Check in + Circle of Support

Does it feel like your world is upside down? You are not alone. 

Beginnings SC  • 4/09/2020

We’ve put together multiple tips to help you navigate this new school-at-home time we are in.

Here are some DHH-specific tips for facing the new challenge of learning from home. 
Click to download COVID 19 tip sheet for learning at home
If school was the only concern, it would be easier! Now let's talk about you. The "cabin fever” and uncertainty are getting to many of us. It’s hard, for so many different levels. Again, we want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! As always, Mary has just the words for all of us.
Hi folks, Mary here again. Whoa. Last week was quite a whirlwind of a week. I don’t know about you but I am still here trying to figure out how to homeschool, stay healthy, make 3 meals and endless snacks, pay bills, and get some work done. It is a lot! My three busy children are also trying to adjust to this new schedule and expectations. With that comes testing limits and pushing buttons, especially this energetic, spirited five-year-old of mine. This morning, after a particularly strong-headed discussion about what activities she was allowed to do while her brothers finished their lesson and I participated in a work call, I thought back to a conversation I had many years ago when I was pregnant with my first. My neighbor Cheryl, who was a caseworker with the SC Department of Social Services, came by to bring some of her famous homemade apple butter. She wanted to see the nursery and while helping fold some delicious-smelling newborn clothes casually said “Mary, I just want you to know that when you have that moment of ‘oh no! I can’t do this! This baby won’t stop crying or this toddler won’t listen to me!’ you will come knock on my door and let me help you.” I remember politely thanking her for her support while also thinking “that won’t ever be me. I am going to be a ‘good mom.’” Fast forward about 6 months and my 5-month-old, chronically colicky baby hadn’t stopped crying for what felt like days. He also hadn’t slept more than 4 hours in a row since his birth which meant neither had I. I was lying on the floor of his room crying and wondering how I would manage it all. How would I ever sleep and parent and get him to stop crying? Then I remembered Cheryl telling me to knock on her door. I thought about all the stories I’d heard as a counselor of parents feeling stressed and overwhelmed and just “snapping” and I realized it could happen to anyone of us at any moment. And I know that being a “good mom” had more to do with who is in your circle and can help you than it does about what you are or how you parent. So today, when a five-year-old was stomping and screaming, I remembered that I have a circle of support and I took a breath and made a call to a friend. I walked outside to see a flower that was blooming in the weeds of my used-to-be yard. And guess who followed me? That little five-year-old. She wanted to be with me. We turned that screaming into a talk about flowers (who’s homeschooling now?!) and we were both calm and ready to go back inside. I want to be sure YOU know that you have a circle, too. Even if you don’t know it. We are all facing a completely unprecedented situation that is causing folks to lose their jobs and school support and hopefully not homes or loved ones. But we will all get through this together. So a reminder to you - you are not alone in this - THIS IS HARD! But you have a circle of support you can call on when you aren’t sure what to do next or it feels like it’s all too much. I wanted to make sure you could easily find them. And, know this, being a “good” parent is about knowing when you need a minute to breathe. So, take a breath with me. 
If that breath wasn’t enough, or if you can’t remember the last time you breathed, here’s a national hotline--for families of deaf/hard of hearing children. Add them to your “circle of support” and reach out if you need.  And, again, we are here. 
Reach out! Even if it is to tell us you are doing great! ???