Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finding a Workable Schedule as a Family of Four

I love being a family of four. It is so fun to spend time together as a family with our newest addition. I liked being a family of three, but I like being a family of four even more. It makes life harder for sure, but it is worth it.

We have made it through the first month of classes this spring semester. Working out a schedule as a family of four has been a challenge. We had help from Dorina during the first week. Next I made it through the second week of classes, but then week three was not a good week. Things started to fall apart. I had been doing too much and could no longer keep up. My legs were getting incredibly weak, and I was quickly becoming a fall risk. My legs simply did not want to work in the mornings. I remember this well from the early months with William as a baby. There were many days that I would get out of bed and promptly fall on the ground because my legs just couldn't hold me. After week three of this semester I was almost back down to that same place physically, and so Will cut back on his time at school and let me spend a lot of time sleeping and resting in bed. After I recuperated we started a different schedule. It took some time to figure out, but I think we now have a workable schedule, one that allows me adequate rest and allows Will adequate time for school.

This is what we are doing to juggle life with two children, dysautonomia, and seminary:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - Will goes to school at 8am to attend classes and do homework. He comes home for lunch, and then goes back to school until 5, 6, or 7pm. I get up with William and Adelaide in the mornings (which can be anywhere from 8:30am to 10:00am) and do my best to care for them while Will is gone.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday - Will stays home in the mornings so that I can sleep in. I sleep until about noon, and I am usually out of bed by 1pm. Will goes to school to do homework in the afternoons.

Wednesday and Saturday evenings are times for Will to do the necessary housework. Friday afternoon is sometimes shopping day. Washing dishes and doing laundry are daily tasks. Dishes and laundry never end! I cannot stand long enough to do dishes, but I am usually able to help some with the laundry. I can fold laundry while lying down in bed. On my better days I can sit on the floor, sort laundry, start a load, and rotate the wash. It is best if I don't have to put laundry in and out of the washer and dryer, but sometimes I push myself to do a load of laundry when Will is gone because there are so many messy blankets and clothes with a baby!

Sunday - I go to church as often as I can, which so far has only been once since Adelaide was born. It is so hard to get up at 8:30 and make myself presentable enough to go out in public. If I'm not able to get up, then I stay at home and rest while Will and William go to church, and we just hope that Adelaide sleeps in for me. Sunday afternoon and evening is family time and a no homework day.

Evenings - I go to bed each evening at 8pm. I don't go to sleep until almost midnight, but I need a few hours of rest and quiet while completely horizontal. If I don't have enough rest while supine, then my body gets weaker, every symptom gets worse, and my legs start to give out on me. Adequate rest keeps me at baseline and enables me to keep going during the day. Will takes care of William and Adelaide in the evenings.

There you have it. That's the gist of what we are doing to make it through seminary life with dysautonomia and a family of four. The Lord has been gracious to provide friends and family who help out as needed. It's tough, but with the Lord's help we are doing quite well as a family of four.


  1. Wow! You are doing great:) Praying for you

  2. It's great that you guys have figured out a system that works for you! It's hard to balance schedules!

  3. It sounds like you guys have figured out a workable system for your family, There have been times in my life since children that my husband has had to carry his and my weight...I went thru a horrible bout with severe vertigo and i was diagnosed with Thyroid disease about 9 yrs ago and in the beginning it was severly disabling to the point of total bed rest..anyhoo thanks for sharing your story, I really enjoy your blog! God Bless and Happy Blogging!

  4. im glad you have sorted a way round things that works for you. lovely picture of the four of you. xxx

  5. That's so nice your husband can adjust his schedule to be home on those couple mornings to give you extra sleep in time. Folding the laundry while laying down sounds somewhat challenging. You are amazing!

  6. Wow! Great news that you've worked out a way to have time with the children, time as a family, and to take care of yourself. I think many people who do not live with disabilities struggle in this area, so it's great to read a success story :). All the best and keep us posted!

  7. I didn't realize your husband studied at seminary!

    My dad started seminary about 2 years ago at the age of 54. He had worked about 30 years in the mortgage banking business, and finally decided to go after his dream.

    It looks like your schedule lets you spend lots of time with your kids!! :)

  8. You amaze me! You really do!


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