by Lillian Csernica on February 23, 2014
It’s generally understood that being a parent is a lot of work. People tend to focus on the early stages, from infancy to grade school, because in that span of time come the stages of early childhood development which tend to involve the most work by the parents. This is true, and I give all parents of all mainstream kids due credit for their labors.
I’d like to give a particular shout-out to all single parents. I don’t know how you do it. My admiration for your strength and determination is huge and sincere.
Then you have us, the Special Needs parents. For you, my sisters and brothers, I offer this salute:
Many of you Special Needs parents have younger children. Some of us have been at this a while. In April my son Michael will turn 18, making him a legal adult here in the U.S. When I first saw the above meme, this was my immediate response:
I’ve been changing diapers for almost 18 years!
By now I should have my own galaxy to rule!
So I say to you, Mainstream parents, Special Needs parents, nurses, caregivers, aides, and all those people who have participated in the diaper-changing process:
It’s easy to see everything we don’t do, everything we wish we did, everything we wish we could do. Take a moment to think about everything we DO accomplish over the course of a single day. I once saw a commercial for one of the armed forces. The motto at the time was, “We do more before breakfast than most people do all day.” That describes a lot of us, doesn’t it?
So take a moment. Raise a glass of whatever you like to everything you’ve done right for your kids. Without even knowing you personally, I can guarantee you’ve done a whole lot more than you realize. Again, I’m speaking to every parent. We want to do what’s best for our children. We want to do our personal best for our kids. Some days we do better than others. That’s OK. We don’t want to teach our children a standard of perfection that simply isn’t attainable. That’s unreasonable and unfair to everybody in the situation. Do the best you can do today. That’s an excellent motto for all of us, parent or child, Mainstream or Special Needs.
Godspeed to us all.