Let’s face it, Moms and Dads, we all get there once in a while, right? We try so hard to get it all done – work, family, volunteer activities – that we sometimes commit more hours that we can reasonably do. In addition, if you add in any sort of chronic health issue, that makes it even more complicated.

The last two weeks have been tough for me. My work responsibilities suddenly increased. The family has been particularly needy. And, to top it all off, one of my grown daughters decided to attack me with gossip and didn’t believe me when I told her the truth of the situation. Instead, she chose to go on the warpath.

On Thursday, after a long of day at work, I drove six hours to prepare for a visit with our adult son who lives in a psychiatric hospital. I was both mentally and physically tired. To be honest, I didn’t have the strength to do it all. Add in the complications that come with my health issues and I could barely walk across the room. I have a genetic mutation that causes reactions to many types of food as well as rheumatoid arthritis. I had no energy. I was in pain. I had to act as if I was completely on top of the ball and ready to go. And, I had to cross my fingers and hope that I didn’t have any food reactions while I was there.

I spent most of Friday dealing with the hospital meetings. Our son had a bad day, screaming, biting his arms, and scratching his face. He banged his head against the wall, leaving holes in the drywall. And, that all occurred within the few minutes it took to prepare his sedative. By the time I saw him that afternoon, he was calm and cooperative. The sedative was wearing off and he felt good. In the meantime, I talked to the behavioral psychologist, the nursing staff, the social worker, and all the other treatment staff that wanted my attention.

I returned to my hotel room too exhausted to function. I rested for a short time and then pulled myself together enough to go to dinner. I should have come back to the hotel room to work that night. I had lots to do. But I couldn’t make my brain focus on work. I went to bed instead. I woke up the next morning prepared to do some work, but I couldn’t. So, I went to the movies. I went shopping. I had a nice lunch out. It was a great day.

It certainly didn’t do everything I needed to get one hundred percent of my energy back, but it was a good start. The next day, I drove the six hours home knowing that I was more relaxed and better able to handle the day. It worked for me.

When I was a teenager, I used to clean my room to de-stress. (Yes, I’m being serious.) I would dump out my drawers, fold clothes, and organize the contents. It made me feel more in control of my world to be organized. It helped me deal with a stressful life where I felt like an outsider much of the time.

Today, my physical limitations dictate a less physical response to stress. I read, watch movies, or do craft projects. What works for you? Do you need a day at the spa or a hike in the forest? Maybe a date night with your partner or some time at the beach is in order.

I encourage you to find those things that help you relax and refuel your tanks. After all, when you’re feeling good and ready to go, you’ll be the best version of you.

Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, two biological kids, guardian of one baby girl and foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She is co-owner of a counselling agency that works with children and their families.

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Rev. Kelly Crenshaw
Rev. Kelly Crenshaw
Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, 2 biological kids, Guardian of one adorable toddler, and has been the foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She has worked with kids in the foster care system for over two decades, actively advocating for all kids, but especially those in the LGBT community. And, in her spare time, she can be found preaching in some of our area’s most LGBT-friendly churches. Feel free to send your parenting questions to her at Pastor.Kelly@comcast.net.
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