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I am not super human. God did not give me special children because I am a special person. I do not walk on water. Nor do I have never-ending pateince. I curse wayyyy more than I should. Like many moms, I work full-time and sometimes experience mom guilt. My house is usually cluttered because doing things with my kiddos sometimes takes longer than average. And, truth be told, if it’s a choice between spending time with my kids or the dust bunnies, the kids win every.single.time.
I am so ordinary, in fact, it hurts. The CDC says that 1 in every 54 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. They further say that parents reported (2009-2017) that 1 in every 6 children, were diagnosed with a developmental disability. Among them autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and cerebral palsy. I’m not special, just frankly, a statistic.
Perhaps well-meaning folks say such things to comfort, but for me, it’s just as eye-roll-worthy as telling me how normal my autistic kid looks. It’s also telling parents of newly diagnosed kids with disabilities that they may not be ‘special’ enough, which is simply untrue. As parents we rise to the challenge; we’d walk over cut glass to support our children.
I won’t deny that parenting children with multiple needs requires more of me. That doesn’t make me special, however. Let me tell you three things I’ve developed because of my children:
Everyday tasks that teens are able to do, I’m still assisting with in some way. From dressing to washing hair, tasks have to fit into a regular day. Days that include working, being a full time case manager and advocate.
Although there isn’t much left over for the rest of the world, I must exhibit more pateince than the average parent. This includes the ability to answer countless rapid-fire ‘why’ questions all day long, and have the same conversation daily about why homework needs to be done.
Insurance companies, medical docs who can’t look beyond autism, schools that won’t level the playing field– Some days it feels like all I do is walk up-hill, but I won’t ever stop fighting.
Like all parents, it is my job to make sure my children become the very best versions of themselves. I’m an ordinary person who is doing just that. How I do it is likely different than those with typcially developing kiddos, but at the end of the day, truth is, I’m quite ordinary.
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