My mother passed away several years ago. We had a tumultuous relationship over the years, basically a love/hate one. One of things that irritated me to no end, was her constant “I wish I could help you, but I live so far away”. Except she didn’t, she lived about an hour away. She would tell me about talking to her friends wishing she could help, praying to her god wishing for help, contacting people to tell me ridiculous non-important things about my son, etc. It was like nails on a chalkboard to me.
There are so many ways an individual could help. Offer to come with me and my son to the store. Just having someone as company while I negotiate a store, doors, groceries, getting him shoes, etc., would be welcome company.
When I was a single mom, make a Shepard’s Pie and deliver it before dinner or whatever and that I can freeze it.
Offer to drive me and my son to a doctor’s appointment. They can be so stressful and not always can both parents attend. Just having a second set of ears to hear what is happening, because at times I have to focus on what my son is doing, that I am not always hearing everything a doctor has to say. Or better yet, be a note taker for me.
Take me for a coffee, a movie, a walk….I don’t care, sometimes I just need to get away.
Offer to care for my son. Rent him a movie and sit and watch it with him. No respite, no babysitting fee, no nothing.
Offer to care for my son, while I sleep. Oh yes, sleep. Remember what it was like when your babies were so young and you slept with one ear open. Well, I did that for most of his life and I treasure sleep, more than even doughnuts or good candy.
Recently I put my back out and I now have a new-mother-in-law. For all the things I have done for her since her husband passed away, not once did she call and ask could I come over and do the laundry, make supper, clean a bathroom, whatever!!!! I wouldn’t have cared. Just something.
Lastly, no matter how busy your life is, trust me it isn’t as busy as a mom and/or dad with a disabled child.. It’s never-ending. The paperwork alone can bury us for a weekend. The calendar for a medical appointments can put a CEO’s to shame. Ours is not a choice, but a mandetory requirement.
We tend to be prideful people and there is a reason for it, so we don’t tend to want to ask for help, but trust me … we are begging for it inside.