Special Needs Parents, You Are Not Alone

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

As the first post in my series, 30 Days To Becoming A Better Special Needs Parent, I thought it important to begin here. Here, at probably the biggest struggle we face... feeling alone.

When you have a child with special needs, simple tasks such as making phone calls, are daunting. Your daily life is exhausting. How can you possibly seek out friendships, when you don't even know how your child is going to handle the company or an outing? When you don't know how others are going to react to your child?

A group of nicely dressed people, standing in front of Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World.

What if they get sick? What if they have a meltdown? What if the person I'm around doesn't want to "deal" with my child? What if people stare? What if someone tells me how to parent??

Our ability to talk ourselves of any outside interactions so easily, is almost an acquired talent.

This topic is similar to a previous post I made, Why Special Needs Moms Need A Village, but I wanted to speak to all parents here, because I see the struggle amongst dad's, as well (my husband included).

I know how hard it is to reach out to friends and family, especially if they don't understand. I know how hard it is to even attempt to make friends! But you have to realize, you are not alone out here. At least, you don't have to be.

There are so many of us out here... wanting more friends who understand us and our world. We know what you're going through and even if we don't, we've got our own struggles that we're handling, so we're not here to tear you down! We are here for support and encouragement and friendship. To give it and to receive it.

Two curly-haired women, dressed in a silver and red dress, posing together at Walt Disney World.So many of us understand the worries, current and future. You are not alone.

We know about those sleepless nights and how you are functioning on only a few hours of sleep, just like us, so we forgive all those brain farts you're having. You are not alone.

We know about the meltdowns. BOY do we know those meltdowns! Don't worry. We can take the breaks in our conversation for your child to calm down, and pick right back up whenever you're ready. We get it. You are not alone.

We know about those sensory issues. Your kid can't handle green food on their plate? Cool. I got you. They will never see green food around them in my home. You are not alone.

We know about the "my child can't handle that" situations. Our kids and, usually, even we (as the parents) have that.. We'll find something else to do. You are not alone.

We know to not bring our sickness around you! A special needs parent does not have the time to be sick, and we'd rather chew denim than to have our special needs kids be sick.. We got you. You are not alone.

Surrounding yourself with acceptance, allows you the space to grow and function.

Once you realize all of this, you can start seeking out those connections. You can start forming friendships or even just supportive acquaintances, who will be there for your gripes, tears, excitement, and celebrations! For the good moments and those really freaking bad ones.

Once you have that community and you feel less alone, you can handle yourself better. Because, quite frankly, feeling isolated because of your special needs child, can make you feel.. bitter.

And that bitterness is not going to help anyone.

Not you and certainly not your child. And I get it-- really, I do. I'm not here to shame anyone for that feeling. It's a hard thing to avoid or overcome when you feel so alone because of your life with your child's struggles. So, tackling that loneliness can make a world of difference in your parenting abilities.

A group of people, dressed nicely, standing in front of Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World.

My advice: Find your people.

It might take a bit to find your favorite people, but start. Find any people that make you feel welcomed and good and understood and accepted.

Find the people that can help you laugh when you feel like you need to cry.

Find the people that will comfort you when laughing doesn't work, and you really need to cry.

Find the people who will let you call them up and vent, and you can do the same for them.

Find the people that you can call, when your nonverbal child says their first clear word, and will cry those happy tears with you.

Find those people!

Tackle that loneliness, because you don't need to feel it. You deserve to have your people and feel not so alone. For the betterment of you as a parent.. Remember that you are not alone. Work to make it so.


What is the biggest struggle for you, in finding your "village"? Share in the comments!

2 comments

  1. This is such a great post. I don't have a special needs child, but I have friends that do. The biggest thing is inclusivity and I try to support my momma friends in any way that I can!

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  2. i love this post -- one of my closest friends has 2 kids with special needs and i'm always on the lookout for ways to love/support them that i wouldn't have thought of on my own. thank you for sharing!

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