'You’re amazing' 'You have some strength' 'I couldn’t do it' 'I don’t know how you do it' 'You simply are one hell of a mother'
Aren’t we all? Why am I singled out as the amazing or strong one? I am not.
Here’s my confession as a parent of a child with special needs. Trust me, you won’t think I am amazing or strong after you’ve read this. I hope you will think I am simply a parent!
1. I use TV to mind them while I make a coffee, chat on the phone or play a game on my phone.
2. I wish for them to piss off too and leave me alone.
3. I lose my patience.
4. I hide in the toilet reading Facebook.
5. I dodge phone calls from the school, doctors, therapists etc because I just can’t deal with them today.
6. I walk out of the sitting room as soon as my husband comes home because I need to leave.
7. I say ‘no’ to my terminally ill child, then I feel horrible about it, then I cry because I’m such a bad mother.
8. I count down the hours to bedtime too.
9. I dodge certain type of ‘mothers’ in the playground.
10. I judge people. I don’t mean to, but honestly, I do from time to time.
11. I openly mock people if they piss me off, and I don’t care how that sounds.
12. I can get sick to my teeth answering questions, like I’m on show when I run into people who know me but would never ring me to ask such questions. They feel the side of the road is the perfect spot to ask such personal questions,
13. I lie to people’s faces when they are genuinely asking about my son. Sometimes I can’t tell the truth because I will cry and I really hate being hugged so I will avoid being hugged at all costs.
14. I forget who people are, all the time and I know I should remember them because I can see by their faces that they haven’t forgotten me. That is actually a horrible feeling.
15. I have zero time for ‘pity me Noras’ whose biggest problem is that their little darling can’t fully say the alphabet but according to the books he should be able to, he’s nearly two, relax Nora.
16. I can find a way to do as little housework as possible unless my dad is calling. I’ll manage a little bit then, that man is a neat freak.
17. I screen phone calls all the bloody time.
18. I hold my tongue, a lot, an awful lot – because I know many others have no clue how I view the world and in a way, I am jealous that they’ll never have to.
19. I will gossip, I am not above it.
20. I will eat the bar D asked me not to, give J a few bob to take the blame and I know that’s not good parenting. I know!
21. I will curse in front of my kids, remember they are there then forget again and use some very bad words.
22. I have obviously thought J that bribery is OK and I know I am going to regret that.
23. I have to write in big bold letters DO NOT CURSE when I am getting ready to go to battle with Ethan’s school, services, doctors, nurses, HSE…
24. I lose my sh*t. A lot.
25. I have a temper.
26. I have very little patience when it comes to homework, the length of time it takes my toddler to eat dinner, doing chores and shouting.
27. I shout.
28. I think I am to blame for all my boys noise levels, but I will never admit that to D – he won’t read this, I am pretty sure of it!
29. I can be petty as all hell.
30. I enjoy being sarcastic.
And finally for one of the worst ones:
31. I use Ethan’s chair to run over people’s feet if they refuse to move (after I’ve asked) or if they stare and point at Ethan or any of my boys and sometimes because they roll their eyes at Ethan having a meltdown.
So there ya have it – some confessions of a mother of a special needs child who society like to think of as amazing and strong. I hope, after reading this, society might see that we are just like you. We are not saints, in fact we probably sin far more than you could ever imagine. My point is, we the ‘chosen’ ‘special’ parents are human, with human reactions to situations we find ourselves in – just like you.
Previously published on http://www.familyfriendlyhq.ie