Editor’s Note: Heather McCain is a special needs mother and blogger who has graciously agreed to allow us to repost some of her posts as a guest blogger. One of our early blog posts addressed this very same subject , but Heather has brought a different perspective to the subject. You can read her other posts and sign up for her newsletter at mombieneedscoffee.com.
Let me tell y’all something about special needs parents.
God didn’t choose us because he knew we were strong enough.
Know how I know? Because there are plenty of special needs children who are, heartbreakingly, neglected, abused, abandoned, and worse by their parents.
God didn’t skim over the pool of parents waiting for a child and hand pick the ones who stood out the most to raise these babies who would need extra care.
Do I believe my son is God sent? Of course. I just know there was nothing special about me that made me the best candidate to be his mama.
So often, we as special needs parents are told that we were chosen because we are somehow stronger than other parents. But this is what I’m here to tell you: we weren’t always this way. We aren’t special needs parents because we are strong, we are strong because we are special needs parents. and these parents I know, these freaking warrior mamas and daddies, they deserve the credit for doing what it takes day in and day out to build that strength.
These are parents who dropped their careers and learned to make it, even if it meant completely readjusting their life to new financial means. They learned terms, and medications, and even medical procedures for their kids. They power through the lifting and the bodily fluids and the sleepless nights. They have higher instances of physical and mental illness, and sky high divorce rates. They build entire businesses to employ their child when others will not. They sit through meeting after meeting to make sure their child’s needs are met. Even the most conserved, quiet ones have probably yelled at someone, somewhere who was denying their child those rights. They keep track of appointments, refills, and supplies. They have slept in hospital recliners, rode in the back of ambulances, and cried in waiting rooms after their child was rolled away for surgery.
We don’t tell bodybuilders that they are such because God made them strong enough.
We don’t tell doctors that they are such because God gave them the knowledge.
Strength is BUILT. Knowledge is ACQUIRED. Endurance is LEARNED.
So, to my fellow special needs parents: I acknowledge everything you do for your child. I acknowledge that it has taken a lot of heartache, exhaustion, research, growth, frustration, days you felt like you wouldn’t get through, nights that seemed to go on forever, and dedication to your child to build the strength you are often told you must have already had.
YOU get credit for being the parent that you are. YOU.