It’s been quite a year.
I started this blog one year ago, with the intention of writing one blog post a week. My goal was to make a space for parents of kids who have chronic illness. I think that I’ve reached a number of those people, and I hope I have been helpful. Being the parent of a child with special health care needs can feel very isolating and scary, and you aren’t sure how much to share with loved ones and friends. I hope that this blog has alleviated some of those fears.
I think BFW has had more impact than I anticipated on parents of kids who are not chronically ill, and I think that it has brought awareness on what it’s like to be a parent of a kid with special health care needs. I’ve heard from many people that parenting is universal and looking at parenting through a different lens has made them want to be better parents themselves. I’m so grateful to hear these stories, and it has normalized my own experiences as a parent. I no longer feel like “that parent” who needs to over-analyze and over-schedule and over-plan. Ok, I still do feel like that parent sometimes, but I also think that we all feel that way sometimes. That’s the new understanding.
The one thing I didn’t expect was all of the amazing people and organizations I would come in contact with as a result of the blog. Part of this contact was because I knew that I needed to write a blog post a week, and let me tell you, that’s not so easy, so I knew I would need some new material. But the other part of it was that I needed to be open to the opportunities. I needed to try new things. I needed to make myself available to these experiences. And these people, these organizations, are doing amazing things. There is an unseen web of individuals and groups who help families like mine, and this blog has opened me up to many of them. For that I am incredibly grateful.
Since starting BFW, I find myself always looking to see what lesson I am supposed to be learning from my experiences. What can I bring back to the blog? Not just my experience or my personal feeling about something, but why is it important to sick kids and their parents? I like to think of this blog as a resource, not just a sounding off point.
I have grown personally as a result of this blog. There has been a lot of study recently that writing about your life helps you to process through it better, and I can honestly say that in my case it is true. Writing about the hardest points in my life has allowed me to no longer let them hold me prisoner. I have also never really considered myself a good writer, in fact I consider it a weak point, but this blog has forced me to write whether I like my writing or not, and most writing teachers will tell you that you only get better at writing if you write more.
Finally, I think that this blog has helped me with my communication with Wendy, who is my chronically ill kid and who is about to turn thirteen. Thirteen! The blog has allowed me to try out how I’m going to talk to her before I actually have to about tough topics. She doesn’t read my blog, but sometimes I read it aloud to her, and to her little sister Penny, for their critique.
Thank you if you’ve read this blog once, or fifty-three times. Here are the annual numbers for 2016:
I anticipate keeping the same format as last year, and maybe writing a book in 2017. I wish you wellness for 2017, in all its forms.