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Holiday time looks different for everyone. As parents of special kiddos, we are often subjected to more judgement around the holidays, when we see extended family and friends. I just want you to know, from the bottom of my heart – that you’re doing more right than wrong every single day. I know it may not feel like it, but you are. You’re doing what’s best for your kiddos, even when that means:
- Not attending the party
- Attending the party but sitting in the other (less crowded or noisy) room
- Skipping out on Santa
- Taking a Monday afternoon off to see Santa when nobody’s there
- Having just a few presents under the tree, because too much is overstimulating
- Staying home from church because it’s too busy at this time of year
- Going to church but skipping out early, before the impending meltdown
- Having a candy-free stocking
- Buying all non-breakable ornaments for the tree
- Not having a tree at all
- Putting a gate all around the tree
- Having a trampoline in your living room
- Buying developmental-aged toys rather than chronological
- Foregoing holiday red dye #40
- Crying in the car so no one sees you
- Letting your child use the iPad so you can shower
- Carving out time for self care
My list could go on and on. If it’s working for your kiddo – you’re doing it right! You plan, and back-up plan. Somehow, you stay flexible to adapt to a world that’s not. You make the world a better place for your kiddos, and those special kiddos make us better people.
In all honestly, special needs parenting is not what I envisioned; the road is extra bumpy with lots of twists, turns and an occasional swerve. Sometimes my parenting is messy and full of missteps. Through it all, it’s the shine of light while I’m fumbling in the dark that’s made me tumble into love with it all.
Take a deep breath this holiday season, and know that you are enough.
Thank you for your readership – I am grateful for each and every one of you that follows along with my ramblings! Happy holidays!
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