No Conflict Zone

homeThe title of this post is probably something that citizens globally are seeking today either due to geo-political reasons, economic reasons, or religious reasons. However in my post I deal with our attempt to make our home a no conflict zone. I do not claim to be fully successful but our strive continues. I will share my experience and wish to receive your feedback.

Most special needs parents will agree that we argue with our spouse much much more than in natural circumstances and we know how our lives transformed emotionally as we moved into a role of  a special needs parent. A conflict between us seems inevitable and arguments happening at the drop of a hat is an understatement. Reasons are galore and could be very minor, for example you gave her meds at 8:15 AM but your spouse wanted them to given at 8:00 AM and comments that you are careless. The next time, you see your spouse busy on a phone call ( might be very crucial for him) instead of attending to your child, you do not miss the opportunity to taunt him as you had been nurturing the hurt feeling for hours. The end result is totally unnecessary. A war of words ensues. The environment of the house is opposite of a no-conflict zone. All said and done your child suffers unknowingly. One obvious effect is when you are working with your child immediately after a conflict, you realize the quality of your work drops, your awareness and your concentration is impacted. This is definitely not what we want.

Though the objective are the same for both of us : helping her, ensuring her well being and activating her brain then why do we argue, get hyper, get stressed, retaliate and yell. We probably conclude that the stressful situation due to her health condition takes a toll on both. But we cannot play the blame game here, the solution is in our own hands. We need to do a favor to our self.

There is a simple solution. Modify your tone. Whenever you are conversing, whether you justify a particular task or you provide your point of view, or introduce a  controversial topic or give a contradicting reply etc, do it in a relatively softer tone than you have been doing. It works wonders. After you start applying it in your daily conversation, the awakening will happen on the other side too. You will  be amazed by the results. Initially you will have to do it with awareness and consciousness. Gradually it will become a part of your conversation style and then your habit. Consequences are awesome,  you will always have healthy conversations and will look forward to work as a team in the no-conflict zone of your home. Not to forget, the ultimate beneficiary is your child.

There is another tip shared by Sudip, Peu’s father; difference in opinion are natural and due to various reasons we might get into arguments with each other. But retaining the unhappy/bitter mood for hours is damaging. Instead, in a few minutes, trash the bitterness, forget and move on. This too is a gradual process and will not happen overnight but put in a conscious effort to get over with the situation and thoughts.

Every situation has a silver lining; during one of our heated discussions we discovered Peu’s (diagnosed with CDKL5 disorder) cognitive maturity. As we argued, Peu swayed her head side to side looking at us one at a time whenever it was our turn to reply during the conversation. It was an eye opener. She seemed to understand everything and probably was laughing at our silliness.

Your thoughts are welcome!.

 

 

 

Balance

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Image from cellularwisdom.com

The term balance has its own connotation among all age groups be it a toddler, a teenager or a new joiner at work. A lot is said and written about the work life balance of a working mother.

In this post I highlight the importance of balance in the life of a special needs mom and share my experience on how it has helped me transform from a full time caregiver to an effective caregiver.

In one of my earlier posts, I had shared my transformation to a dedicated coach for my daughter Peu who has been diagnosed with CDKL5, a rare genetic disorder. In an year’s time, things changed.

A friendly gesture by Anjana, my friend and colleague triggered the change in my life. She informed me and suggested to apply for an open position in the organization I was employed earlier.

It was after much trepidation and several convincing sessions by Sudip, Peu’s father did I apply for the job. Today I am grateful to all who enabled me to join back to my profession.

Initial days were filled with confusion and a deep sense of guilt. On the other hand joining back to my profession and doing the stuff that I enjoyed  was thrilling for me. Sudip ensured that I could completely focus at my work when I was away at office. The set up is working fine for us. He applies various optimizing techniques so that we can achieve balance in all our daily routine tasks enabling us to focus on Peu’s care and development.

Gradually in a month’s time, I  realized:

  •  The fact that I could focus on two different (completely diverse) things was rewarding.
  • My interactions and sessions with Peu got more effective and result oriented. I hope she too appreciates the variation.
  • It was during this time that I was assured about my findings, could nail down the cause of her seizures and solve it to a major extent.
  • I could establish a balance between my two roles with more than willing support from everyone concerned.
  • Felt confident about my work and abilities.
  • My brain looks out to learn new things, had shunned the depressive thoughts, and gets creative to help Peu activate her brain.

Therefore, my message to all the special needs parents who are also full time caregivers is to diversify yourself. Get deeply involved into a cause, hobby, initiative or profession and during this involvement completely switch yourself off from your child’s environment. Do this everyday if possible. I am certain that you will come back home to your child with double the energy and positivism. I believe the balance is essential for us. I attribute this new found balance to be a consequence of allowing my brain to reorganize its thoughts, processes and ideas about Peu’s  care and development while I get engrossed in my professional work. And when I am back with Peu in her environment, there is an element of newness in my interactions. The diversion is like an engine oil that lubricates the brain and facilitates better performance in my primary role.

Your thoughts, inputs and feedback are always welcome.

I end this post with a short note of how Peu recognizes the importance of balance in her life.When she sits on a chair or in our lap and establishes an erect position balancing her head on her spine, her expression reflects awareness, concentration and intention. It is endearing for us but she probably experiences a sense of achievement during those moments. We hope that she realizes the importance of balance in her physical body and then her brain will gradually acquire sitting balance too.