Special Needs Parenting is one of those experiences that you must have first hand knowledge of in order to truly appreciate it’s challenges.
I’m going to speak only for myself and share a few ways that someone could brighten my day.
It goes without saying that these things would very likely brighten the day of many other Special Needs Parents as well. I simply prefer not to speak for those who can speak for themselves, that’s all.
Make sense? Okay, awesome!
One of the biggest things that I personally struggle with is the feeling of despair. There is so much that needs to get done that simply doesn’t because I’m beyond overwhelmed, exhausted and stretched entirely too thin.
Everyday I’m caring for three boys on the Autism Spectrum, one being very medically fragile and my chronically ill wife. Most of the time I feel like I’m failing everyone.
I can’t tell you how uplifting it feels to hear that I’m doing a good job. Being that I’m my own worst critic, I’m very hard on myself and when someone takes a moment out of their busy day to simply say “hey, you’re doing a really good job. I know it might not feel like you are but from where I’m standing, you’re doing the impossible.”
When someone takes the time to point out that I’m doing a good job, it puts a smile on my face and gives me the strength to keep fighting of a bit longer.
I’m pretty sure that most Special Needs Parents would find it within themselves to smile at such a compliment as well. You would not believe the power a few kind words can have.
One of the things that really stresses me out on top of everything else, especially during the summer, is keeping up with the yard. Most weeks it’s a choice between cutting the grass, weeding the gardens, trimming back all the overgrowth or doing something that one of my three Autistic kids happens to desperately need in that moment.
The yard will of course take a back seat to my kids. However, that doesn’t mean that the yard work still doesn’t need done, it just means that it isn’t a priority and will only be more challenging when I don’t around to it.
I feel guilty because most of my neighbors take really good care of their property and then there’s my yard, an eyesore.
It would be absolutely amazing if someone offered to help me with the outdoor maintenance. That would remove a huge weight from my shoulders.
Think about what it must be like for a single parent with a special needs child. I bet that they would be moved to tears if someone offered them help in this area. This could easily be done over a weekend and I assure you the good karma would last long past Monday morning.
Perhaps time or distance won’t permit you to physically be there. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a positive impact on someone’s life.
There are few things in this world that I appreciate more than receiving a phone call from a family member or friend that doesn’t want something from me. This doesn’t happen much at all in my life.
I would love to get a phone call from a sibling or old friend, just wanting to know how I’m doing. That would help me to feel noticed and far less invisible. I would feel like I mattered, like someone actually cared about how I was feeling. When you are isolated and feeling alone, a phone call, email or text message like this can make all the difference in the world.
Who wouldn’t benefit from being reminded that they matter?
These are just a few things that would not only brighten my day but also brighten the day’s of many other Special Needs Parents out there as well.
The list of possibilities could literally go on forever.
It all comes down to making a person, who’s totally immersed in the exhausting and underappreciated world of Special Needs Parenting, feel like they matter. This doesn’t have to cost you anything more than a few minutes of your time.
Remember that even something as seemingly simple as a few kind words can make a world of difference in the life of a Special Needs Parent.
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