I've had many teachers and mentors during my lifetime. My daughter who has a disability and who is medically complex and fragile has taught me more than anyone. She is an amazing mentor and she doesn't even know it.
One of the biggest life lessons that she has taught me is to never judge another parent for the way they parent or care for their child. This is huge for me as I always had the mentality that I could do a better job than others. To be honest, I was downright judgmental of parents and parenting styles when I was in my twenties.
These thoughts were always just that, thoughts. But they had an impact on me and the way I did things. And then I became her mother and all of that changed. My daughter, my angel, so unique and always doing things in her own way and in her own time. She has taught me how to think outside the box.
Her needs put me in situations that forced me to learn how other parents feel. For instance, she needed an enclosed bed. It was necessary to keep her safe at night when we needed to sleep. She did not sleep, at all. That bed is truly a lifesaver and keeps her from hurting herself or getting lost in the middle of the night.
Ten years ago, before she needed or had the bed, I would have been mortified just to hear that these beds existed. I would have thought the parent was doing something wrong. What is that old saying? “You do not know what it is like until you wear my shoes.” This old saying could not be truer. And my wise little girl taught me that.
I believe this is one of the most important life lessons I have learned. It touches every part of my life, but especially, I feel like it makes me a better mom. I will forever be grateful for my little girl’s wisdom and I am a lucky person to be her mom!
Parents who listen and learn from their children find they have unique and wonderful teachers. Read another mom’s story.
Making the decision to use medication to help manage our child’s disabilities was a complex decision. A hard decision to make. There are advantages and risks. For our son, it has made a huge difference.