Being a parent no matter who your child is will make you feel exhausted, angry, sad, anxious, incompetent and so much more.
I’ve found that being a parent to a child with special needs makes me feel that I have to be careful with who I share these feelings with. Even with close family and friends I feel like I have to add “but he’s amazing and I wouldn’t change him for the world” and that’s true.
There just seems to be this added pressure to keep any perceived negative feelings hidden. I worry that others will think I’m blaming Griffin and his diagnosis but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
And to those sweet souls that say “don’t worry what others think” I say “I love you, however I’m a mom and for Griffin to get the acceptance and opportunities he deserves what others think is important.
So in an attempt to live more honestly and to encourage others who are parenting a child with special needs and to all caregivers who care for children and adults that have special needs or health challenges, I want to remind you that all of our feelings are valid and that we are allowed to feel those perceived “negative” emotions. These emotions don’t mean we are horrible people, it means we are just like everyone else.
So here goes:
I feel exhausted because the meltdowns can be intense.
I feel exhausted because I’m always trying to prepare for the “what if’s?” and worrying that others will be unkind and not understand Griffin and our situation.
I feel angry that I can’t change the world and make life easier for Griffin. That even though the world has come along way with knowing about autism, we still have along way to go.
I feel sad because in the beginning of our road to discovering Griffin’s diagnosis of Aspergers, we had many traumatic moments. From seeing him placed in a closet in kindergarten to knowing there was something going on but not being able to get a diagnosis and then once we did not having the proper support and resources.
I feel sad because Griffin has to work so much harder at things than most of us do. But it makes it all the more meaningful when he does get it.
I feel anxious for Griffin’s future. I know he’s going to do amazing things but just like any other parent I worry.
I feel incompetent because well, I’m a mom who just wants to know I’m doing the best by Griffin. Griffin keeps me on my toes!
And while I’m on a roll:
I’d also like to add that Griffin makes me feel exhausted, angry, sad, anxious and incompetent just because he’s a teenager 😉
But more than anything I feel tremendous love and gratitude that I get to be Griffin’s mom and yes, I feel exhausted too!
To all of you, please know you’re not alone. Keep up the great work! xo