the kids were babies. Those days of sleep training, breast-feeding and behavior training. The days when well-meaning mothers and friends would share how their child is sleeping through the night, or how their child could listen and obey right away, or how 1-2-3 magic was the key. They were not wrong to share, but I often felt so discouraged.
But then I remember when my first child was about 11 months old and a friend passed along the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. This was one of the first times a recommended strategy worked after applying it. I was in shock and over the moon ecstatic! Even so, I hesitated sharing about that book because I didn’t want to frustrate someone else.
So many times I had been around the table with other moms listening to their success stories and thinking, “That’s awesome for you, but it won’t work for me.”
How often do we see the success of others and think there has to be a reason they reached their goal? A reason that sets them apart from me? A reason that makes success more possible for them than it is for me?
Witnessing my son Jackson’s progress with speech and language development ever since he received adequate hearing has provided me with the most profound opportunity to recognize and celebrate progress! But it did not come easy. And I imagine that is true of so many other women who are sharing their stories of victory or recommendations.
We share because we have been in a place of suffering, and have found our way on the other side and we desperately want the same for others. I often blog about the blessing that suffering can bring. Trust me, I do not enjoy suffering. I used to avoid it at all costs. But I now know that the struggle, the long suffering, the day-to-day battle, make the awareness and ability to embrace being on the other side so sweet.
We cannot predict how quickly success can be achieved for others, but we can share our struggles and our wins in hopes of bringing others closer to being on the other side of their struggle. We can be caregiving moms who are FOR other caregiving moms.
I will close out this series with a post about how the Lord is FOR us!
Part 1: We are FOR Parents and Children
Part 2: Mothers are FOR their Children with Disabilities and Special Needs
Part 3: Caregiving Spouses are FOR Each Other
Part 4: Caregiving Moms are FOR Other Caregiving Moms
Part 5: Jesus is FOR Caregiving Parents
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Heather Braucher is a member of the “Braucher Bunch” aka her energetic family of 5. The bunch includes her husband and their three children, all of whom are dominant and extroverted and are going to change the world (if she can keep them alive!) She has always held a passion for writing, but motherhood has given her a reason to share her experiences, heartaches, and victories with others. In her writing you will hear stories of hope as well as grief, as her family has navigated life in ministry in the US and overseas, all while discovering that 2 of her children have special needs. Her desire is to provide others with connection, understanding, encouragement and laughter, all washed with the love of Christ.
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