"Breathe in and out"
"One day at a time"
"It could be so much worse"
" I don't know how you do it?"
I've heard these sayings and I've said these sayings, but there are days when I want to say
"It's a bad day, I can't even catch my breath to breathe, it's hard when it's everyday, not just one day, yeah it could be worse, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't just plain ole suck, and I do it because these are my children, how could I not do it.
Raising a child with special needs is difficult, I'm not going to lie and say it's easy because it's not. Raising a child that is Typical with an Atypical sibling is even harder, I know first hand.
* You try and give enough love and attention to both children and you still feel like you haven't given enough. You cry for your typical child because she or he feels left out or not loved as much or not given enough of your time. You also cry for you Atypical child because you can't ease his or hers frustration like you can so quickly with your Typical child. You feel like you are failing them both!
* You try and give your spouse enough of your time so that he or she feels loved, appreciated, and wanted. You often hear from your spouse "Do you still love me?" and then you argue about how both of you work so hard and start to compare how much harder the other one works, and in the end you settle and agree that you both work hard and that you are both stressed out and you didn't really mean to argue or fight...and yes "I still love you!"
* You put your needs last because the guilt of actually doing something for yourself eats away at you so much so that you can't possibly do for you until you have met all the needs and wants of your children and spouse. You become physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. But you keep on going and doing because there is no alternative.
* You think and feel things differently than if you had just had 2 Typical children, you try not to treat them differently but they are different. You're happy that one child can color and draw and ride a bike, use the potty by herself and talk so much that you have to say to that child "I know I heard you 3 times silly girl." And you're sad that your other child can't even tell you that she's hungry, hurt, and sad...she can't ride a bike, she's not potty trained, and you hang on waiting impatiently for her to say just ONE word and when you hear it you are elated and you cheer and clap knowing it may be the one and only time you hear it.
* You think about these 2 children and what their future holds and you cry. You have one child that you can see living independently and being in love and having children of her own, working hard for her money and hopefully happy. Then you pray that the same can happen for your other child, your Atypical child. Will she ever live independently, will she find love and have children, a job and hopefully be happy.
* You and your spouse learn different ways to do things for each child and sometimes that means that one of us stays home with one child and the other gets to go play mini golf with the other child, and you think to yourself " I suck at mini golf anyway!" It at least helps take the sting out of not being able to do things together as a family.
* You and your spouse soon realize that being a special needs parent isn't fun, it isn't easy, you are hanging on by a thread wondering if you are even doing it right, scared that you are screwing it up and not fully equipped to handle the job and you are nothing more than just big failures. You don't like to explain to other people why you can't go do things, and why you can't bring your child to a busy crowded place, even though they think she would love it...you don't want to get into it, because they don't get it and you don't want to make them get it and have their pity...you don't want that at all!
"Good Days and Bad Days"
"Breathe in and out"
"One day at a time"
"It could be much worse"
"I don't know how you do it?"
You are a special needs parent, you are a parent, you are a spouse, and you are human.
You have been given a Special life and a Special family and all you want is to not mess it up!
With that being said "Tomorrow is a new day!"