EVERY special needs parent will go through this stage at some point.
A conversation that regularly pops up between by CF parenting friends, or development delay parent friends, parents of autism (ok, you get my drift here..) is that we occasionally get jealous of other friends and acquaintances who have happy, healthy, “normal” (as normal as normal gets!) children.
The worst place for experiencing this is Facebook. You see all these pictures of happy smiling kids, and read statuses about the milestones other people’s children are reaching that your own haven’t reached yet (or reached at a much later age) and you think “Why cant that be us? Just for once!”
It generally doesn’t last long, and we hold no resentment to the individual person, but there is a bit of resentment at life itself.
It quite often crossed my mind of “Why cant I be one of these mum’s that can sit back and watch their children grow up?”Instead, I am pushing, pulling and dragging my kids uphill through life with weights on my feet, dragging me back to square one at every opportunity.
I recently went through a dark stage where I actually had to deactivate my Facebook account because it was bringing me down to see all these smiling, happy families. (Not saying that we aren’t a happy family, of course, but we have certainly had a rough patch lately…anyhoo, that’s another story!)
After a few days I realised that I had only isolated myself from certain groups of people who actually care and want to support me, and Facebook is my main source of communication for these gorgeous people. Those few days were all I needed to be able to get my head together, and was back in the thick of again.
Don’t sit there, reading this, and think “What a whinger!!” When you have gone through hours of therapy appointments for your children, constantly been at a hospital bedside, have been constantly physically abused by your children (just because you said “No” or change their usual routine) or dealt with 4 kids of different ages, all in nappies at the same time, or have developed reflexes that rival Spiderman to prevent your kids from running away in public places, or had a string of medical professionals say “We don’t know what is wrong with your child and we are giving up!”…..you will feel entitled to “whinge” every now and then!
Which brings me to my next point, and a lot of special needs parents agree with this too, but we hate parents who really do “whinge” over how hard parenting is…..seriously??? You are going to whine about your healthy, developing normal child…..to ME?? Don’t tell me how hard it is until you have spent a week….no…a DAY….in my household!
Then you can tell me how hard parenting is.
Feel free to share your opinions or experiences on my topic tonight, but this is an aspect of special needs parenting that I have been wanting to share for a while. It’s an aspect so many of us experience but feel it’s taboo to talk about. But I want people to know….it’s normal!!