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Mental Illness in the Family

Taylor Arthur
Getting the kids back to school can be exciting, but it is important to take care of a mentally ill mom during the back-to-school transition. Moms with mental illness, especially, need take care of themselves in the midst of this huge back-to-school family transition.
Taylor Arthur
It is entirely possible to vacation well with your spouse despite mental illness (Marriage and Mental Illness: Take a Vacation Alone Together). But, one of the hardest things about having a mental illness is that you can’t take a vacation from your mental illness. Even if you want to escape your life and just enjoy your partner on vacation, you still have to make allowances for your mental illness. It might feel like more work than it's worth, but making space for your mental illness on vacation will enable you to have a better vacation.
Taylor Arthur
Married couples dealing with mental illness need to take a vacation. And I’m not talking about a coffee break. I’m talking about getting away by yourselves for at least a few days to reconnect and have fun together. No matter how long it’s been since you and your spouse have been on a vacation alone together, taking a vacation can do wonders for your own mental health and your marriage with mental illness.
Taylor Arthur
Moms with mental illness, is summer making your kids crazy? It feels like that at my house. The same kids who were tired of getting up early and not having enough time to play during the school year are now complaining that they're bored. They're whining about chores. They're crying. They're throwing fits. They're fighting with each other. And as much as I have tried to structure our days, plan fun activities, and keep my wits about me (Summer Survival Guide for Moms with Mental Illness), as a mom with mental illness, I'm struggling to stay sane while summer is making my kids crazy.
Taylor Arthur
Family vacations can make me feel like I'm losing my mind. I pack so many expectations into our annual, family vacation that I forget to be realistic about what I need, who my family is, and just how much togetherness we can endure. But this year, I'm dead-set on surviving our family vacation without losing my mind.
Taylor Arthur
Parents with mental illness, expect summer transition behaviors from your children. We often underestimate what a huge transition our children experience as they finish up the school year (Help Your Child Feel Confident at the End of the School Year). Their routines change dramatically, as do ours. It is normal for kids to be grumpy, overly tired, and even combative as they work through major transitions in their lives. Parents with mental illness expecting these transitions into summer may have an easier time working with their kids and avoid mental health triggers. 
Taylor Arthur
Families with mental illness can have fun this summer, even on a budget. Many families with mental illness cannot go on an expensive vacation this summer. Even if families do have the funds, their mentally ill family member may not be well enough for an entire week of family togetherness (When Bipolar Ruins Your Vacation). But if you’re like my family, you still want to share special time together. Here are some great ways to spend time together this summer, even if your family is balancing a tight budget and mental illness.
Taylor Arthur
Moms with mental illness, you need naptime during the summer. Your kids might be well over the napping stage. But as you plan your summer, consider cutting out a period of your day for naptime. Summer affords so many freedoms to families, but without a few built in rest-stops in the day, moms with mental illness can become very overwhelmed. Kids also become overstimulated in the sun and play. Everyone can benefit from a naptime this summer.
Taylor Arthur
Moms with mental illness: we need a summer survival guide. At first, the lazy days of summer seem like a Godsend to the routine-weary mom. But sooner than we can run out of Otter Pops, the kids are screaming and hitting each other and complaining that they're bored. If I'm not careful, this mama’s losing her cork before we even light the sparklers for the fourth of July. Here is a summer survival plan for all of us moms with mental illness who need a little extra help to survive so much family togetherness this summer.
Taylor Arthur
Bipolar moms are superheroes. I know we don't look like it, usually. We're dressed as ordinary moms, wearing our yoga pants at pick up and our baseball caps at little league games. That's what you see on the outside. That's how we blend in. But if you could see the battle we're fighting each and every day to stay healthy and to love our families, you'd see our superpowers at work. Every bipolar mom is a superhero, whether you can see her superpowers or not.