Trying to Empty Nest, New Grandbaby, Wedding & Adult Child Medical Emergency
Our Organize 365® Dream Team has experienced way more than its fair share of unexpected events this year. Like…A LOT. Nearly every single one of them has dealt with or is dealing with really big life events. I asked a few of them who were willing to share about those unexpected events and how they are navigating them.
Monique is the first to share, but this isn’t her first time on the podcast! I love how open, honest, and willing to share her story for the benefit of others she is. Monique has 6 adult children – 3 are biological, and 3 are adopted from Ukraine. Her husband Zenon is a first generation Ukrainian. Within the last 18 months, Monique and her husband have moved to a different state, welcomed their first grandbaby, one of their daughter’s got married, and dealt with Zenon losing his job. WHOA!
They lived in the same home in Valparaiso, Indiana for 20 years. They also just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary! The move was the best change for their marriage and their family. Then the first wave of unfortunate events hit. Their son and daughter in law who lived in Wisconsin were expecting a baby and he lost his job. Shortly thereafter, her son lost his job. It was then they decided to follow Monique and Zenon to Tennessee and start a new chapter of their lives.
Monique stepped in to help as much as possible like any good parent would – on top of dealing with all of life’s normal challenges. She quickly learned it was a mistake to assume that adult children know how to do things that they’ve actually never done on their own! It’s a whole different ballgame stepping back into a teaching role as a parent when they are adults.
Monique & her husband also have a few children with special needs. Teaching adulting skills to those children who have a different processing ability can be a challenge. They know this will require a lifetime of mentoring, and they might not be moving out someday and will most likely have a different future than their other children. They really had to do a mindset shift and readjust their expectations once they realized they might not become “empty nesters” like they once thought they would.
Lisa and Monique also shared about how much they love being grandparents. Monique’s grandson Gabe was 4 months old at the time, and Grayson is about to turn 2! The impact you can have on your grandchildren’s lives is so unique and different than what you had on your own children. They both hope they can make better choices this time around, and do things differently with them. Monique’s husband can’t wait until Gabe is 2 so he can take him to Home Depot, and Greg can’t wait until Grayson is 5 so he can take him fishing!
Next up in Monique’s life was her daughter’s wedding in May. She still lives in Indiana, and Monique was trying to be supportive in helping her plan the wedding long distance. She would make weekend trips from Tennessee to Indiana to do all the wedding preparations she could along with her daughter. Monique spent the entire week leading up to the wedding with her as well, and was intentional about carving out special time with her before she became a married woman.
How does she do it all? As if a move, a grandbaby, and a wedding wasn’t enough to make her head spin – she was also working full time at Organize 365®. Along with her full time job, she was taking out of town organizing jobs and coaching sessions in the evenings and on the weekends to earn extra money. She says she and Zenon had to “get scrappy” in their old age to deal with all the extra expenses in order to invest in their children’s lives as much as possible.
Monique wastes no time feeling sorry for herself or worrying about how she will get it all done. She simply gets up and gets dressed. She figures out what the next step is and problem solves along the way. She uses her Sunday Basket® and Friday Workbox® – and focuses on only 7 days at a time. It feels like a game of Tetris to her; fitting all the pieces in, figuring out what the most critical things to get done are for the next 7 days, and flexing that time when something out of the ordinary does come along.
Then she experienced another blow – Zenon lost his job. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise – because he was able to go on a trip to Ukraine in March shortly after the war began. He focused his energy on this experience and giving back to his home country. He drove 25 hours in a caravan and made multiple stops along the way, delivering supplies from the western side to the eastern side where people were stuck in war zones. He experienced a once in a lifetime chance to be involved with organizations that help children, bringing people from east to west, taking things that people need from west to east because they couldn’t get it, and meeting a relative for the first time.
Listen in next week to hear Part 2 of Monique’s incredible story – it’s unbelievable to think even more unexpected events were right around the corner.
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