Dear Special Needs Mom,
I see your tears and the look of frustration on your face. Your head is spinning from reading your child’s IEP and being prepared for the next meeting without being viewed as a pain in the ass.
My heart knows all to well what it is like to have an entire room glare and make nasty remarks about your family. You probably only wanted to run one errand or pick up a few items from the grocery store. You thought in your head one more errand after therapy or a doctor’s appointment won’t be so bad.
Don’t hate yourself for trying. I applaud you for stepping out on faith. We never know if it will work if we don’t try. But sometimes trying takes too much effort. We can’t predict the sounds or sights that may send our children into sensory overload. It may be difficult to handle your child during a meltdown and get you both to a safe and secure area. Security may have even stopped you because it looked liked you were kidnapping your own child. The situation only became worse when they began to question your child and the only responses they received were squeals and screams.
Special needs moms you are not alone. Each day is unpredictable. If you are a stay at home mom, you juggle just as much as a working mother. I know you would like to use the bathroom in peace, have five minutes to sip on coffee, or make a phone call that doesn’t deal with fighting for insurance coverage, or scheduling upcoming appointments.
The guilt is the worse. We question every action that relates to our family. Your spouse, other children, extended family and we can’t forget about our friends. If we are lucky enough to have a brave soul babysit to give us a break, what do we do with that time? Instead of enjoying a meal with a friend, or seeing a movie that isn’t Disney related. We do the grocery shopping or go to stores that will be too overwhelming for the kids. Then we order some carry out from curbside pickup. Most likely we often take a nap in the parking lot. I know it is not safe but when exhaustion hits, it hits hard.
Special Needs Moms I see you at the park or school events trying to fit in. Trying to have a conversation with other moms who keep giving you the “stank eye”. Keep attending the events because you will cross paths with the right person at the right time. Hold your head high and remember that you have every right to be there and so does your child.
At night if you are blessed to have a child that is a great sleeper. Use that time for you. All of the questions circling in your head can wait. If you are like me just write them down and tackle them later.
Special needs moms you are not alone. We are a group of warrior advocates that only want the best for our kids. Share your journey not for pity but so that people might be more understanding. I’ve learned that since I began sharing our journey with autism. Other families are sharing their struggles and victories with the world. When you see another special needs mom out in public, just give them “the look”, because you just made a new friend.
Be encouraged. Special Needs Dads this includes you too.