I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 Things You Don't Know About a Special Needs Parent

Maria Lin has written an excellent article titled "7 Things You Don't Know About A Special Needs Parent."  This article touched me immensely and I wanted to add a few things to her list.

  1. I am tired.
  2. I am jealous.
  3. I feel alone. 
  4. I am scared.
  5. I wish you would stop saying, "retarded," "short bus," "as long as it's healthy... "
  6. I am human.
  7. I want to talk about my son/It's hard to talk about my son.
  8. I am sad.  I am not sad for myself.  I am sad for my son, whose playdate invitations have evaporated down to nearly nothing over the past 2 years.  I am sad for my son, who when doing schoolwork and struggling with his writing throws his pencil and workbook to the floor and cries "The people who wrote this book hate me and think I'm stupid!"  I am sad for my son when his tics escalate and he complains "I just have to do it."
  9. I am embarrassed.  I am not embarrassed of my child!  I am embarrassed when he throws wicked tantrums in public and people stare, make comments under their breath, and take down my license number in the parking lot.  I am embarrassed when people think I'm a bad parent when I am trying my best.  I have taken parenting classes.  I have read books.  I have sought advice from friends who are pediatricians, occupational therapists, and marriage family therapists.  However, in the court of public opinion, I am a failure because my child is not as quiet, calm, and well-behaved as they think he should be.  I know I shouldn't apologize, but I'm sorry.
  10. I am a great actress.  My friends tell me that I am remarkably patient with my son.  I wish that I could be as patient as they think I am.  They don't hear the yelling, they don't see my tears, they don't see how much my blood pressure has gone up in recent years.  Towards the end of the day, my patience is often worn thin or completely away.  There is only so much arguing, contradicting, defying, hitting, spitting, running away, screaming, and harassing a mother can take.  Fortunately, most days are good days!

Though a lot of these statements sound negative, I would not trade this life for anything.  My son has taught me unconditional love and self-sacrifice.  He continually teaches me patience.  He makes me appreciate the good days and the kind strangers whom we have encountered.  I share in his joys, his triumphs, his tears.  I have watched him grow and learn.  I love my son and that's all that matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment