I have no super power- I’m not any better than any other parent- I have my flaws and make mistakes just like everyone else.
Still- many people make the comment to me, “You’re such a good Mom!” I really am not extraordinary but I will tell you – is this is what I have learned about being a special needs parent:
1. I have learned Parenting special needs kids is hard- not kinda hard- not so-so – hard- but down right rip your guts out awful- the kind that make you end up crying longer than your kids in many cases.
2. The rewards outnumber these cases.
3. Sticking to your guns? Yeah – See #1 – cause that’s where you are headed – but in the end? Consistency? Will pay off.
4. *Old* friends- mean well, and have the best of intentions- in many cases? Our *typical* brain wants to listen to their advice- then we realize – not much later? They don’t have an effin’ clue what they are talking about- and we don’t have to listen to them- and then? Their thoughts? Sting TWICE.
5. *New* friends easily fill in the gap that the *old* leave behind. They also pick up the pieces that the *old* can cause.
6. Most new friends are found online.
7. We learn to TRULY appreciate those who actually DO try to learn along with us- then we wonder why everyone else can’t step up their game. . . . .
8. It’s okay to get mad at those who don’t - step up their game that is-…
9. You are now the infant- you aren’t an adult in this world- and if you speak English? Get ready for a new language. IN FACT no matter what you speak- get ready to change it.
10. SPEAK – THEIR language- not the language YOU want THEM to speak. LET THEM LEAD YOU.
11. Really- LET THEM LEAD YOU.
12. Raising a special needs child WILL strain your relationship/marriage- and- if one person puts in more effort than the other? The end will be near.
13. Want to avoid the end? Help educate your partner (and other important relationships) and learn together- if you truly want to keep your relationship in tact- remember- everyone digests news of this nature differently- so they may take more- or less time than you – that’s okay- don’t PUSH. If they resist- NEVER LET THEM HOLD YOU BACK!
14. Remember relationships also mean other kids- raising a special needs child will change how you raise your other children, what you expect of them, what kind of responsibilities they have – and by the way? YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY.
15. You will feel GUILTY A LOT.
16. You Shouldn't Feel Guilty. (Yet? Still apologize- or at least acknowledge other’s sacrifice)
17. That won’t stop it from happening.
18. You will need access to: a LOT of stamina- a LOT of patience- a lot of books- a lot of help - and a LOT Of wine- for real.
19. You will say things you NEVER thought you would say, “NO DO NOT Drink out of the Toilet!” – This will eventually turn into- “Just flush it first? PLEASE?” And that's progress!
20. It’s OKAY to ask for help- not easy – not even necessarily desired- and then? Once you are able to get over your pride? And ask for help? Get ready to hear there is nothing they know how to do- in which case you have to research like the FBI and become the boss of every Doctor, Therapist, and even scientist you freaking know!
21. BE THE BOSS.
22. The hardest thing about raising a child with special needs? Is realizing everything you thought you were prepared yourself for is inside out, upside down and then backwards for good measure.
23. Realize it’s worth it.
24. MOST IMPORTANTLY: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!
I do what I have to do- half the time I feel like a blind cat who is in the dark, clawing at possibilities only to find I’m actually declawed… Yet? I believe? I still climb.
So can you.
Never give up…
Oh that’s number 25 I suppose…..