Raising a child with special needs is hard work. I know I’m not a momma I do get tired, worn out, and worry about his future.
Those late nights where Joel cries because he had a nightmare or isn’t feeling well. (our rooms are right next to each other and I am usually the only one that can hear him, plus I’m a light sleeper) Other times he walks into my room to ask for help, medicine, or for cuddles.
Or those other late nights where he won’t go to sleep and is talking and laughing with himself until 2 am. (Joel can’t really speak but you can tell he’s have a crazy conversation with himself, he changes tones, whispers then yells, I don’t know how to explain… I might insert a video here at some point.) Sometimes, he’s annoying and other times he’s too darn cute to yell at. He’ll creep into my room with Jenga or UNO and say “Play?” in the cutest possible way. So hard to tell him that I’m tired and want to sleep.
Those days when he won’t leave me alone and even when I go to the restroom and he constantly knocks asking me where are you. When he’s sick or bored, he can be so clingy.
Then there are really bad days where he’s violent and mean. Those are really tough. I’ll write more on this later on.
Joel’s Health is huge concern too It can be hard and tiring dealing with all of his medical appointments and treatments. He usually cooperates so well with this because he loves going to the doctor. The only thing that is so hard for us is managing what he eats. The boy won’t listen and fights.
Not to mention school. IEP meetings, phone calls, paper work, lack of supports, and what happens after high school? So many worries, uncertainties, and questions. You can read about it in our homepage.
I’ve been going to to school meetings and doctors visits forever with him since my parents’ language barrier. It all piles up and can leave you drained. Not only do I deal all of this “special needs” stuff at home but I work in the field as well and help families through all kinds of situations whether it be at home, school, work, or community. There is so much that goes one and so much to worry about. It can be so hard to keep up especially in a state like ours where funding is so limited. Sometimes work makes me so sad because of certain situations families are going through.
So if you need some encouragement remember:
- You are not alone
- You don’t have to fill a certain expectation of what you or your child is supposed to do or accomplish
- You are enough, even when you feel like you aren’t
- You don’t have to do everything, ask for help
- You are perfect, even when you’re not perfect
- Be forgiving of yourself
- You deserve to be cared for
One of the first conferences I went to when I started this job was Team Up For Families. A lot of it was about self care for parents and caregivers and how important it was not to burn out. Our last exercise was to write ourselves a letter and send it to ourselves with a list of selfish things to do for ourselves. Soooo… you should do that too. You don’t have to go through the actually process of mailing it out but maybe just create a list of things you want to do for yourself, share it with a friend who will make sure that you actually do them.
Here are some links to give you some encouragement as well:
I always feel weird talking about this to parents because I am not a parent, but here it is!