If you want to get me fired up, pissed off and in general turned off to ever taking you seriously, tell me again how “you’re sure that it can be tough to raise a child with Autism but all parenting is hard, not just Special Needs Parenting.”
For some reason, that just gets under my skin.
I’ve never claimed that parenting is easy for anyone, cause it’s not. Having said that, anyone that doesn’t recognize that there is an enormous difference between parenting and special needs parenting, is living in a fantasy world.
Perhaps that’s a bit harsh on my part but I just find that to almost be insulting.
I would like to see a parent pulled from the world at random and tossed into my life for a day. For that matter, tossed into any special needs family for a day. I think they might sing a different tune afterwards.
That’s not to say that parenting any child is easy but there are so many more things that a special needs parent has to worry about and very often do so while functioning on little to no sleep.
For many of us, little to no sleep isn’t the exception to the rule, actually getting sleep is.
When someone tells me that they’re sure I have it rough, but all parents do, I literally fight the urge to punch them in the face because they are making one of the most ignorant statements that I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing.
Special Needs Parenting is in a class all its own. Not only do we have to manage many of the things that a typical family does but we also have an immeasurable about of stress, responsiblity and unknown piled directly on top of us. In many cases, a special needs parent will never truly get a break because their child will need cared for their entire life.
Many of us will never know an empty nest.
Again, not to belittle what typical parents go through because I know they face their share of challenges but please don’t ever say to a special needs parent that parenting any child is tough. You wouldn’t say that if you had to walk a mile in my shoes. I promise you that…
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I have no concept of anything you could have said that I could have agreed to more.
I don’t have any kids, but one of the reasons I’m not sure I want any is because I’m not sure I want to raise a child that takes after me.
I love this! If I am complaining about it being hard it’s because I need to blow off some steam. I’m not bitching about the cards I’ve been dealt and I don’t need someone telling me how hard it is for everyone. I have a son with ASD and other serious issues as well as a neurotypical daughter. Yes, raising them both are hard… but in so many different ways. The worries I have for my daughter are legitimate and stressful but they pale in comparrison to the worries I have for my son.
In general, I agree with you totally. I think parenting is difficult to the extent that the needs (whatever they are) outweigh the resources (and here I mean emotional, psychological, financial – whatever). If your kids have special needs, then absolutely, you have bigger needs. And to get to a place where it’s not harder, you’d have to have more resources (again, of every variety). It’s an equation. You have so often said how much help it is for you to have a spouse, for instance. And family nearby. And you are not homeless. And you have important psychological resources: you are patient and kind and strong and brave. A lot of people don’t have that stuff to work with. And your kids are verbal. And they are happy. And they love you. Hey, wait a minute! Maybe *you* shouldn’t be saying you have it tougher than other people. 🙂
I agree with you totally Rob. It reminds me of the way people use the words “depression” and “bipolar” in a casual, joking way, saying “I’ve had a bad day, I’m so depressed” or “This morning I was cheerful but this afternoon I’m not, I’m so bipolar today!” These people seemingly have no clue what depression and bipolar disorder really are and I’d love to put them in my place for a week or so and see how they cope.