Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Losing it....

As any family with a special needs child can attest to, life is like a roller coaster, hence the name of my blog. We've faced big challenges, made tough decisions and questioned those decisions over the years. This past year has brought many extra challenges for our family. Most recently it was my husband's job loss that provided that sudden dip, where you lose your stomach on that roller coaster. But we are no different than many, many others all in the same boat right now. My husband has never been out of work, NEVER. We met in the workplace as a matter of fact. So this is a huge change for us as it is for many of my Autism friends who have experienced the same. And just like many others, I gave up a well paying career to devote myself to my son's recovery. My son's needs, even from the very beginning, meant a traditional daycare was out of the question. We could not afford a private nanny either. So we did what we had to in order to afford to pay the bills. We moved out of state where my husband could get a job that afforded us a modest life on one income. Our move to Flagstaff was similar. In order to provide our son with the education most suited to his specific needs, north we went. And I do not regret that one bit and I firmly believe our whole family has benefited from this move.

And yet here we are. I am so blessed with friends and family who understand our situation. Life has changed, we are in crisis mode quite honestly. Every penny scrutinized. We do not have the liberty of the dollar menu, we have special diets to accommodate and supplements are not free. And just like any other medical issue, how do you sacrifice your child's health for non-essential expenditures? And for those who don't understand that, I hope they know how lucky they are that they don't have to make those decisions.

 But one thing has rung true. This experience has brought my husband and I even closer. As we near our 10 year anniversary in a few months I think back to how easy and carefree our early years were. We've been tested in ways I never thought possible, had our share of downs beyond any I could foresee. And yet here we are and I love my husband more now than when we got married. I have seen the man he has had to become. There is a depth to him that was not there before our life together. We were chosen for this, chosen to parent these children together and chosen for an even bigger role that I hope to share with you all soon. Never have I had a time in my life where I truly feel inspired by a higher self or calling until now. And yet it all seems to converge at once, seemingly in the worst of times, but isn't that just life? We will rise to these tasks and be grateful for this journey, our amazing family and the love we share each and everyday.

 So I want to hear from my blog readers, are you in the same boat? What is YOUR best tip for saving money on a special diet? How is your family coping in these times? I know we are not alone! We can use this experience to share our ideas on how not just to survive but to flourish. I will begin sharing our frugal tips, as I come from a long line of conservative (ok cheap) women, making those ends meet no matter the gap. One big goal for us is to get our garden in, which we've been working on. Growing as much of our own food - and we primarily eat fruits and veggies - is a huge way to cut our costs. So that is one thing we are definitely focused on right now. And later this week I will have a giveaway opportunity for one lucky blog reader, generously provided by Tropical Traditions! Stay tuned!


the girl from 73c boone drive said...

You and Eric will not only survive this you will TRIUMPH! You both know what is important in life..what you are working towards...!

Amanda Williamson said...

You will come out on the other side stronger for sure!

If you can't cut the food costs then you have to cut the other ones. I'm a fan of home haircuts for the kids. They do fine with clippers and it saves us $30 every 8 weeks or so. It's been a few years since my husband lost his job (and found a better one!) but it's still nice not to spend that money.

On the food end... Maybe try adding another meatless night?

Terri Burges Hirning said...

Great ideas Amanda!! We are primarily meatless and that is definitely a way to save money!

Shari Goodman said...

Great attitude. I too am thankful for all the trials I have been given that have brought me and my husband closer. I would never change any of them. Food is a tough one since I can't imagine ever not eating the quality of food I want. I find that soups and beans are the cheapest way to go for my big bunch of hungry kids. I don't make a meal list before I shop anymore, I make a menu after I find what is in season and for a great price. I go from there. Since we eat meat very little and no dairy, that saves lots of money as well. Now you just need to find some good connections for cheap farm eggs and some veggie bartering! Wish I could share some of mine with you!