Confessions of a special needs parent
Health issues of my own. Severe stress and lack of self-love can bring on a whole lot of health issues! I happen to be one of them! I was diagnosed with Conversion Disorder January 2014. It took two years to find a diagnosis. The bottom line is, we all forget to take care of ourselves when we are so busy with our special kiddos. In order to take care of them, you have to remember, YOU NEED TO BE PRESENT. There were numerous times were my body just shut down and it killed me inside not being able to take care of my son. So take those vitamins, eat healthy, and have quiet time to yourself…I better practice what I preach!
Therapy. You should never feel guilty for seeking out professional help. If you are embarrassed, then just keep it to yourself. Nobody needs to know. It’s only your business! Talk to a resource center and ask about programs for parents of special needs children.
Medication. Do you know there are over 70% American’s who rely on medication? Just because you need medication to get through this rough life doesn’t mean you’re a quack! Most of the people you know are probably on something themselves. I myself take an anti-depressant. I am not ashamed of it! And you shouldn’t be either! Medication isn’t for everyone, those of you who have gotten along without it, more power to you. I’m just saying, don’t feel ashamed. And again YOUR BUSINESS!
Forgetfulness. If you say you have never forgotten to give your child their medicine, or missed their doctor’s appointments, then I would say you are full of… POO POO! It happens to the best of us, over and over and over again. Hey thanks Adam & Eve for our inherited forgetfulness! (NOT!) Don’t feel guilty. I find that setting an alarm in my cell phone is a great reminder, but don’t do what I do and click the “dismiss alarm” and then forget! Get up and do it the second the alarm rings.
Jealousy. Every parent is different on how they handle their situation with their children. Here is what I felt in the beginning when my son came into the world. Any time I saw a magazine cover that said anything about milestones, or pamphlets given at the doctor’s offices. I began to feel a little monster called “Jealousy” attacking my heart. It used to happen every time. After a while I began to accept that my son is going to do things when he does them. Every child hits their milestones at different times, and yes maybe my son will wear diapers his whole life, but I sure am lucky to have such a wonderful, loving son, and THAT is the most important thing to remember. Jealousy never really goes away. It’s okay to feel jealous, having kids with disabilities, and special needs is apart of our world now more than ever. Kids were not meant to be sick like this. It’s only natural we have strong feelings inside eating us up. That is why belonging to some sort of group to talk about how you are feeling is so important! Thank goodness for Facebook!
Excuses. You may not agree with me, or pretend, not to agree with me, but I have found that having a special needs child can pretty much get you out of every sticky situation. “Hey do you want to come to my Tubberware party?” I’m thinking “I would rather stay home, and mop my kitchen”, but instead you use your child as an excuse! HEY, we have every right! I don’t see it as lying because no matter what… going to social functions is always going to be difficult with a special needs child. Don’t say you have never done it!
Proud. Every parent’s deals with talking about their kids differently. Some parents don’t like to talk about their child’s disability. I, on the other hand, am opposite. I LOVE to share with people about my sons disability, not to receive pity from people, but because I am so stinking proud of my son. He has defied all odds, and did the opposite of what doctors thought he would do. So yes, MY son has over 100 seizures some days. MY son doesn’t get to taste food because he is fed through a tube. MY son is globally delayed because of all of his seizures. MY son crawls, he tries to sign, and he loves…
Siblings. Sibling ALWAYS suffer from a lack of attention from their parents. It is good to recognize this and try your best to give them attention at every opportunity possible. Of course, our patience is stretched so thin, but I always remember that my little girl won’t be my little girl forever. I try to take her shopping with me to the grocery store, and running errands. I don’t do this often enough, but I find that she really enjoys mommy-daughter dates, and daddy-daughter dates. Even if I have plans to be somewhere Friday night, my husband and my daughter stay home. They watch kid’s movies and eat goodies. Usually our son is already asleep. So they have one on one time easier.
Asking for help. If your pride is in the way, GET OVER IT ALREADY! There is no way you will survive being a special needs parents without asking for help. There’s just no way. We are Jehovah’s Witnesses and our friends bend over backwards to help us with whatever we need. Having a great group of friend who are reliable is crucial.