Parenting is hard.
Parenting a child with special needs is doubly as challenging since we aren’t always emotionally equipped to deal with the added difficulties.
At any given moment, parents of a child with special needs may have to deal with:
- aggressive behavior (toward himself and toward others)
- sleep deprivation (in the form of difficulty falling asleep, night wakings and early risings)
- always being “on” (even when away from the child, the mind never rests)
- transporting and other physically demanding work
- meetings, medical and therapeutic appointments
- administering medication
- managing respite services
- illnesses and/or frequent hospitalizations
- finding new solutions to both old and new medical issues
- homeschooling a child with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, language/ speech delays, cognitive delays, or social difficulties
For me, the difficulties rest in dealing with the disappointments:
- after spending the evening adapting an activity, my son has a complete meltdown and we have to stop “school” entirely that day
- after weeks of working on academic skills, there doesn’t appear to be any new skill acquired
- after months of working on a physical skill, the physiotherapist doesn’t acknowledge the progress made
- at a birthday party, the other children are dancing and playing but my little guy would rather open and shut doors
- after planning a family outing, he starts with self-injurious behaviors in public, cutting our adventure short within the first hour
This isn’t about carrying burdens.
It’s about reality.
It’s about the difficulties, the emotional pain and the let-downs.
It’s also about feeling ashamed about the disappointments we feel toward our child’s progress and in our parenting.
Work past the disappointments:
Before calling more therapists, more doctors, more specialists …
Before reaching for new remedies, reading the updated research, looking for more answers …
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
Pray that your child will rest peacefully tonight.
Pray that it will be a full-night’s sleep and that while he sleeps his brain and body will heal.
Pray that tomorrow will bring solutions you won’t have to work so hard to find.
Pray that tomorrow will be easier.
Pray that if you do meet difficulties, you will be carried.
Pray to be carried, regardless.
Spill your fears, worries and anxieties into the night and know that God will scoop them up and ease your sorrows before daybreak.
When the sun rises, breathe in the new day. Look and listen for the answers to your prayer because they will be there – even if they don’t look like what you originally expect.
I have given rest to the weary and
joy to the sorrowing.
How do you get past disappointments?