t h e w o r l d o f i n v i s i b l e i l l n e s s


Close up mid section of a young man wearing apron in the kitchenThe other day I was talking with a friend whose two children were going through predictable stuff – the yuckiness of the opposite sex, trouble with Social Studies, and the usual overload of growing up in a fast-paced world. The kids’ world was a whirlwind of soccer, the mall, computers, friends, dance, and school.  My  friend monitored sleep-overs, made it a point to know other kids’ parents, and whenever possible attended school and athletic events. Balancing work and home was always difficult and sometimes unsuccessful.  After lots of creative problem solving, things worked out.  Eventually. My friend confided that much as the children were loved, parenting sometimes got tough. There was guilt in wanting to work on personal stuff when the kids had needs, too. There was resentment when evenings melted into listening to problems, helping with homework, and enduring the logistics of bedtime when there was always laundry to do and lunches to pack.

“Getting enough” wasn’t about sex; it was about sleep.

My friend had put in time reading Harry Potter books out loud, kissing boo-boo’s, pacing the ER, laughing, crying, and being in awe that the growing-up years passed by so quickly. Even though there was sometimes disappointment, anger, and frustration there was always love.   Always love. As a work friend, I’d never actually seen all of them together, but I knew exactly how my friend felt about those kids.  One look at the multitude of pictures on the cube’s walls said it all. So when I was out shopping last week for a Mother’s Day card with my friend in mind, I was disappointed in not being able to find the right card that expressed the admiration I felt. And I wondered: what kind of Mother’s Day card do his kids get for him? Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Coach specializing in couples work, especially with those relationships impacted by invisible disability.  She has a firm belief that the quality of a couple’s relationship has significant impact on a family’s health.  With experiences as a 7th grade teacher and as a therapist working with adolescents Kathe considers herself “mom” to hundreds of kids.  She and her husband David live in Colorado where they teach Couple Communication Workshops and are both mom to kitties Petey and Lucy.  Discover more about Kathe Skinner and the Couples Communication Workshops at and be sure to check out more of Kathe’s blog at ©2014, Being Heard, LLC

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Categories: Parenting, stress

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