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I Am You

by julie on May 12th, 2016

We walk a similar path and although I am a few steps ahead or even a few steps behind, I am you and you are me. I write it all down as I am inspired to do so and I have even published a book and yet I am still “just a mom” like you.

You might read my words and assume I have it all together. These days, for the most part, I do have it together yet the first ten years are never far from my memory. I kinda sorta have it together but do not be fooled by a professional head shot on the back cover of my book.

You are me 12 years, 10 years, 7 years ago. There was a time when I didn’t sleep and our daughter was so unstable that I wasn’t sure if I could keep her alive with the specialized g-tube formula and all of the love in the world. There was that time that I tore into a doctor who had the audacity to question my authority on a child that perplexed everyone. And there was that other time that I would roll my eyes listening to other mothers complain about their neuro-typical child’s head cold and how exhausted they were from losing a night of sleep.

A year after releasing my book to the world, I pick it up occasionally and read my words as though they are being given to me as a gift from myself. Gaining unimaginable wisdom and writing a book does not a guru make. I falter along this path just as much as all of you. It is the reason why I vow to never refer to my readers as “Dear Ones” or some other condescending term that insinuates I am somehow above you.

Recently, at a retreat in Texas, a mom offered a session called “You Are Enough.” She shared that she felt uneasy about the fact that “Julie Keon” was going to be present and she immediately started to question whether or not she was “qualified” to give a session. It’s funny, because as she was presenting (and doing a fine job of it!), I was thinking to myself, “Oh man…….I should have planned my session differently. These mamas might think I am some sort of weirdo showing up with my rituals and unrealistic optimism about grieving.” It turns out that my session was well received and I had nothing to worry about. The point of this story, though, is that we all come to this path of parenting with our own histories, experiences, personalities, disappointments, failures and triumphs.

This morning, I was flipping through my book for some sections to share with a group of parents I am presenting to this evening. Ironically, my own words jumped out at me as a much needed reminder. I wrote the book and I still need to tap into my self-care and thrival skills as I walk along into the future of the blessed unknown.

“Other thrival skills include seeking out whoever can give you relief, guidance and support: a therapist, a body worker (chiropractor, massage therapist, etc.), a personal trainer, a spiritual guide. You will need to attune to your body if you want to stay well for your child.”

Not one of us is an expert on how to do this. The best we can hope for is to learn from our experience and share our tried and true tricks of the ‘trade’ with those who are just beginning or with those who are further along but have been isolated in some way. We must always assume that, no matter how “together” another parent appears, they do not walk this path unscathed. I am you and you are me.

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One Comment
  1. Julie,

    I just read the 2011 post recently cross posted on The Caregiver Network and wept the whole way through. I could have replaced “child” with “care partner who lives with dementia” throughout. Almost every word you wrote applies equally to my experience of being a care partner to someone who lives with dementia. Thank you for your powerful writing and for sharing your experiences.

    I look forward to reading and sharing your posts.

    Susan

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