Sunday, January 23, 2011

25 Things that Make Special Needs Parenting Easier

Thank you to Love That Max for letting me borrow this!  Also, don't forget to sign up for the giveaway that ends tomorrow! 

1. Your child's smile.

2. Being unafraid to say "no." As in, "No, twice a week of speech therapy is not enough" and "No, I don't think my child can handle that" and "No, I am not Angelina Jolie, though I do bear a striking resemblance to her, I know."

3. Finding doctors who are good but also kind, supportive and non-jerk-like.

4. Trusting your gut.

5. Accepting that you are not a crappy parent if you don't do every single thing the therapists ask you to.

6. The kindness of strangers (but not the pity).

7. Peach Snapple. Or Diet Coke. Or the occasional glass of wine. Or whatever powers you through.

8. Silly time that cracks you both up and helps you remember although your child may have disabilities, he is not at all fun impaired.

9. Knowing that you are not alone. Blog, comment, post on a message board, join an e-loop, start a support group. There's major comfort in connecting.

10. Having at least one babysitter both you and your child are truly comfortable with.

11. Having a good cry as needed, then moving right along.

12. Takeout. Diapers and prescriptions by mail. Not ironing. Whatever you can do to have fewer to-dos.

13. Roping in all the therapists on a conference call at least once a year.

14. Believing—truly believing—that there is something wrong with the people who stare at your child, not your child. That mindshift alone will save you many hours of grief.

15. A looseleaf binder with Important Papers organized in whatever way makes sense to you. Yes, you will need a hole puncher. Bonus: They're good for getting out frustrations.

16. Time for yourself, out of the house. Repeat after me: This is not a luxury—it's a necessity.

17. Going with the flow. So your child won't leave home without his stack of 20 purple paper cups? OK, then! If it makes him comfortable and it won't get you arrested, do it.

18. Not looking too far into the future when your child is very young.

19. The passage of time. Few things give you better perspective.

20. Having a handy catchphrase you can use when people ask questions that unsettle you. Person: "Is he talking yet?" You: "Yes, in his own way!"

21. Making playdates with other kids who have special needs. Good for the kids, good for you.

22. Asking other parents and experts advice for resources and things—the adapted chair for the dining room table, shoes, apps, whatever—that will improve the quality of your child's life, and therefore yours as well. Also, asking therapists to adapt things in your life (like the phone) so your child can better use them.

23. Your child's kiss.

24. Hope.

25. You tell me.

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful is this, Missy!! There are a few of these absent from my life that I really should work on better (like finding a babysitter and getting ME time).

    Thanks for the gorgeous post!