Special Needs Parents, You Have To Make Hard Decisions, And It's Ok

Monday, January 13, 2020

Hard decisions and special needs parenting go hand-in-hand. They are a necessary evil we must deal with. Hard decisions are also completely relative to your life and your children. What I consider a hard decision could, and probably is, entirely different from you.

That's OK. It doesn't make your struggles less.

Three girls standing in front of the Blue Ridge Mountains, smiling at the camera.

Some parents have a hard time with getting their child diagnosed. I'm not talking about the literal process of getting diagnosed (that is it's own evil), but mentally and emotionally wrapping themselves around the idea that their child even qualifies for a diagnosis.

A teen girl in a pink shirt and denim shorts, carrying a toddler curly-haired girl in a blue shirt and blue shorts.Some parents have a hard time making the decision to send their child for evaluations.
Some parents have a hard time making the decision to send their child for blood work.
Some parents have a hard time making the decision to send their child for a MRI or CAT scan.
Some parents have a hard time making the decision to send their child for a spinal tap or other invasive test.

Not everyone struggles in these ways, or any of these ways. Not everyone struggles in the same ways.

That's OK. It doesn't make your struggles less.

Whatever decision you're having a hard time with making, it is ok. This is your child. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed, upset, and even mourn over the ideas you had on what your child's life should have been like. What your life should have been like.

Sometimes, making the decision, makes it too real. It makes all of it so freaking real, because you now could possibly have medical diagnoses/decisions/opinions about your child, right in front of you, printed in black and white.

It is completely OK for that to be hard.

I have had plenty of times when it felt hard to even make the phone calls for my kids appointments, because I just felt like it was all too much. Like I couldn't possibly add one. more. thing. I eventually did it. I always do. But it doesn't mean it's not hard.

That's OK.

If you need to take a moment, or quite a few moments, to handle what you're facing -- do it. You need to take care of you, too. Handling the hard decisions about your child, is a burden that nobody else is responsible for. That is your baby. Take the time to figure out how to cope, make your decision, and move forward.

A teenage girl sitting with a toddler girl, looking out the window, smiling.

Remember that Special Needs Parenting Is A Marathon and that these are just some of those steps you're taking to reach the big goal -- a better existence for your child. So take a deep breath, accept the things you can do, work through the things you feel you can't, and keep moving forward.

The hard decisions absolutely are hard, but they're necessary. Keep going...

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