As special needs parents, life is never really easy. It’s hard to have to make some of the decisions we have to. I know from personal experience that it doesn’t always feel good either.
Often times I find myself struggling to do what I know is right because it won’t be understood.
I’m not looking for the approval of others but when well intentioned people don’t understand, it makes things more difficult. It raises doubt and that’s something I already have enough of on my own.
What people don’t seem to remember is that kids don’t come with instructions. Most of the time, parents find a way to navigate through the challenges they face raising their children. However, special needs parents aren’t so lucky. More often than not, we find ourselves feeling our way through the dark, one inch at a time.
Often times, we don’t have the luxury of making mistakes, and we know that. You want to talk about pressure, that’s pressure.
Many times our special needs children have very serious health or mental health issues that require things to be done a certain way. It’s not like we relish the idea of making things more complicated. We do it because it’s what’s best for our children. Those ways may seem strange to those on the outside, but that doesn’t make them any less necessary.
In some cases, we find ourselves in uncharted waters, as the Lost and Tired family does with our oldest, Gavin.
Try knowing what to do when there isn’t an expert you can find that has seen a child like yours before. Most everything is guesswork, and there is no clear cut, right or wrong answers. How are you supposed to know what to do? The simple answer is you don’t, because you can’t.
Unfortunately, life ends up being trial and error, but mostly error because nothing ever seems to work. However, you don’t know anything until you’ve actually tried something and most of the things you try are outside the box (and not understood by others).
In the end, despite all the uncertainty, we have to stand by our decisions because as parents, we know that what we are doing is the best we can do in a very challenging situation. Our goal is only to help ensure the brightest future possible for our amazing kids, sometimes by any means necessary.
I know many of you out there find yourself in the same boat. How do you help those around you to better understand why things have to be the way they are?
What types of things do you run into with family and friends when it comes to them not understanding why you take a certain approach?
I think that many times, these are well meaning people who simply haven’t been special needs parents and aren’t accustomed to some of the unusual approaches that are sometimes necessary with our kids. How can we help others to better understand our plight and why it’s so necessary?
The last thing in the world we need is to feel guilty for doing what we have to do.
I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and experiences with this.