A dad asked me recently how I “do what I do every day”?
Do what I do? I smiled, but did not answer, it really got me thinking. It is what I know, or better yet, what I am continuing to learn “to know” every day, every moment and without a plan book .
I have shared some articles in the past about struggles I feel as mom, how lonely it can be and at times so overwhelming. But, what I think is also so important to share are some of the SuperParent qualities we posses, some of the things that we as parents of special needs kids experience,some of the things siblings of special needs kids feel and,as importantly, some of the things that Marky feels, lives and cannot express.
The purpose of this piece is to give special needs families a place to be heard, to be understood, and to teach others a little about our world.
Our moments to celebrate are different, not LESS, but different. As special need parents, when our kids do what they do, it is monumental and should be celebrated!
Parents with kids that “do it typically” may not understand that because they do not have to. We need to and should be able to share these moments and feel accepted. As parents we must keep on talking and keep on sharing. Let your kids hear you brag about them! They deserve it! Our kids work hard ,maybe harder in many ways.
If another one of our roles is to educate our friends by sharing- then so be it! I can take that on and I will.
I was laying in bed the other night, after day 3 full of noise, animated sounds and high pitched shrieks and screams! I was thinking about how exhausting it was and my head was spinning. Then I started thinking about the fact that this was my job, I had to be strong, had to be supportive, had to be able to deal with this- after all, our son knows no better. As hard as it is for me, what is it like for him? He can’t tell me why he is self talking or laughing uncontrollably. He may never be able to.
I realized that it is OK for me, and for all of us, to have these moments, it does not make us bad parents, it just makes us honest parents. We all need to acknowledge the times that are so tough. It is so important for us to have that support and recognition.
I belong to a group on Facebook that shares both good and bad moments. I expressed my feelings the other night and within minutes I had friends making me laugh, making me cry and making me think. I felt less alone, I felt understood and I knew I could get through it all. I also realized, that this thing called Autism, has brought so many wonderful people into my life, some who I have never actually met, we just have a real connection and Social Media has brought us together.
So many of these parents, like me, have kids that present challenges. Without even realizing it, we have our own club. I do not feel judged, I feel welcome at any time and I am able to have a place to share my fears and my proud moments. How great is that? Wouldn’t the days be better for everyone, if we all had this support?
Do you have any thoughts on this or examples of a situation that has happened? If you are a parent reading this without a special needs child and have a question to ask, I would love to hear it.