By Christine Cronin
“It takes someone special to do what you do.” She said after I explained our situation.
After I told her about my son and his disability.
After I mentioned his additional needs and explosive behaviours.
After I said he was non speaking and has a developmental delay.
“I couldn’t do it. Well done to you. You’re doing a good job.”
She said with a look in her eye like she felt a little sorry for me rather than impressed.
I smiled. Not really knowing what to say back.
I wanted to tell her that there are some days that I can’t do it either.
That there are days that I can’t take another early start or broken sleep.
That there are days that I can’t take another broken item or food refusal.
That there are days that I can’t answer another call from a specialist or read another email from a provider.
That there are days when I don’t have any patience left to guide another meltdown or regulate another crisis.
That there are days when I am not doing a good job. When I’ve snapped because I’ve had food thrown at me for the fourth time this week.
Or when my own anger rumbles in the pit of my stomach and growls from my mouth because sometimes, it hurts. All of it.
The journey, the days, the behaviours, the permanency.
And I want to tell her that there are days that I don’t do it well. When the walls close in and chaos ensues and it halts me in my tracks, almost paralysing me with fear of the what ifs and when’s and I close my eyes and I think to myself, “I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t think it would be like this.”
I wanted to tell her that, no it doesn’t take someone special. Not at all. I’m not someone special.
I’m just his Mama. I still battle anxiety and depressive episodes. I still get it wrong and I still fall down constantly.
I still don’t love every minute of every day of this life.
I still don’t always know what to do. I still don’t always want to endure the hard parts. But I do.
Every single day, I make a conscious, deliberate and intentional decision, and a sometimes nearly impossible effort, to be a Special Needs Mama.
It doesn’t come naturally. I wasn’t born to do this. I’m not someone special.
I created who I am. I learnt to be what he needed. I researched and trained and learned and grew.
From the ground up. Through the darkness and despair, I shaped me, for him.
I’m a Special Needs Mama and while that takes an enormous amount of strength to be every single day, it’s not formed effortlessly.
Loving him and being his Mama is, absolutely. That’s the easiest part.
But the other parts, not always.
Keep going dear Mama, I know you too, don’t feel like you were made for this, but you can still do it. Keep going.
Republished with permission by Special Soul Mama