I think I might be a hypocrite.
I love talking about what I do that’s right. It’s easy sharing my kids’ triumphs. I have plenty of success stories. I have a wealth of knowledge about all things relating to special education. I’m a pro at managing behaviors (in other people’s children). My kids are doing well right now.
Why am I sharing all my virtues with you?
First, I want you to know that there isn’t a perfect mom of kids with or without disabilities. But, if your child has a disability, that can mean more opportunities to make the wrong decisions. We spend so much time jumping through hoops, running to extra doctor visits, planning IEPs and futures, and educating others about our children’s disabilities. We might choose a therapy that isn’t effective, make a bad educational choice, or even forget that time is the greatest gift we can give to our kids.
In today’s world, I see others through a social media lens. I can forget that I’m only seeing what others choose for me to see. Their reality seems nicer, cleaner, more put-together than my own.
There are times when I pick and choose what to reveal about myself, my parenting, or my children. It’s not a conscious effort to only show the successes. It’s usually an effort to “look on the bright side of life.” While I think I’m a good mom, I’m not perfect.
I have a strength in working with kids who have behavior challenges. And I hate to admit this, but I can then turn around and easily trigger my own son into his behavior challenges. And I make them worse! I can forget that he needs time to process, that following him into his room when he just needs to decompress won’t help. Quite frankly, I sometimes forget that he has autism. And forgetting can almost guarantee a problem.
I have other imperfections, way too many to write down. But will leave those for another day.
Most, if not all of us, strive to be the best parents we can be. We might come to the game with different assets, but we work hard to smooth the pathway for our kids. Some folks may do better than we do. Some may struggle more than us.
Looking from the “outside in” to other people’s lives only lets us see what they choose for us to see. So maybe we are all a bit hypocritical. But we do the best we can.
Have a look at the Family Support section for great parenting ideas and help.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.