I'm not a reader. I don't love reading. I don't have time to read. However, when something is related to what I'm going through I can't help but read it. This lady has some excellent points but I decided to elaborate a little more on her points and apply it to my daily life.
1. Special Needs Moms Are Lonely - I think this is a total understatement. I can have a ton of friends around and still feel alone. Mainly because no matter how much they try to understand, they just don't. It's not their fault. No one can understand what it's like until they've lived in your shoes day in and day out. Before Caleb was born that feeling was way worse. I couldn't join in on conversations about achievements that my child had made because Jacob wasn't at the same stage as their kids. It still happens now when they ask me about Jacob and school. School is just different for us. Unless you understand our struggles you won't ever understand why I talk about the things I do.
2. Special needs moms have to work extra hard at preserving their marriages. - As if divorce isn't already rampant in our society, special needs parenting ads so much more stress to a marriage. In the article the lady states:
"I put extra pressure on my husband; he is my best friend, and sometimes I expect unrealistic BFF behavior from him at the end of the day."
If anyone is guilty of this, it's me!! Erick is the only person on this planet that knows exactly what it is like to live with not only a special needs child, but OUR special needs child. I get into a rut of expecting him to fulfill all of my friendship/relationship desires and I get frustrated when he doesn't care about every single facet of my day. It gets worse when my relationships with my friends are suffering. Which is often because I don't have the energy or time to keep every relationship healthy. which brings us back to point #1.
3. Special needs moms are not easily offended. - I totally agree and disagree with this point. I never get offended when people are curious about our lives with Jacob or Jacob himself. Ask away! I know that people are curious and are interested to know about autism and the hindrances that come along with that. I do, however, get offended when you act like raising a special needs child is no different than raising a typical child. I have both and it's totally different in every single aspect, and acting like it's no different is devaluing the struggle of our daily lives. Also, it takes me back to point #1.
4. Special needs moms worry about dying - This thought crosses my mind almost daily. Sometimes it's a fleeting thought and sometimes it lingers. I'm pretty sure that I have a scenario planned out in my mind of what would happen if each of our family members died. Maybe it sounds morbid, but it's a thought that I can't get away from. The thought of me AND Erick dying frightens me. I'm not really sure if anyone would be up for the task of taking care of a special needs kid and my other little wild child. It would be a huge undertaking and would really be hard for everyone, especially Jacob.
I was lying in bed with Caleb the other night singing a lullaby to him. I want to remember these times forever. I want to remember that at one point he had no worries in this world. One day, when Erick and I do pass, he will have the responsibility of taking care of Jacob. I hate, hate, hate that this responsibility is going to fall solely on him. I thank God often that he has given Caleb a strong, loving, proactive personality. It will benefit him in the long run and God's provision in that amazes me.
5. Special needs moms are fluent in the transforming body language of touch - She doesn't really elaborate much on this. I had a few thoughts that were different from hers. Jacob really changes with touch. He loves and craves massages (Ha! Don't we all!) His moods can change with a simple rub on the back. Or rubbing his legs when I'm putting his shoes on. It calms him like nothing else can.
Another thought was the touch from Jacob. He doesn't touch much but when he does I cherish it. He just recently starting bear hugging me, on his own! His hugs usually consist of him leaning his head toward you so you can kiss his head. I love it when I'm cooking supper and he runs in and bear hugs me and says "I love you mommy." Absolutely nothing like it! Which was a nice segue to to point #6.
6. Special needs moms know how to savor the gift of a child saying "I love you" - When Jacob genuinely says I love you, it's the best thing I've ever heard. Sometimes this is rote speech and replaces the things that he's trying to say, which is really frustrating. However, when he says it and means it, it's precious. He also likes to say this when he's in trouble, which shows me that he knows how to manipulate as well! He's a loving child, with a lot to offer and I love it when we share these 3 little words.