Moms, do you remember bringing your newborn home from the hospital? I was so in love with my babies that I felt like I was Supermom! I could handle anything. Those first few days I didn’t care about the lack of sleep. I didn’t care that my nice clothes had been replaced with sweatpants and nursing bras. I was a Supermom! Or, so I thought.
I would hear the baby crying in the middle of the night for the fourth time and I would reach over to my husband and whisper, “It’s okay, I will go.” Supermom strikes again!
I was happy to miss my favorite TV show or night out because my baby needed me.
I wondered when my Supermom cape would be arriving. I’m pretty sure my husband ordered it.
It didn’t take long until the adrenaline wore off and reality appeared. I was exhausted. The middle of the night cry would be answered by me yelling, “It’s not my turn!” I grew frustrated at the fact I couldn’t wear normal clothes. I desperately wanted an uninterrupted night out. Supermom was failing.
Many of those same feelings overwhelm me as the mom of a child with a disability. In the early days, I was Supermom! I earned my honorary M.D. degree by way of real life. I knew my daughter best and I was ready, willing and able to handle any medical diagnosis and treatment plan someone could throw at me. I could spend 13 hours sitting in the hard emergency room chair all night long without a complaint. I could sleep on the sad excuse for a bed some hospitals offer the parents of a hospitalized child without even a back ache. Supermom to the rescue!
It didn’t take too long for reality to appear again. The medical notebook that was carried to each appointment was getting heavy. I was growing frustrated when the doctors couldn’t diagnose a symptom. I would grow frustrated with my daughter being sick all the time. Supermom fail!
Parenting a child with special needs is hard, overwhelming, and exhausting. For everyone that means different things. Some parents can’t leave their child alone with a caretaker because of the amount of medical equipment that travels with that child. Some parents have to make sure they remember to pack medical supplies just to take their child out to dinner. Other parents take extra jobs so they can buy their child a custom wheelchair that fits them exactly. Another parent visits their child’s school each day to ensure the correct dose of insulin is given. Those tasks are easy in the beginning. And then the reality creeps in. Guilt overtakes. If you are like me, the Supermom fails.
If you are parenting a child with special needs, listen to me…..YOU ROCK! Don’t get frustrated with yourself when you think, “I can’t do this anymore.” Don’t get frustrated when the medical bills continue to come in and you just want money to buy a new pair of shoes. Don’t get frustrated when you cry because your baby is crying. You are a Supermom (or Dad)!!
This is overwhelming. I hear ya! Regardless of what your child’s diagnosis is or his or her ability, I know you are doing the best you can for them.
I have seen families move around the world to get their child the best possible care. I have seen families sell a car in order to cover medical bills. I have seen families care for these children with such tender hearts while many in the world see them as broken. You are doing it! You are amazing so when those doubts creep in remember that you are a Supermom!