Are we different?

I talk all the time about my girl being different.
Sat with a group of parents watching my child swim, something occured to me….
…I am different too!
Special needs parents are different.
Special needs parenting is a lifestyle!

Most of us are tired and grumpy.
We sit by ourselves because we just don’t have the energy to be sociable. Some days even smiling is just too hard.
We have been up all night with our children, by the time most people are getting up we have already done half of our day.
Sitting listening to parents complaining because their child wouldn’t pick their socks up off the floor last night I want to make them realise that they are lucky that their child is even able to!
Grumpy. That is what I am.
Envious….maybe. Possibly. I don’t know.

I want to be able to join in with their conversations, but their lives are so different.
Their children are so different.
Despite being in mainstream school, joining in with mainstream activities, my child is not mainstream.

I feel like other special needs parents are the only ones that ‘get it’.
I feel like I can truly talk about my child around them…..without being judged.
I can talk about poo smearing, I can tell them my child bit me, I can vent my fustration when I feel let down by services….because they understand.
What would leave mainstream parents looking horrified, special needs parents can sit and have a giggle about!

Sometimes I feel it is as difficult for parents as it is the child.
We may not have the conditions, but we live and breathe them.
We carry them on our backs for all to see.

I am a mainstream Mum too.
My son has no problems.
I dont feel like one though, I feel out of touch.
My son has special needs in a different way; because his sister does.
He lives a ‘special needs life’, he gets it because he is part of it.
He is not ‘mainstream’, his life is different to his friends.

So we are all different.
Isn’t that what I try to explain with my blogs?
I don’t know. I am not even sure different is the right word.
We live a different lifestyle, in a community of families travelling the same path.
Special needs families seem to find themselves together.
Without realising we are drawn to each other.
There is no explanation….it is just the way it is.

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