Who Cares?

Who cares?

That’s a loaded question, but its one that I find myself asking almost every single day, although maybe not in the way you are envisioning right now.

This question, at one stage of my life, was the focus of my angst. Now, it empowers me. It’s all about perspective.

Having children with chronic illnesses adds another layer to the already very challenging job of being a parent. Like every other mom (or dad) on the planet, I have my share of everyday ups and downs, arguments/confrontations and lessons or teachable moments with the younger set who are now adults-in-training.

It is exhausting, especially when you are trying to do it right…even without the whole illness thing thrown in. It makes you want to say

whocares

Some days just being a normal parent makes you want to throw your hands up and say “who cares?!?” But we know deep down, we really do care. We know “who cares?” really means “I’m so frustrated, I’m almost at my breaking point.” At this stage of the game, that phrase means I care, and I care too much. This is OUR warning sign that we need to slow down, and take a grownup time out. I know it’s not possible to take a trip to the spa (or Tahiti) at these moments, but it is absolutely necessary to take a breather, or a short mental break just for a minute. When we feel things getting out of control, its best to take a step back, breathe and regroup. If the fix needs to be bigger than that, ask for help. Enlist your spouse, a friend to watch the kids for a minute, or another family member. If the problem is ongoing and even bigger than this? Don’t be afraid to seek out help from the pros if you need to, either. Counseling for you and or the kids can often help if the situation seems entirely too overwhelming.

With a chronically sick kid, at some point in the journey you come to a turning point. When everyone else (many of them unexpected friends and even family) get tired of your situation not “being over yet” you start to wonder “who cares?” but in a who-really-gives-a-darn about us kind of way. Although it can be very disheartening, this “who cares” can actually be a GOOD thing. It separates your relationships, and the cream of the crop? Well it rises to the top. You start to see who your real friends are, and who you can depend on (as well as who you can’t.) This goes for family too. In the future, knowing who’s who saves a lot of heartache, even though initially it will cause some.

I know this is a family blog, so if you don’t appreciate the use of the H-E- double hockey sticks word, don’t play this video. I couldn’t resist though. It completely captures the essence of the final “who cares” that I wanted to explore.

This is the “who cares” that I have moved on to- the empowering one. Being a parent makes you busy. Being a parent to a chronically ill child makes you crazy busy. Working (blogging and writing books counts!) being a parent to multiple children with chronic illnesses? Insanely busy!!! So much so that I could end up driving myself over the edge if I didn’t stop to ask myself that important question. “Who cares?” If no one does, then why drive myself batty? If the kids have clean clothes does anyone care that the hamper is almost full? (Especially if tomorrow my schedule is 10x lighter, and I can do the laundry easily?) Nope. Does my best friend care if I really NEED to reschedule coffee til next week, but we get a minute to chat while I’m waiting in car line instead? Nope. Will the kids be just as happy with do it yourself pizzas instead of the 3 course meal I had planned to make, uh, duh. Absolutely. There are some things that we tend to make matter, when NO one, and I mean no one really cares. I can keep myself sane and healthy by honestly asking myself “who cares?” before I undertake more of life’s minutia than I need to, then freeing myself from the stuff that no one really DOES care about. Simple but true, and more powerful than you think.

If you are wondering who cares about what you think, I do! Let me know in the comments what you think about this post!

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Comments:

  1. I honestly do not have time in my life for the people that are there for me in the beginning and then do not care anymore.. I keep people close that i want, and toss away the rest.. Take the people who do care as your real friends..

    • Some people just don’t get it, and it isn’t due to any ill will… some just can’t handle it. When its like that I think about the saying where friends are meant to be there either for a reason, a season or for life… not all friends are for life!

  2. I think you show great wisdom in admitting to yourself that we all reach a point where we just can’t be everything and have everything and do everything and we need to prioritize what really is important!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Thoughts About Love on Martin Luther King Jr. DayMy Profile

  3. My son has Aspergers and it is so overwhelming at times. And your right… who cares?!?!? Do I keep it all together every day? No way! But I try the best I can with what I have and if we all make it to bed time alive and in one piece…. well it was a successful day! LOL I used to try to be super mom and well I have learned the art of saying no…. infact I use that bad boy a lot! The only people I care about if they care are those that live in my house…. everyone else can take a number, get in line and HOPE I have time to take their numbers. Am I being selfish? No I am surviving the best I can with what I can do at any given moment in life. So who cares? Me and if it isn’t important to me, well then it is no longer important… talk about a stress release 🙂
    Mindie recently posted…Surprise!!! Baby Bunnies!!!My Profile

  4. Agree. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break and remember what really matters. The ones that love us best will understand- the rest…who cares. 😉
    Angela recently posted…Sugar AlternativesMy Profile

  5. Amen! *claps* My view is as long as my family, as in the ones living under this roof, are happy and I am happy, then my day to day life is no concern of others. So what if I decided that sticking to a whole foods diet is just not feasible for us at the current time, so what if my clean clothes stay in the basket for an extra to days.

    in the end the only who cares that counts is my family.

    Love the post!
    Felicia recently posted…Starting Successful on Monday: Martin Luther King DayMy Profile

  6. This goes with a conversation I had with a friend last week. We have to prioritize and put the “first things first.” Then we’ll have time for the minutiae that goes along with being a mom. When we focus on the small things first, we get overwhelmed.
    TaMara recently posted…A Letter to the Opposing CoachMy Profile

  7. I don’t have a chronically ill child, but I have started the ‘who cares’ mantra recently. I spend way too much time worrying about cleaning the house and things that don’t really matter. I should be focusing on what I can get out of this moment in time. It doesn’t need to be productive, it just needs to be something worthwhile.
    Karen @TheMissingNiche.com recently posted…Maple Flavored BaconMy Profile

  8. Amen, sister! When I lived in New York state, my hand was the first in the air whenever anyone needed a volunteer. I swear I didn’t even hear what they needed before I offered to do it! Trying to juggle all my crazy commitments, I felt like the Farside cartoon of the crisis clinic on fire going over the falls. I decided when I moved to THINK about what I was committing my time to, making sure that the really important things got time and focus and that I didn’t bother with silliness. I no longer volunteered to cut 30 ghosts from Clorox bottles to make Halloween pins. Instead I sent a note to the teacher letting her know I’d be happy to provide what she needed for the party (paper plates and cups). If you don’t over-commit to begin with, life is good!

    • Lynne, glad you heard me loud and clear. It took me a bit longer to get it, but thank goodness I did. It was an “AHA!” moment that changed my life, and continues to do so on a daily basis. I hope that others hear that message as well. Thanks for the affirmation and sharing your story!

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