April 2, 2014 § 3 Comments
Top ten things I have become as a parent to a child with special needs – although I think every parent will have pretty much the same list. It’s not that I didn’t have these qualities before but I have experienced them all now on a deeper level.
1. Guilty – I always feel guilty. I am always feeling like I should be doing more. I should be working harder. I should be spending more time with my son. I should be spending more time playing with my daughter. I should be doing more for my parents. I should be spending more time at work. I should be spending more time with my husband. These are closely followed by the “I should haves …. all the things I should have done in the past.
2. Exhausted – and guilty for feeling exhausted.
3. Smarter – I know much more now about the field I work in with a better perspective as a mom. I also think at this point I probably should have earned some sort of degree in medicine.
4. Assertive. – I have become a much more vocal person since having my daughter. I have had to be her voice for a very long time. I am not afraid to speak up or ask questions to anyone.
5. Accepting – I have always been an accepting person but never to the degree I am now. I get it – I see through her eyes what it is like to feel different. I now see different as beauty, genuine uniqueness.
6. A better teacher – I’m every way.
7. Open – one of the mottos my husband and I have developed in our life is “everyone’s got shit” – (sorry for the swear). But it’s true – everyone has something they are carrying around and by being open about our “stuff” we give other the chance to do the same.
8. Empathetic – I can feel what others are going through more now than ever having experienced so much myself.
9. Present – I try really hard to stop and listen with my family. I am not perfect by any stretch. But when my son comes around the corner with a huge smile on his face, I take a minute to soak in that smile or when my daughter tells me a story about a funny thing from school I giggle along with her a little more. Life is fragile – I know that – I don’t want to waste it.
10. Grateful – I am grateful for all the wonderful people in our lives, I am grateful for the blessings they bring to us and others around us. I am grateful the joyful small moments and the exhilarating big ones. My life is blessed BECAUSE of this special journey not in spite of it.