• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

Putting it together

Putting it together

Time spent with siblings is so precious; have I been overthinking it?

I'm one of those people who always feels the need to do something. I want to go somewhere, see something, make something.

Sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes a curse.

Do my kids and I have lot of fun, outside-the-home experiences? We do! Parks, the lake, museums, friends' houses, even camping – we do a lot.

My kids have taken on my “get out there and try it” attitude, and having a disabled family member hasn't changed that much either.

Trips require more planning, so we can't be nearly as spontaneous as before my son entered the picture, but we still get up and go plenty.

The problem is when the kids feel like being homebodies. I can't stand it. I'm restless and I want to get somewhere, at least outside.

Chalk it up to being a mom of four whose primary work occurs within my house. I'm. Home. A. Lot.

Naturally, I crave social interaction, and something else to think about other than my ABCs and 123s.

Alas, mom's needs be darned, the children outnumber me and so we are often home.

That is fine, except regularly I don't have a clue what to do with them.

Does that sound odd? I have had four kids; I should know how to play with them by now. And with the younger two, I do.

Toddler play is simple and can be adapted for my motor impaired son. It's my older girls I struggle with finding something they both can engage with, and since one-on-one time occurs with them less often I feel guilty about this.

For a neurotypical family this isn't a big deal.

The kids can play by themselves, they can figure it out, there will be plenty of other times for us to play, etc. B

ut in a special needs family, the thing is that you don't have those “plenty of other times” to play with the other siblings.

You have time allotted for Your special needs child, then the leftovers for the rest of them. Why is this?

The special needs child, by definition, requires more time and attention to accomplish the same tasks (or even play) as his neurotypical peers.

Mom's Time spent with siblings may be rare and, therefore, precious.

It certainly is for me. I miss the days when it was me and my oldest girls alone, having tea parties and playing dress up.

I love my son to bits, no question, but there was also a disconnect that occurred from his sisters when he was born.

I had much less time with my then 4 and 2 year olds, and that hasn't really been rectified in the following four years.

If anything, it's become more challenging to find that time with them, let alone finding those special activities.

I realized recently: I've been overthinking it (I am prone to do this). Instead of going special and spectacular and outside-the-box, I went inside it.

A puzzle box, that is. I found a couple beautiful puzzles at a thrift store and asked them to join me during nap time one day to complete it.

But, I wondered, would they think it was too simple? Too boring? Too hard?

To my surprise and delight, they reacted the opposite. They loved it!

We made hot cocoa and chatted while we parsed out edges, and slowly worked our way toward completing small sections.

We celebrated when someone picked a piece out and immediately found the right place for it.

My girls freely shared about friends at school and other small things they had on their minds. We had two hours of uninterrupted mom-daughter time that turned out to be so precious.

We have continued our puzzle ritual for a couple months, and it's been fun finding time to work on them together.

If we can't complete one in a sitting, we just walk away and look forward to the next session.

There's been an unintended consequence also: I have learned to slow down and not overthink my relationship with them.

I feel like I'm starting to put it together, and I couldn't be happier.

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Victoria Tkachuk

Meet Our Blogger

I'm from the Midwest region of the United States and I have four children, three neurotypical daughters and one son with dyskinetic cerebral palsy. My goal in writing is to connect special needs parents and make inclusion a reality in all our lives.

View Victoria’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...