Respite is the core of my being. Serving families and supporting children who have disabilities is something I am very fortunate to do. Getting respite at home is often ignored by government, among people who don’t have children with disabilities or amongst people who have never needed to take care of another person. People don’t understand the word Respite, even when I explain it or compare it to something else that is completely different, like babysitting.
When I started my business and even now, people tell me how much money I’ll make.
I work within my business. So, I provide respite too. It looks different. I create programs, activities, opportunities and outlets for my clients. Respite means so much more than just watching someone. It means, seeing everything through my clients eyes, listening to what they want and creating a world where they can do what they want. For example, one of my clients likes comics and figurines. So, it may be respite for his parents, but for him it means a trip to the store, where he can spend as long as he’d like.
It takes me close and far, I’ve travelled with families, take care of kids while their parents are out of town or at work, have been by their sides through sickness, surgeries, laughter, broken relationships and truly become part of the family. I get very close to my clients and they truly become friends, paid or not.
If I’ve lost a client, or I’ve gone to a siblings wedding, people talk about how it impacts my business. “The loss of a client? How will you make up for that?” Or “you went to his sisters wedding? Were you working? Oh, you weren’t, isn’t that weird?” One, I’m not sure why its anyone’s business how I run mine. I never started a business to make money and don’t use my clients vulnerability to get anything.
A parent loses out if I can’t provide respite. If I can, it’s not enough. If it is enough, they still have a child with a disability and are figuring out a challenging world filled with ignorance. And on and on. Theres no winning or losing. Either way, it’s hard. And maybe not all of it, but parts if it. And, it changes throughout the days and your life.
I started a business to provide a service that was unlike any other. I wanted to perfect a skill of understanding someone else, listening with my being and loving someone for who they are. Is that such a bad thing? Well, other business owners may think so, banks may think so, my accountant may think so, but, I don’t care. This is my business and this is how I run it.
My friends are part of me. They pick me up by making me laugh and appreciate things. It is a reciprocal friendship.