We are better together

I get asked on quite a consistent basis what the most challenging part of each day is.
And to be quite honest, it has nothing much to do with behaviors stemming from special needs specifically.

It isn’t really the sleepless nights, or even the sudden nonverbal communication.
It’s not about a specific characteristic or challenge that your child faces, but rather, it’s about the feeling of hopelessness surrounding not knowing all the ways to help your child to cope.

The very hardest part is being gifted this amazing, beautiful, adventurous, smart child to love and raise, but only given half the information on how to aid them when they are feeling hurt, or scared, or overwhelmed.

THERE IS NO HANDBOOK for this.

There are no historical pages bound together to teach special needs parents what to do when a shoe is thrown aggressively in your direction;
Or your child refuses to eat for a day, because the chicken nuggets weren’t shaped like sea creatures.
Or can’t sleep because an item of clothing suddenly overwhelms their body.
Or tiny, exhausted, fearful teeth sink into an arm or shoulder or hand;
Or a beautiful, happy-go-lucky, little face turns sour and hits his precious head on the floor in frustration, or anxiety.

There’s no instruction for parents on how to read between those lines.

We aren’t given all the tools to help our kids get through a world created for that of unique minds.
And the reality is, it’s impossible, as our children are like snowflakes; no two are exactly the same.

We are left to guess, and pray, and cross fingers/toes/hairs that something helps them.
That something sticks; Like pasta to a pot.

Thankfully, those days of hard, and anxiety are not the majority in our little world, thought they do exist.
[And when it rains, it pours!]

But that is very much the case for some families.

Parents and caregivers that are just trying to push through the dark clouds covering that of their beautiful, delicate little loves.
Searching for the answers to help pull out the sunshine, any way they can.

And my mama heart folds at the thought.

If it is truly all I accomplish today, I want to purely reassure that if that is you, you are never ever alone.
I see you.
I hear you.
My shoulder and mind are wide open.

You can lean on me, as I have leaned on you.
You can vent, and cry, and let out every emotion thrown at you, and I will hold onto it for you for as long time will allow, if even for just a moment.

One tool that we are blessed with as special needs parents is the gift of community.
The gift of shared understanding.
The gift of sharing your family’s story and a room full of people nod, and smile, and agree in silence, before you’ve even finished; no explanation necessary.

The silent gift of a shared experience in this parenting world; Whether it be joy, achievement, fear, frustration, or sadness that day.

We. All. Get. It.

As parents that are gifted a child with special needs, it is too often easy to feel guilt for being given half the tools, and not knowing how to put your child’s world back together some days.

You are handed half the facts.
And that says nothing about your heart, or courage, or perseverance to help your child. To help your family.

But on those days that your child is struggling, and you aren’t sure where to turn, or just feel like you have tried everything, just take a look over your shoulder.
A whole tribe is right behind you, that will always show up.
With one phone call, one video chat, one email.

We aren’t allowed to have all the answers. None of us are.
But that’s where friends reside.

With their kind-hearted messages to check in, and calming voices, and donated coffee, and equally as hilarious “mom fail” stories.
Because in this life, especially in this intricate world we all reside in, we are better together.

We all need a silly, crazy, calm, adventurous, steady bunch in our corner.
Thank you for being here, there, and everywhere.
And I promise to always do the same.

Posted by

I’m a Mama to a preemie miracle little boy, on the Autism spectrum. A loving wife of US Navy Veteran. A Blogger. A chaser of naps. And a lover of all things caffeinated.

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