The last two weeks have been some pretty tough weeks for our whole family, and weeks that once again, have had me asking myself, am I up for being Michael’s Mom anymore as if there was really a choice, right? Of course I am up for it. I love him and anyway, I need to be up for it! He is my flesh and blood. I brought him into this world and it is my duty and vocation to give him the tools he needs to be a successful and loving contributor to the world. But it is so hard. I I love him so much and see all his potential, all his talent, all the incredible things he brings to the world, but supporting him (and myself and husband) through the rough turbulent times have made me think that sometimes I can’t, or dare I say it, don’t want to do it anymore. I know he is the one dealing with his multiples mental health and physical issues, it is not happening to me, but as his guardian, I am being challenged every day too and is Dad. It has been rough on us as individuals, and rough on our marriage. I look forward to the day when things will settle and then think, will it? What is settling for an exceptional parent?
Still, that is the life of a parent, and for me my passion in life alongside writing. I have a passion for helping kids who are different. Where other people see a damaged child, I see a child whose potential has not yet been tapped. Where others see an “obsession” I see a talent that has yet to be explored. Of course, it is easy to see this in other special children. I do not live with them. I do not have to handle raising them while simultaneously running a house, trying to keep up with family and friends, and work on my marriage. This is the reality of my life and all parents’ lives. This is the reality of most exceptional parents’ lives. What I am realizing though, is even when I am at my lowest thinking all Michael’s aggression and anxiety is something over the top for me and that I can’t handle it, I begin to remind myself of something important. How have I handled things up to now? I have learned much. What has Michael taught me about myself, good and bad? How have I grown as a woman and person? I guess I will continue to grow even more.
Yes, there is pain in parenting an exceptional child, especially when you cannot reach them or they are seemingly against you. Really this is fear, anxiety, oppositional issues and puberty. Sometimes there are other issues too. But as the parent you’ve got to remember not to take it personally. You’ve got to remember there will be good days when you get where they are coming from and days when you are clueless. There will be days you want to run screaming off into the night complete with plane ticket in hand, and days where you celebrate the victories they have achieved doing things you never thought would be possible. There are a lot more off the positive days, I can happily assure you. And there will be days you may think they are better off without you, a parent who can’t possibly do what the experts do, but then quickly realize, no one knows your child like you. No one can tell the said experts who your child is, what their strengths and limitations are, and fill in the blanks about the unique individual that they are.
Experts will come and go. You will assemble many teams. If you are lucky, they will be fantastic, as has happened with us. I truly believe that when that occurs it is because God, fate and the Universe will bring them to you and you to them through reflection and soul searching. Meditate on what you and your child need. Be honest about your family’s struggles. You are up for the journey as hard as it gets. So is your child. They are made of harder stuff than you think. You are ready to move forward with your child, love them for who they are, and as long as you stay calm and practice self-care, you will always always be their best advocate and voice for a world that may not always get them.
Exceptional Parents, have you ever thought you weren’t enough for your child and that your ideas of parenting were wrong for them? Have you ever felt that you are not able to move your child forward on their exceptional journey and they are unhappy and stuck with so many issues? You are not alone. There are so many parents who want to give up on their child or who feel their child has given up on them. Sadly, some parents follow through on this. They need not. They are not failures. As long as they are working in their child’s best interests- making sure their child has life’s basic necessities, stimulating therapy and positive family and friendship experiences, their child is on the right track. And remember, no matter what, parents never stop advocating for their children and their well-being. Children will sense this down to the bottom of their soul. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with Autism, ADHD, OCD and Type 1 Diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.